The Night Mick Taylor Exploded
Ronnie Wood At The RAH
The blues is a mixed up thing – Billie Holiday
The Royal Albert Hall is a resplendent joint, romanesque galleries, white painted columns, and pink luminous mushrooms hanging upside down from the ceiling. Ronnie showed up, sleek as a lizard. He strolled over to the microphone and strummed a few bum chords. Out of the darkness, a triple-F-cup, Ample-bosom bra flew towards the stage, the straps got snagged in the strings of Ronnie’s guitar.
“I love ya Ronnie!”
“I love ya too, darlin”.
I was sitting with Jojo Ruocco, a drummer from New Jersey. She’s a hot chilli tamale on drums. Jo and I had a box seat next to the stage. We leaned over the balcony to take a gander at the auditorium. “Check this out,” I said, “all the guys have Ronnie Wood Hairdos.” The audience was starstruck. Woodsy was a survivor and he had the guitars to prove it. All three of them, lined up like china on a mantlepiece. Ronnie sang a couple Jimmy Reid numbers with Mick Taylor shuffling around on stage next to him. A kid called Hercules sat in on drums.
Ronnie paid tribute to Jimmy Reid. “Jimmy was an alcoholic” Ronnie told us. “And he had epilepsy. So after a night’s boozing not only did he get the DT’s, he topped it off with a fit.” I looked at Jimmy Reid’s flat screen image hovering over the auditorium; probably more fun being a hologram than the real thing.
We waited for the razzle-dazzle from guitar legend, Mick Taylor but he was keeping his head down, playing it safe. This was Ronnie’s gig and he wasn’t about to step out of line. The kid drummer kept missing the grooves, playing like he was stoned.
“Wake up you son of a bitch!” screamed Jojo.
I was mortified. “Jesus Jo! People are looking!!
“He’s playing eight and quarter notes on two and four! Is that the best he can do?”
“Do I detect some professional jealousy?”
“That’s crap!! The kid sounds like he’s fresh out of high school!”
“That’s why he’s called ‘Hercules’.” I said.
“It should be me up there!!” shrieked Jojo. “I played with all these frickin’ faggots!! Mick Hucknall, Ronnie Wood, Paul Weller!! What’s this? The fricken boy’s club!?”
“You’re the Queen of the Funkin Drums!”
“You bet your ass I am! I could wipe the floor with these bozos!”
“You should have slept with Ronnie when you had the chance,” I told her. “You’d be up there now instead of Hercules!”
“I don’t mix business with pleasure.” Said Jojo. “I have to admit, Ronnie was a hot little tamale back in the days. He’s on his way to a Knighthood now, that bastard!
“Sure he is,” I said. The Knight of the living dead.”
Hercules blew another beat on the drums. Jojo went ballistic. She leapt out of her seat.
“Enough of this torture! I’m going up on that stage! I’ll blow his ass off those drums!”
“Yeah! Let’s get this party started!!!”
Jojo hurtled down the stairs to the stage. A security goon tried blocking her but she barreled past, nutting him in the groin en- route. Woodsy and Taylor were crunching away up front, oblivious to the action. Jojo yanked the kid off the tins. A brief struggle ensued but Hercules soon lost interest and wobbled down off the stage to be with his girl in the front row. The audience went bananas, thinking it was part of the act!
Bobby Womack crept out from the sidelines and the hall erupted en mass. The sound of thumping feet reverberated throughout the auditorium. Up on the ceiling, the pink mushrooms wobbled dangerously as the crowd went haywire. “Bobby BobbyBobby!” Ruocco smashed into those skins and the crowd hit the roof. Woodsy was sliding all over the stage, his skinny legs trying to match the beat of the drum.
Womack was wailing like a banshee, “Am a goin’ a New York, yes Am a goin’ a New York!” The crowd was ecstatic.
No one expected the ending to happen like it did. Right after Womack disappeared, leaving a frenzied audience in his wake, Mick Taylor exploded. Literally. He’d had these rockets tied to his vest, and all this time everyone thought he’d put on a couple stones. “Cocksuckers!” Taylor shrieked, before erupting into an effervescent storm of atomic particles, then drifting like confetti over a hushed audience. The audience went apeshit! It was the best performance ever!
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