Mick Taylor’s Birthday: ‘Me, John Mayall & The Rolling Stones’


Videos, pictures, anecdotes from Keith Richards, Guitars, equipment and more on Mick Taylor: one of the best guitar player – from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to The Rolling Stones.

In 1969 Mayall recommended the young guitarist to Mick Jagger, who was looking for someone to fill a vacancy in The Rolling Stones.

Which was the result of Brian Jones’ recent dismissal from the band. Taylor left the Rolling Stones in December 1974, shortly after the release of It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Since then, he’s been living the sort of life you’d expect a former Rolling Stone to lead — touring the universe as a solo artist or with Bob Dylan, Jack Bruce or Alvin Lee, guesting on friends’ albums.

“He was a very fluent, melodic player… and it gave me something to follow, to bang off,” Mick Jagger said of Taylor, who left the band in 1974. “Some people think that’s the best version of the 

Even joining Jagger in the studio in 2010 to overdub guitar onto “Plundered My Soul,” a leftover song from the Exile on Main St. sessions. it was one of Mick’s songs. It was among the outtakes that had to be finished.

Actually, some of them were finished. But this particular song didn’t have a vocal on it and it didn’t have any lead guitar. It just had Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts playing on it. So he asked me to step into the studio one afternoon, and I did some guitar in about three or four passes. I thought it turned out well.




It’s not typical of Exile On Main St. — it’s just that it was recorded during that period. It’s got backup vocals and things on it that were done a couple of years ago. The original track is just sort of Keith’s rhythm guitar, Bill Wyman’s bass playing and Charlie Watts’ drumming, and it’s very raw. But yes, that was the last song I played with Mick. guitarworld.com/

“I was in awe sometimes listening to Mick Taylor,” Keith Richardswrote in his memoir. “Everything was there in his playing – the melodic touch, a beautiful sustain and a way of reading a song.” Taylor was only 20 when the Rolling Stones recruited him from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers as the replacement for Brian Jones in 1969. His impact, on masterworks such as Exile on Main Street and Sticky Fingers, was immediate. 

Mick said: “I jot down my memories all the time and have done for years in case I ever lose my mind.”I don’t want to write the kind of book that will shock people, about the scandals, sex, drugs and rock and roll because Keith’s done that with his book.”It’s a hard book to write. My time will come but it’s not yet.”


Mick Taylor’s Equiptment (Thanks to Daniel  Shafner)

Electric Guitars:

Fender Stratocasters
Fender Telecaster
Fender Mustang (IORR video)
Fender Telecaster Trimline (late ’80s, only a few times)
Gibson Les Paul Standards (the real vintage ones)
Gibson Les Paul Standard Reissue (look on the back of “Stranger in this
Gibson Les Paul Custom (early ’90s)
Gibson Firebird
Gibson ES-335
Gibson SG10
Epiphone “ES-335” style

Acoustic Guitars:

Gibson Hummingbird



Ampeg VT-40
Ampeg VT-40, modified with 6550 power tubes (“Joe Henry” album)
Ampeg VT-22

Ampeg GU-35 (studio and backstage with The Stones)
Ampeg B-15 or B-25 Portaflex bass amp
Fender Twin Reverbs
Marshall 100 watt stacks and half stacks
Marshall 50 watt stacks and half stacks
Marshall 2×12 combo
Mesa Boogie (model unknown, used on ’79 solo album)
Roland JC120 (used on ’79 solo album)
MusicMan (Bob Dylan ’84 Summer tour)



Taylor’s stage debut as a Stone, at 20, was a free concert in Hyde Park in July 1969. More than 250,000 people watched a show that turned into a tribute to Jones, who had died three days earlier. As Jagger and Richards hogged the spotlight Taylor was the curlyhaired lad at the back modestly getting on with his job. He was one of the most brilliant guitarists of the age, head and shoulders above Richards, and later said of the gig: “I just couldn’t believe how bad they sounded. Their timing was awful.

Related: Paul McCartney Guitars


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