Brian Jones plucked the haunting sitar melody at the 1966 L.A. session for this classic. Bill Wyman added klezmer-flavored organ; studio legend Jack Nitzsche played the gypsy-style piano. “Brian had pretty much given up on the guitar by then,” said Richards. “If there was [another] instrument around, he had to be able to get something out of it. It gave the Stones on record a lot of different textures.”
The principal riff of “Paint It Black” (almost all classic Rolling Stones songs are highlighted by a killer riff) was played on a sitar by Brian Jones and qualifies as perhaps the most effective use of the Indian instrument in a rock song. The exotic twang was a perfect match for the dark, mysterious Eastern-Indian melody, which sounded a little like a soundtrack to an Indian movie hijacked into hyperdrive.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)
Sticky Fingers was never meant to be the title. It’s just what we called it while we were working on it. Usually though, the working titles stick.
~Keith Richards 1971
While many hold their next album, Exile On Main St., as their zenith, Sticky Fingers, balancing on the knife edge between the 60s and 70s, remains their most coherent statement.
~Chris Jones (bbc.co.uk)
April 23: The Rolling Stones released Sticky Fingers in 1971
Muddy Waters and Rolling Stones live at The Checkerboard Lounge 1981
The Stones rushed into the small club unannounced. There was no VIP area, so they sat in front of the stage as Muddy kept playing. Drummer Charlie Watts sat out the Checkerboard trip, but Jagger, Richards, Ronnie Wood and keyboardist Ian Stewart were all willing participants. One of the highlights is “Mannish Boy,” with Waters standing up from his stool for the first time to jump up and down with Jagger as they wail “I’m a rolling stone.”
Richards swigged Jack Daniel’s straight out the bottle. Mick Jagger chewed lots of gum. “The Stones drank about five bottles of Jack in two hours,” said Thurman.