March 29, 2009 – 4:36 am

For his offence of carrying his drugs wherever he went, The Stones were obliged to bail their guitarist Keith Richards with two benefit concerts in Ontario, Canada.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Keith Richards Benefit [Sister Morphine Morph40, 2CD]

Live at the Oshawa Civic Auditorium, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, April 22, 1979, second show. A bright, narrow stereo[?] soundboard recording. Released Feb 2009.

The story for this show goes back to 1977 when the Stones decided to record a small club gig in Toronto, Canada, to include on their new live album. Keith Richards was the last to arrive. Unfortunately, he decided to shoot some heroin in the plane’s toilet and left his stuff in his companion, Anita Pallenberg’s bag.

According to the wikipedia, Richards was arrested four days later when Canadian police barged into his hotel room and found a “stash of drugs which were large enough under Canadian law for Richards to face some serious trafficking charges, let alone possession”.

Fortunately for Richards, a blind fan pleaded on his behalf and two years later, the Stones were obliged to play two gigs as atonement. The gigs for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind were quickly finalised, tickets sold, and all proceeds to the CNIB. There were to be two shows and considering the venue’s capacity was only 1,300, not much money landed in the CNIB’s kitty.

Finally, from 30 years ago, a quality soundboard recording of the second night has surfaced. You can now hear what all the fuss was about, listen to a stoned John Belushi play host to Keith’s New Barbarians, listen to jazz legend Stanley Clarke earn his keep playing bass and running circles around Keef, witness the first time duet of Mick and Keef on Prodigal Son and listen to Mick utter four-letter expletives repeatedly on Star Star. It’s a pretty nasty evening.

The show is not without its detractors. A fan marino8so5 posted this on an eBay page advertising the Blind Date double LP:

“This was suppose to be legendary concert/benefit for the blind in ‘79 that Keith and the Stones, Barbarians did as penance for Keith’s heroin bust 2 years earlier. I will have to say it may be legendary in how poorly the Stones performed. The sound recording is not horrible, but it is not close to any of their official live releases like ‘Get Yer Ya,Ya’s out’. There are a few spots that aren’t bad like Let It Rock, Just My Imagination. But almost every other Stones track like Beast of Burden, Respectable, Star F*cker, Miss You, they get lost and can’t find the right chords and it is just pathetic and too painful to listen to. Prodigal Son which was suppose to be a highlight according to Victor Bockris in Keith’s biography is also just bad, Jagger doesn’t even remember a single verse and just mumbles.”

This show was first bootlegged as Blind Date and apparently is from an audience recording. Some fans have noted that Blind Date offers the first show. Sister Morphine’s is from a soundboard of the second show, same night, and is mastered by that label’s maestro, Cool, Cool Hand.

As you can guess from the title of the first bootleg, the Stones did not enjoy performing under duress. It’s quite a mean-spirited show but hey, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll. Enjoy a slice of history.
- Professor Red

Note: This show contains strong language. If you are easily offended, please do not download.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.CD1 The New Barbarians
Track 101. John Belushi intro
Track 102. Sweet Little Rock & Roller
Track 103. F.U.C. Her
Track 104. Breathe On Me
Track 105. Infekshun
Track 106. I Can Feel The Fire
Track 107. Am I Grooving You
Track 108. Seven Days
Track 109. Before They Make Me Run

Keith Richards - gtr
Ron Wood - gtr
Stanley Clarke  - bs
Ian McLagen - keyboards
Bobby Keys - sax
Ziggy Modeliste - drums [also with The Meters]

CD2 The Rolling Stones
Track 201. Prodigal Son
Track 202. Let It Rock
Track 203. Respectable
Track 204. Star Star
Track 205. Beast Of Burden
Track 206. Just My Imagination
Track 207. When The Whip Comes Down
Track 208. Shattered
Track 209. Miss You*
Track 210. Jumping Jack Flash*

* with The New Barbarians

Mick Jagger - vocals, harmonica
Keith Richards - guitar, backing vocals
Ronnie Wood - guitar
Bill Wyman - bass
Charlie Watts - drums

The perfectly manicured live album from this period of the Stones is Love You Live. It was the El Mocambo gig that got Richards in hot water with the authorities. Listening to their performance post-bust, it’s amazing they were this good. Click on the link to order Rolling Stones albums.

  1. 13 Responses to “WHEN THE MOUNTIES HAD THEIR WAY”

  2. thanks! another great music post.

    By jeff on Mar 29, 2009

  3. Very historical recording hard to find !
    Thank you very much for sharing !

    By Micounet on Mar 29, 2009

  4. what a lovely little gem from The Stones.Many thanks for the share!

    By uncletommy on Mar 29, 2009

  5. Nice setlist of The New Barbarians: “F. U. C. Her”, “Infekshun” and “Seven Days” (a Bob Dylan song) are all from Ronnie’s solo-album “Gimme Some Neck”.

    By Walter on Mar 30, 2009

  6. THANK YOU. I have looked for this for awhile.

    Sometimes, the legendary shows are a disappointment on tape, and this is a good example. The sound is pretty good for ‘79, but is it possible that this is the monitor mix and not the house mix?


    By Eric on Mar 30, 2009

  7. Always coming up with gems!! Thanks, Gracias, Mahalo Nui Nui

    By Diane on Mar 30, 2009

  8. “Breathe On Me” is also from one of Ronnie Wood’s solo albums.

    By uncletommy on Mar 31, 2009

  9. It was a long time ago but I was at the second concert and I remember the sound and the playing being much better than represented here. I don’t think this soundboard is what the house was hearing. But maybe I was just too caught up in the moment.

    By Malcolm on Mar 31, 2009

  10. I guess this concert sums up pretty well the real meaning of this site…giving the music lovers, really hard to find and otherwise expensive historical and almost forgotten moments of music like this one…to me this is not a good concert but, I have always wanted to hear it…and now I have a chance…anyway, even in their bad moments the Stones are interesting.

    By Alex Corvini on Apr 5, 2009

  11. I have just download this gem. Thanks a lot for sharing this part of history.

    By Marcelo Herrera on Aug 7, 2009

  12. This is probably the best recording available, the civic auditorium is merely , or should I say was[closed now] a hockey arena..I saw many bands there from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Guess Who to Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels…no one sounded good in that place!

    By sluggo on May 8, 2010

  13. This is great! I’ve had a vinyl copy of this show…same artwork, for years but the sound is a bit dirty. This one fixes that up for my ears. I love the way Keith kept hitting the wrong chord in JJF. Was he doing that on purpose?

    By Chis on May 11, 2010

  14. chis , I have a feeling it was snowing pretty heavy that night…

    By sluggo on May 11, 2010

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