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This was played for me a few months ago as a great example of a drunken and/or strung-out STONES performance recorded as the height of Keith Richards’ drug abuse. Indeed, the photo of him napped out on the front and the wild “magic fingers” guitar riff opening on “Brown Sugar” had me thinking that this would be one of those bootlegs you get for a good laff only, like “Elvis’ Greatest Shits” or whatever that one was that only featured Elvis post-1968 spoken vignettes, mumbling to the crowd under the influence of massive loads of barbituates. But “Will Keith Wake Up In Time For His Afternoon Show In Perth Australia 24/2/1973” is awesome, one of the best Stones live records I’ve ever heard. It doesn’t hurt that it was recorded when the band had just finished their run of recording 3-4 of the greatest rock records of all time (“Sticky Fingers” notwithstanding), so naturally the material played is superlative: “Rocks Off”, “Tumblin’ Dice”, “Happy”, “Gimme Shelter” etc. The 8-minute “Midnight Rambler” is outstanding as well. Jagger might actually be the one who’s loaded this time; everything he says and every word he sings seems driven by that funny substance that makes a 33rpm individual perform at 45rpm. His vocals are hyper and loose, and it’s all the better for this very hyper, loose performance. Keith and Mick Taylor’s guitars are cranked way up to the front of the mix, yet not at the expense of the rest of the Stones. Nicky Hopkins also gets a quick “Happy Birthday” played for him at the end. Better than “Get Your Ya-Yas Out”. I wonder if they’ll be this good when I’m set to see them in November? Probably, hunh?

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