rolling stones down the road apiece 1964Can You Hear the Music?


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Rolling Stones songs: Down the Road Apiece
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Well there’s a place you really get your kicks/ It’s open every night about twelve to six…

Written by: Don Raye
Recorded: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA, June 10-11 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012

From the Rolling Stones – All the Songs, The Story Behind Every Track book:
Don Raye, a vaudeville artist and songwriter, wrote “Down the Road Apiece” for the musicians of the Will Bradley/Ray McKinley Orchestra, who recorded it with some success in 1940 as the Will Bradley Trio. This typical boogie-woogie number praising the talent of a group of phenomenal musicians and a club that is open every night about twelve to six was subsequently covered by many other artists including Amos Milburn in 1946 and Chuck Berry, who transformed it into a rock ’n’ roll anthem, in 1960. And it is from the Chuck Berry version that the Rolling Stones (after Manfred Mann before them) took their inspiration during the recording session in Chicago on June 11, 1964. Keith Richards in particular demonstrates that he has already learned everything there is to know about the guitar style of Chuck “Johnny B. Goode” Berry, while Ian Stewart
remains true to the older boogie-woogie tradition.

The Stones had been playing “Down the Road Apiece” since 1962, before Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts had even joined the group. Right from the introduction, played by Keith Richards on his Epiphone Casino, the group sounds very much in its element. The groove is extraordinary and indeed far superior to the Chuck Berry version, the six Britons demonstrating that they were unrivaled at making a song their own. From the moment Richards launches into the opening notes of “Down the Road Apiece” with that archetypal Chicago blues sound, he shows that he has become an excellent lead guitarist.

This is without a doubt one of his best guitar performances from this stage of his career. Stewart also takes pride of place with his utterly irresistible boogie-woogie piano, which is nothing less than a work of art. Jagger is not to be outdone with a very good delivery of the lyrics. And if the number works this well, it is thanks in no small part to the veritable swing machine made up of the excellent Wyman and Watts. With Jones on his Gretsch Anniversary, “Down the Road Apiece” is one of the most successful tracks on the album. Were the Stones motivated by the presence of Chuck Berry at the June 11 recording session? Bill Wyman recalls: “He was the nicest I can remember him ever being, but don’t forget, we were recording his songs!”