» Listen to outtakes from the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request at An Aquarium Drunkard
How much Joneswho, like Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys) and Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd), was considered a drug casualty and booted from the very band he helped formcontributed to the Rolling Stones is debatable, but one of the few songs where he gets full writing credit is Sure I Do, which still has yet to be released. It’s one of the musical holy grails, like the Velvet Underground acetates (until recently) or anything by the Cherry Sisters. The only copy of the record sits in Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers restaurant. And until Bill takes that copy off the wall, we’re left with a smaller grail: Jones’s studio outtakes with Hendrix.
» Listen to the Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones Sessions
There are a number of other holy grails out there yet to be found or only just now being digitizedand once enough record collectors give up on their vinyl elitism and get with current technology, we’ll hit paydirt. Legend has told of a Hendrix/Miles Davis recording floating around that is condensed genius, but would cause rampant chaos and golden copulation in the streets were it ever unleashed on the general populace. The mind can only guess based on what the Hendrix/John McLaughlin tapes sound like.
» Listen to the Jimi Hendrix and John McLaughlin Sessions from the Record Plant
Another fateful meeting of masters that ended in lost recordings: the recently unearthed acetates of Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane live at Carnegie Hall. It’s a mellow stroll through the park sometime before both of their more avant-garde sounds. It’s still cool, though. I had hoped for free jazz bebop, but it’ll play well on an early Sunday morning.
» Listen to Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane at All Things Considered
It’s not just jazz and acid casualties that get lost, but angular rock too. The Fugazi In on the Killtaker sessions that were recorded by Steve Albini seemed like a hidden jewel only traded amongst those in the know, but it’s just another version of the album with some differences in recording.
» Listen to the Albini sessions of In on the Killtaker at The Runout Groove
It’s really not coincidental that most of these meetings of the masters happen to become lost recordings. A lot of hype gets built around cramming famous musicians in a room, Bill Laswell-style, that maybe it’s best to hide the results from view rather than be discouraged by the results. And who knows why it didn’t work? Perhaps egos clashed. Maybe you just can’t force creativity. Or maybe Miles Davis was so smacked-out that he couldn’t muster Taps. In the interest of historic preservation, even those recordings need to be unearthed, if for no other reason that to teach the world a lesson that cramming great musicians together doesn’t always end well.
» Listen to Brian Wilson perform Barbara Ann