Set for release on Friday (November 13th) is the limited edition box set and digital release of Keith Richards' Live From The Hollywood Palladium. Richards spoke about his solo band, the X-Pensive Winos, who had backed him on his 1988 Talk Is Cheap solo debut, and subsequent live dates.
He told The Associated Press that the Winos filled a void left vacant by the Rolling Stones being put on ice, explaining, “The Winos came together because of the Stones around ’86 said, there was a definite hiatus. Let’s put it that way (laughs). It’s understandable, especially in retrospect, after those many years, Mick (Jagger) and I and the whole band (thinking), 'Is the whole world just the Rolling Stones?' I suppose it was that kind of feeling. And I think Mick had it more than I did. But at the same time, we did need a break from each other and as it turned out, it was a great help to us both.”
The X-Pensive Winos includes drummer and songwriter Steve Jordan, guitarist Waddy Wachtel, bassist Charley Drayton, and keyboardist Ivan Neville.
Keith Richards admitted he gained a newfound respect for what Mick Jagger had to take on fronting the Stones for all those years: “I learned so much about what Mick’s job is — about being the frontman. That opened my eyes to it.”
He went on to explain, “With the Stones, I do a couple of songs anyway, so my appetite was kind of whetted that way. I wasn’t totally foreign to the idea of it. Although, doing the whole show like that, yeah, that’s what I appreciated (about) Mick’s job. It’s a relentless thing being the frontman. In the Stones, I can move back and forth, hide behind Charlie (Watts) or stick my nose up. With the Winos, there’s no retreating.”
When pressed about the ongoing pandemic putting the brakes on the Stones' live work and sessions for their first original album in 15 years, Keith Richards said, “I can’t say I feel like a year has been stolen. I’ll just make up for it later. I’m getting antsy. I guess I can take a year off but it’s in the bones. I guess after all these years, it’s in our calling, the body and everything. It’s like, 'Come on, where’s our show, brother?' It’s kind of a little weird, but at the same time, we’ve all got greater things to deal with at the moment.”
Keith Richards admitted that in the 1980's a solo album and a new band was unthinkable until things went south between him and Mick Jagger: “I never wanted to make a solo album until I started making it, until I found the right guys to play with. To make a solo album, it meant the Rolling Stones weren't working for a while. There's no way that I would've dreamed, or dreamt of a solo album while I was working with the Stones, because that would be counter productive. I did this record because there was no possibility when I started to make this record that the Stones were gonna to come back together.”