Some fans may have seen this clip from the Maysel Brothers’ film of the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour called “Gimme Shelter-” of Jim sitting with Keith Richards in the control room of Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, listening to the just mixed playback of “Wild Horses,” on which Jim is playing tack piano; but few of you have read Jim’s hilarious account of the set-up of the shoot. This is from Jim’s unpublished memoir, “The Search for Blind Lemon.” Sit back, put some gin in your glass. Enjoy.
“As they mixed, I couldn’t help notice the Maysel Brothers setting up two light trees pointing at the control room window from the tracking side of the glass. Available light was lacking. My vast theatrical training at Baylor Theatre led me to realize that whatever they shot with lights had more chance of making it to film. I studied the situation.
Nobody was on the big back couch where Charlie had been hiding. The lights and the camera aimed directly at it. I had the last joint. Keith knew it. As they worked on “Wild Horses,” I put the joint behind my ear and sat on the couch. Keith joined me. The light came on. Tape and camera began to roll. I was in the movie.
Two shots from the Muscle Shoals session survive in Gimme Shelter:
a shot of Mick and Jimmy Johnson behind the mixing console and the shot of Keith and me on the couch, our eyes closed during the “Wild Horses” play back. Thank you, Baylor Theatre.”
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