Rolling Stones Producer Says Mick Taylor Became ‘A Raving Egomaniac Junkie’
The Rolling Stones catapulted guitarist Mick Taylor to worldwide fame when they recruited him to replace Brian Jones in 1969, but by 1974, he was out of the band — and as producer Glyn Johns claims in the April 2015 issue of MOJO, the seeds of his departure were sown fairly early in his brief tenure.
Johns recalled some trying times in the studio while tracking 1972's Exile on Main St., saying Taylor "turned from from being a quiet, softly spoken, charming young man into a raving egomaniac junkie" and claiming that at one point, "I was mixing the record ... and said to Mick Jagger, ‘Either he goes or I go.’"
And even though Johns has proven he can be fairly cantankerous too, recently referring to the Beatles' Let It Be as "a bunch of garbage," he took pains to point out that his beef with Taylor wasn't simply a case of egos running rampant; in fact, he claims that at one point during the Exile sessions, Taylor actually took it upon himself to overdub some bass and drums, and argued with Johns when the tracks were erased.
"The Rolling Stones have a f---ing great drummer and a really great bass player," Johns recalled telling Taylor. "You, sunshine, play the guitar — and you’ll hear it rather nicely when I’ve finished this."
Ultimately departing to get sober and pursue a solo career, Taylor has rejoined his former bandmates onstage in recent years, and has adopted a more mellow attitude toward his time with the Stones. "It doesn’t necessarily follow that because you’re in a successful rock ‘n’ roll band, you’re going to stay in a situation like that and be satisfied," he observed. "For me it was personally restricting. I’m not saying that it wasn’t fun. It was a helluva lot of fun; it was great. But I had to move on and do something else."
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