On This Day...

Madhouse History

On This Day in Madhouse History
May 12, 1972

Exile on Main St is the twelfth studio album by The Rolling Stones. It was released on May 12, 1972 and went straight to #1. Some say this double album is The Stones finest work and possibly the greatest album ever recorded. Exile is a raw, gritty, drug and booze fueled masterpiece. In honor of the anniversary of it's release, let's check out some little known "facts" about the album.

1. Hitler Once Slept Here
In 1971, the Stones set up camp at Nellcôte, a seaside mansion Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg were renting. The estate had been the headquarters of the local Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of France in the '40s. Reportedly, it still retained floor vents decorated with swastikas when Keef arrived. A photo of Hitler wearing ladies panties and being spanked by Eva Braun was found in the basement. 

2. Heroin Became France's Number 1 Product
Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg, the crew, Bobby Keys, Gram Parsons and assorted beggars and hangers on did so much Heroin during the recording that France's economy and GDP increased by 10%. Drug dealers from all over Europe flocked to Nellcote in hopes of cashing in. 

3. Where There's Drugs, There's Celebrities
It’s no wonder that a beautiful mansion on the Cote d’Azur stocked with heroin was attractive to some of the Stones’ famous friends. Visitors included Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, actors James Caan and Faye Dunaway, poet William S. Burroughs and playwright Terry Southern. Lennon apparently couldn’t handle the excess – he vomited on the property, then made a hasty departure.

4. Sweet Black Angel
It is said that the song was written about activist Angela Davis, or maybe Marsha Hunt or even Julia, but Jagger told Madhouse News in 2018 that the song was actually written about Esther Rolle. Esther Rolle is the actress that played Florida Evans on the TV show Good Times. Mick and Esther had a steamy love affair before his marriage to Bianca.

5. Keith Richards Pulled Pranks on Mick Taylor
Mick Taylor told Madhouse News that the real reason he left The Stones was because of all the pranks Keith pulled on him during the recording session.  Keith would often give Taylor dutch ovens, wedgies and purple nurples. He set Taylor's bed on fire and locked the door. Taylor was forced to climb out the window to survive. 
6. Taylor, Watts, Wyman Band
Sick of the drugs and bullying, Taylor approached Wyman and Watts about striking out with their own band. Taylor later blamed the idea on his own heroin intake. The plan was to dump Mick and Keith and get Janis Joplin to sing and Jimi Hendrix to play guitar. Watts had to break it to Taylor that they were both dead. 

7. Three Ball Charlie
The man with the three balls (a tennis ball, a golf ball, and a “5” billiard ball) in his mouth is formally known as “Three Ball Charlie”, a 1930’s sideshow performer from Humboldt, Nebraska. Charlie could stuff balls in his mouth, juggle balls, drink a glass of water, ride a unicycle and whistle simultaneously, according to Ripley’s. Charlie loved balls. 

8. Banned from France
The depravity, the drugs, the beggars and hangars on ended up getting the entire Rolling Stones and especially Keith Richards banned from France for 2 years. 

If humans survive for another 10 billion years or if aliens come down from Mars, there will never be another work of recorded music that will equal the brilliance of "Exile on Main St". 1972 was the peak of civilization. 

Track Listing
Side one
1. "Rocks Off"
2. "Rip This Joint"
3. "Shake Your Hips"
4. "Casino Boogie"
5. "Tumbling Dice"

Side two
1. "Sweet Virginia"
2. "Torn and Frayed"
3. "Sweet Black Angel"
4. "Loving Cup"

Side three
1. "Happy" 
2. "Turd on the Run"
3. "Ventilator Blues"
4. "I Just Want to See His Face"
5. "Let It Loose"

Side four
1. "All Down the Line"
2. "Stop Breaking Down"
3. "Shine a Light"
4. "Soul Survivor"

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