The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Mick Taylor walked away from the band after 6 ground-breaking albums. So why did he leave, and did Mick Taylor regret leaving the Stones?
Extraordinary guitarist Mick Taylor does not regret leaving The Rolling Stones as he left to curb his heroin habit. Taylor believed if he had stayed in the band, he would have died from his drug addiction.
But life outside The Rolling Stones was not beds of roses, Taylor admitted. Despite having a fulfilling list of projects to work on, his personal life was rocky and it took him a long time to get his life together.
He divorced his wife, Rose, sold his gold records, and squandered most of his money on drugs. He was addicted then, using anything he could get. Taylor has been living on his own and rarely sees his family.
But is he happy? I wanted to find out more, so I investigated those questions and more.
Is Mick Taylor still friends with The Rolling Stones?
Mick Taylor is still friends with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, the only 2 current members of the Rolling Stones that were in the band at the same time as Taylor. And Mick Taylor has occasionally joined them on stage over the years, as recently as 2013.
I came across a newspaper article that examined Mick’s relationship with former band members.
According to the Stones’ manager Jeff Allen, the article mentioned that Taylor still meets the band members with the same curiosity as he did before.
Jeff added to the statement saying:
“The last time we met up with them, he and Keith were hugging each other and happy to see each other. When Mick was ill, Jagger had his office phone up to see what was going on, and then he phoned up the hospital to check on Mick because they were worried about him.”
Judging from their interactions and press reports, Mick Taylor is on good terms with The Rolling Stones, who still bond over rock-and-roll blues. I have never heard Mick say a bad word about them.
As of now, the group stays widely acknowledged as the most technically accomplished band in their tenure, with each member sharing a great bond.
“I could sit down with Mick Taylor and he would play very fluid lines against my vocals. He was very exciting.” – Mick Jagger
Happy birthday Mick Taylor! 🎉
Photo by Michael Putland, 1973 pic.twitter.com/CtmCalHuTT
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) January 17, 2021
Does Mick Taylor get royalties from The Rolling Stones?
Despite his 2009 claim that he did not get royalties, Mick Taylor still gets performance royalties for record sales and streaming revenue for all the songs on the 6 albums he played on from 1969’s Let It Bleed through 1974’s It’s Only Rock and Roll.
He only wrote 1 song with the band during that time but also got songwriting royalties for that song. That one song is Ventilator Blues” from Exile on Main St.
However, many fans on forums are constantly talking about many other songs Taylor supposedly helped write while Keith was strung out on heroin. But he wasn’t credited on those. And has re-joined the band several times which implies there’s no bad blood.
So, I’m not sure there’s any validity to those claims.
Taylor remembered that he “had a contract with The Rolling Stones. Records which were licensed to Atlantic Records-the same contract as the rest of the band.”
So, for much of his work with them, Mick received an equal share of the performance royalties.
Jagger and Richards shared the writers’ royalties. As for the rumors he wasn’t getting royalties any more, he claimed in 2009 that when the contract with Atlantic Records expired, the band’s management used a loophole in Taylor’s contract to stop all his payments.
But that seems highly unlikely.
Two decades later, Taylor remains an elusive figure who helped The Rolling Stone produce classic rock albums like Exile on Main Street, Sticky Fingers, and Let it Bleed.
For millions of fans, Mick continues to be recognized as a crucial member whose contributions to the band’s success may not have been fully appreciated. Still, his legacy cannot be taken away from him.
Want to find who are the members who continue to get royalties from The Rolling Stones?
Read my recent article where I have also discussed the wealthiest members in the band. But I also get into how they made most of their money in the first place (hint: it’s not what you think).
Just click that link to read it on my site.
after Mick Taylor quit the Stones – his next move was join the Jack Bruce band (with Carla Bley on keys) for a European Tour – the results remained unreleased until 2003, when a 2 CD set emerged. There’s some wild 7, 12, 16, & 25 minute far-reaching mind-expanding songs on here pic.twitter.com/tFX7LoCR6w
— Pat Thomas (@PatThomas1964) June 1, 2020
What happened to Mick Taylor after leaving The Rolling Stones?
After leaving the Stones in 1974, Mick Taylor joined the short-lived Jack Bruce Band. But much of the decades since have been spent playing sporadically with names such as Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Joan Jett, The Grateful Dead, and a reunion with John Mayall where he got his start.
The Jack Bruce Band soon began rehearsing in London with scheduled tour dates shortly after Taylor joined.
According to many reports, the group toured Europe, including a performance recorded on 1st June 1975. This performance was released on CD in 2003 as “Live at the Manchester Free Trade Hall” by The Jack Bruce Band.
Taylor also shared guitar duties by making notable guest entries and collaborating with other album makers. He also worked on several writing projects and released his solo album titled “Mick Taylor” with Columbia Records in 1979.
In 1981, Taylor toured with Alvin Lee of Ten Years After sharing the bill with Black Sabbath.
While he spent most of his 1982 on the road, Taylor joined Mark Knopfler in 1983. Taylor recently played with his replacement in the Stones, Ronnie Wood, for a recent gig in London.
Mick Taylor enjoyed a fruitful career showcasing his guitar skills through the years. And Mick Jagger, in particular, still reminisces about Taylor’s days in the band.
But I wonder if he was as good as Keith or Ronnie Wood?
Luckily, I covered that in my recent article to cut to the chase. I compare all 3 guitarists as well as Brian Jones who Taylor replaced. I have my favorite, but you might not agree.
Click that link to read it on my site.
Kevin Mazur’s photo of Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards at the LA Echoplex, 27th April 2013 pic.twitter.com/RiPrJeR0zQ
— Mick Taylor Official (@MickTaylorInfo) April 30, 2013
Did Ron Wood replace Mick Taylor?
Ron “Ronnie” Wood replaced Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones in March 1975. However, Wood’s first record with the Stones did not come out until 1976. But Wood had played on and helped write the song “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll”, which was the last album with Mick Taylor.
And Wood was actually Jagger’s first pick to replace Brian Jones back in 1969. But Wood had just regrouped the ‘Small Faces’ into ‘the faces’ with Rod Stewart and declined Jagger’s offer.
2021 marked the 46th anniversary of Ronnie Wood’s journey with the Rolling Stones, who ultimately replaced Mick Taylor. So despite being the 3rd guitarist next to Keith Richards, Wood is, by far, the one that has stood the test of time.
Wood’s first concert appearance with The Stones was on his birthday at Louisiana State University’s Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The two-time-inductee into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ronnie Wood, remained with the band and did an incredible amount of work ever since.
Although Wood is a fantastic soloist, and also plays slide guitar and a coral sitar on numbers like “Paint It Black”, he doesn’t get as much credit as Mick Taylor, Keith, or Brian Jones.
Brian Jones not only founded the band but also drove the band’s initial sound and style.
Read my recent article that discusses Brian’s role in The Rolling Stones. It’s interesting to think, but at the time, Mick and Keith did what Jones said. And he was definitely considered the frontman for the group.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Mick Taylor, 1972 pic.twitter.com/G7wcft7YRq
— Legends Of Classic Rock (@lofcr1) May 29, 2021
Is Mick Taylor poor?
Mick Taylor has a net worth of $30,000 and is considered quite poor, especially compared to his former bandmates. However, he is happy and still loves The Rolling Stones.
Taylor was present with The Rolling Stones at the height of their success.
After all, Sticky Fingers is still considered one of the Stones’ best albums. And the one that followed that Taylor played on, Exile on Main St., is also fantastic.
And those are only 2 of the 6 albums Mick Taylor played on.
And while Richards, Jagger, and the late Charlie Watts got fabulously wealthy, Taylor and bassist Bill Wyman, who left in 1993, hasn’t been quite so lucky. However, Wyman has certainly fared better than Taylor.
For many fans, the Taylor era was the Stone’s finest era. He was an integral part of the band, but Taylor announced his departure five years later, believing he had enough.
Even though Taylor participated in subsequent musical endeavors, they were no match to Stones’ commercial success. He would have become a millionaire if he had stuck with the band.
Mick Taylor recently began living in a rundown Suffolk semi with a shabby car which may have led many fans to conjecture if Mick had gone all broke. However, this is not true at all.
Taylor may have stopped receiving royalties from the Stones, but he earned decent revenues from his other projects.
Several reasons, such as allegedly stolen songwriting credits, marriage problems, and drugs, prompted Mick Taylor to leave The Rolling Stones in 1974.
However, the former guitarist has given a variety of reasons over the years on both why and whether he regrets leaving the band.
He recently broke this silence on the subject and indicated the troubled life he was experiencing during his stay in The Rolling Stones. From drug addiction to dreams of writing a book, Taylor exited the band without any regrets.
Over these decades, Taylor has kept clean and lived the best life, occasionally releasing solo albums and playing at pubs with old friends.
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