Beatles vs. Stones

Which do you prefer?

I'd have to go with the Rolling Stones although I do love Revolver.

And you?


While I love them both, and they are the soundtrack of my youth, the Glimmer Twins get more time on my system.  There is no denying the genius of Lennon/McCartney as songwriters but the Stones have an edge to their music their Beatles could not match (exceptions for sure).  When Mick & Keith started to hit their stride with Beggars Banquet, they moved into a musical realm that set them apart.  For starters, Sympathy For The Devil is the greatest rock & roll song ever written.  Lyrically unmatched then or now.  The near violence in Keith's one note (😂) guitar solo is stunning to this day.   Then to name just a few more: Sister Morphine (thank you Ry Cooder), Moonlight Mile, Gimme Shelter, You Can't Always Get What You Want..........   It's really an Apples to Oranges comparison but if I had to choose the collected works of only one of the two bands, it's always going to be the Stones for me. 

They are two different type bands, and I’ll paraphrase Paul McCartney as told by Keith Richards in his biography; the Beatles are a vocal band and the Stones more instrumental. In any case, I enjoy them both, more so the Beatles because that’s what I heard the most when I was very young. Both great bodies of work. 

The Beatles were undeniably a great band. That said, Sway.. Monkey Man.. the entirety of Exile on Main Street... Just absolutely filthy music from the gut. The way rock and roll should be.

Apparently Kijanki’s on to something. Ringo and Paul have supposedly been spotted in an LA studio, laying down the bass and drum tracks for a new Stones tune. Supposedly I’m hoping for a retro sounding sequel to “I Wanna Be Your Man”, instead of “Let’s Get Together yeah yeah yeah” along the lines of Hayley Mills. 

Jim Keltner says The Stones were Charlie's band. ;-)

Charlie was well known for creating the "feel" of The Stones; he played the snare drum back beat real "late" (far back in the pocket, in drumming lingo). A lot of Rockers who discovered Country music in the late-60's/early-70's (Gram Parsons made Country hip to some), as well as The Stones feeble attempts to play it (Keith came under the influence of Gram), want their drummer to play their Country-Rock ala Charlie, with that late back beat.

I invested a lot of time and devoted a lot of work to be able to play "deep pocket" style---like Roger Hawkins of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section aka The Swampers (Aretha, Boz Scaggs, Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, The Staple Singers, Duane Allman, Albert King, Bob Seger, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, hundreds of others. One of my two favorite drummers), Jim Gordon (Derek & The Dominos, All Things Must Pass, Traffic, L.A. studios), Al Jackson (Booker T & The MG's), Ringo, and the late, great Levon Helm (my other favorite).

In the first decade of this century I did some gigs with Rick Shea and Jonny Kaplan, a couple of such guys, well-known in the L.A. musical community. After working so hard at being able to play in the center of the pocket (think of the pocket as a V-shaped hole. The closer you move to the center of the hole, the deeper the pocket), intentionally playing late was not fun. It was in fact painful to my musical sensibilities. But, as the saying goes, give them what they want. ;-)