1986-12-28 (1st show), NYC, Lone Star Cafe, Mick Taylor show review by GimmeMTguy
This evening will turn out to be perhaps the most historic of all of Mick Taylor's solo career. Keith Richards arrives with his entourage in the later portion of the 1st show, and joins MT for the last two songs of the 2nd set.
Tusks is always an upbeat opener, and this version is no exception.
Put It Where You Want It
This Jazz Messengers' instrumental has a title which absolutely mirrors the melody line in the song. Is is an interesting song choice, because Mick Taylor's lead playing is already usually voice-like in many aspects. This song presents an interesting challenge because every other note in addition to the title line, is implicitly expected to be other musical words or phrases connoting some undisclosed lyrical meaning left to the listener's imagination.
The interplay between Jon Young's keys and MT in the middle section has an extra element of excitement in it, perhaps due to the expected arrival tonight of a special guest.
Will It Go Round in Circles
MT goes in for the kill early in his solo mid-tune after Young's vocal. His tone is piercingly clear and the vibrato is sharply enunciated. Someone yells "that was really good" afterwards, and MT acknowledges "wasn't bad, was it?" This version is a great exemplar of the shorter, tight version of Red House when Jon Young handled the vocals.
Something extraordinary happens in this performance of Giddy Up. The song is ending in its normal way, coming out of the languid and beautiful middle section into the usual close. As the final measures approach, suddenly MT leaps higher, and extends the ending.
He is suddenly energized, and there is a simultaneous commotion in the crowd. There is yelling and screaming as Keith Richards enters the Lone Star Cafe and walks right between the bar on his left and the small stage to his right.
Mick Taylor obviously sees Keith enter the front door adjacent to the stage, and extends the ending of Giddy Up in order to continue playing while Keith enters with his posse and heads up the stairs to the second floor. This ending is unique in all of the many Giddy Up renditions, with MT playing higher notes than he usually plays in Giddy Up or most of his songs.
It's a thrilling musical moment, and it's even more exciting when you know the circumstances that caused it to be played that way.
After the song, the fans are yelling out for Mick to "bring your buddy Keith down here." He will later.
Hot Water Music
After a spirited Hot Water Music, that MT notes was written by Jon, Mick starts off an unidentified mid-tempo Blues. It is quite similar in pace and feel to his version of Red House, which of course he just played earlier in the set, before Keith Richards arrived.
With the benefit of hindsight, and now knowing that he likely never played this exact tune again, one cannot help but wonder whether Mick was trying to set the stage musically for playing with Keith in the next show. The tune fits within the realm of the instrumental Blues improvisations heard on Rolling Stones studio outtakes from Mick Taylor's era with the band.
Keith would join Mick onstage and they would do the Blues tune Key to the Highway and Can't You Hear Me Knocking in the late show.