Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 139
Mon. June 17, 2013
The Rolling Stones
All it takes is that lovely reminder, listening to Brian Jones opening slide guitar, reflecting his outcast nature on one of his few touchstones on Beggars Banquet; “No Expectations” would be the last stand of this sweaty bluesman licks on a Rolling Stones recording.
While Jones finally found his space on Beggars’ “Expectations,” Brian spent most of these Banquet sessions out of place and not connecting with his Rolling Stones band mates. “[Brian Jones] would turn up for sessions when he felt like it. One night, he showed up after he hadn’t bothered to come in the previous four. He had a sitar and we were doing a blues song. It might have been “No Expectations.” There was no way a sitar was going to fit. “Beggars producer Jimmy Miller remembered in Alan Clayson’s tome The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet. In Clayton’s same book, bassist Bill Wyman recalled, “I never disliked him as a person, but you couldn’t rely on him and I found it impossible to get on with him musically.”
Although Mick croons “No Expectations” with a heartfelt croon, Jagger’s brilliance is heard in his reflections of the words; he has no intention of keeping his promises to his lover…right after the last lick, Jagger’s lyrical persona already has his bags packed and is heading towards the door. Mirroring Brian Jones eventual fate with the band and even though Mick Jagger called “No Expectations” his favorite ballad on Beggars Banquet, this acoustic beauty will forever be remembered for being the lone blues man’s last stand on vinyl; Brian Jones sweaty slide guitar licks from “No Expectations” would became his final swan song as a Rolling Stone.
While Miller and eventually Jagger would praise his acoustic licks on “No Expectations,” Jagger remembers this song as the final session with Brian Jones, the founder of The Rolling Stones when he said, “That’s Brian playing (steel guitar). We were sitting around in a circle on the floor, singing and playing, recording with open mikes. That was the last time I remember Brian really being totally involved in something that was really worth doing. He was there with everyone else. It’s funny how you remember – but that was the last moment I remember him doing that, because he had just lost interest in everything.”
And just like Jagger’s classic lyrics, the once bond between The Stones and their best friend Brian Jones, their outcast band mates, and just like the beautiful “No Expectations” music they once created they loved to hear…was now gone.