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Deep Dive: Rolling Stones, Horns

In addition to stellar backing vocals, legendary horn sections define Rolling Stones songs, both live and in studio.  Several players, such as Bobby Keys, both recorded and toured with the band.  Other horn sections, like the Uptown Horns, only toured.

The Uptown Horns play to this day, recently touring with Dion.  They’ve recorded or toured with everyone from Iggy Pop and Joan Jett, to Bronski Beat and J. Geils Band.  The four members of the Uptown Horns are:  Crispin Cioe, Arno Hecht, Robert Funk,  and Larry Etkin.  I first saw them play with the Stones on the Steel Wheels tour at the Georgia Tech stadium.  Nobody who saw that tour will forget “Honky Tonk Women” that night.

Bobby Keys became close friends with Keith Richards during some of the Rolling Stones recording session at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.  Over time, Keys played and recorded with the band for many years.  While many of the members of the band immersed themselves in substance abuse in the 1970s, at some point, Keys and Jagger developed a close friendship.  Despite multiple versions of the tale, essentially they fell apart when Keys filled a tub with Dom Perignon and proceeded to drink the entire vat.  The champagne consumed cost more than his entire pay for the tour.  While that may or may not be true, it makes for an accurate vibe of the rifts caused by excess in that era for the band and their entourage.

 


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