The Rolling Stones Havana Moon DVD/CD three disk package documenting their historic visit to Havana, Cuba simply proves once again why there are simply the greatest rock and roll band in the history of rock and roll music. Yes, there is the Beatles. Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd and a host of other super groups and artists who have made some of the most indelible contributions to classic rock. However, none of those bands have come close to sustaining as long of a career as the Rolling Stones have. But it’s not all about the length of the band’s career; although we could argue that point very easily. All it takes is one listen to Havana Moon’s 2 CDs or one view of the accompanying film, and one will realize that it comes down to just still simply sounding great after 50 years. Yes, its been over 50 years since the band first hit the concert stage.
It is stunning how great Mick Jagger still sounds on Havana Moon. Jagger shows not one sign of hoarseness. His vocals are pitch perfect. Jagger has always sung in a way that showcases an amazing ability to sing without any bit of struggle or effort. There was a story recently posted in New York’s’ Wall Street Journal about Mick Jagger’s singing teacher Don Lawrence who also trains Lady Gaga. So we know Mick still trains. But there something about his voice that simply screams DNA.
And then there is Keith Richards who still, roams the stage with that same wise guy smile providing a master class in rhythmic guitar playing with each Rolling Stone Song he performs. When Mick Jagger introduces Keith to the Havana crowd, the Cuban people go crazy. Watching Keith Richards play off Ronnie Wood undeniably demonstrates the deep love that both of them have for glory of popular cultures greatest art form. Listening to those two play guitar in time together is And speaking of Ronnie Wood; so may fans still associate Ronnie Wood with the Faces, which is fine and justified, but in reality, just think about it, Ronnie Wood joined the Rolling Stones in 1975 for the Black and Blue album. Ronnie Wood has been a Rolling Stone for 42 years. Ronny Wood is all Rolling Stone. Ronnie Wood’s lead playing still resonates with the heart and soul of the great blues guitarists like Muddy Waters and the rhythmic nature of some of the great Stax Records soul recordings. Keith Richards once called Ronnie Wood “the glue that held the whole thing together.”
When John Bonham passed away, Robert Plant closed the door on Led Zeppelin. It’s hard to imagine the Rolling Stones ever continuing on without Charlie Watts. It’s probably a forgone conclusion that Mick would shut the door also if anything happened to Charlie. Like Bonham’s iconic kick and snare drum sound, Charlie Watts’ playing has set the tone for the school of rock and roll grooves. Similar to Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts simple drums setup is all the musician needs to light the band up and kick the fans out of their seats on the very first beat.So why isn’t Darrly Jones considered an official Rolling Stone. The great Rolling Stones bass player joined the Rolling Stones in 1993. Darrly Jones has played bass on all the Rolling Stones Tours since 1993. Darryl Jones has also played bass on all the Rolling Stones albums since 1993. He has appeared on the Rolling Stones, 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, 1995’s Stripped, 1997’s Bridges to Babylon, 1998’s No Security, 2016’s Havana Moon and their most recent release the 2016’s blues cover album, Blue & Lonesome. No one knows the exact monetary figure of the value of the Rolling Stones, but being considered an official Rolling Stone or just listed as an additional musician probably plays a significant roles in one’s paycheck. Beside his role as the man who replaced Bill Wyman on bass for the Rolling Stones, Darryl Jones has performed as a member of Sting’s band back in 1985. Jones has also worked alongside some of jazz music’s greatest modern-day artists like John Scofield and Mike Stern. He also performed and recorded with the late Miles Davis.
The Havana Moon CD and DVD also display the talents of a few other longtime Rolling Stones touring musicians, Chuck Leavell, Lisa Fischer, Bernard Fowler, and Karl Denson.
Watching Mick get touched up and Keith having a smoke backstage while the band is playing the intro to Symphony for the Devil is what makes watching these types of concert DVDs so much fun. The Rolling Stones band members comment on each other in the middle of the film and leave the viewer with a deeper understanding of the feelings they have for each other despite the numerous news stories we have heard over the years of inner fighting especially between Mick and Keith. The majority of the film features the concert performances with a small opening sequence depicting the Cuban people and landscape. There is really no mention of politics. The film is all about the music. The Havana Moon CD cover artwork depicts the beautiful moon that the Stones played under on that historic night. The design of the art featuring the fans,the moon, the stage and the flags are a perfect representation of the historic meaning and impact of the Rolling Stones trip to Cuba.