Guitarist dusts off his hot licks and nearly steals the show with blistering guest shot on Let It Bleed favorite
By Alex Baker
The debate regarding who was the best Rolling Stones guitarist ever has been raging for the better part of the 50 years the band has been together.
Keith is the obvious choice since he’s the only one who’s been in the band continuously, wrote the songs, and undoubtedly had the greatest overall influence on their sound. But some of the more nostalgic among us may prefer the exotic Beat Boom blues meanderings of the late Brian Jones, while others favor the jagged rock riffery of Ron Wood. However most true guitar aficionados agree that the greatest guitarist, and perhaps the greatest musician, to have ever done time with the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World, was none other than Mick Taylor.
Taylor joined the band in 1969 to replace Brian and lent his formidable chops to some of the band’s greatest albums – Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street – before departing the band rather suddenly in 1974. Unlike Jones, who tragically drown in his swimming pool shortly after leaving the group, Mick Taylor just sort of sank into obscurity over the years.
But Sunday night at the 02 Arena in London, he was back as one of the guest stars that joined the band for the kickoff show of their “50 & Counting” mini-tour. Taking the stage with a Bigsby-equipped Gibson Les Paul, Taylor looked like he’d long since abandoned whatever Rolling Stones diet plan it is that’s enabled Jagger, Richards, and Woodie to remain stick thin well into their 60s. But while Taylor’s waistline may have gone, his guitar chops clearly haven’t, as you can see from this fan-shot video taken on the night.