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Old Stones and rare gems

We know we’d get "Sticky Fingers" and a grab-bag of hits. But what about a deep cut or two?

The idea of the Rolling Stones performing the classic “Sticky Fingers” album in its entirety on July 11 in Ralph Wilson Stadium is incredibly tantalizing, and will be made even more so if guitarist Mick Taylor – whose playing on the original album added tremendously to both its initial power and its enduring resonance – happens to be on tour for this particular road jaunt. (Taylor was a special guest on the Stones’  last major tour, joining the band for torrid versions of “Midnight Rambler” on most dates, and occasionally, a few more tunes. But having the guitarist on board for all of “Sticky Fingers” would be a whole different matter.)

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“Sticky Fingers” will only fill up roughly 40 minutes of what is likely to be a 120-minute show, however. What else can we expect? Or more importantly, what can we hope against hope for?

Mick Jagger and co. have quite the repertoire of tracks to play. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

Mick Jagger and co. have quite the repertoire of tracks to play. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

The Stones have been hinting at goodbye forever, and as anyone who has seen any of the tours since the late 80s “reunion” bonanza behind the “Steel Wheels” album knows, there are certain songs the band just plain can’t seem to shake off, “Start Me Up,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Satisfaction” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” among them.

Does anyone aside form a first-timer ever really need to hear these songs played live again? Doesn’t matter. We’re going to.

A deep cut or two can provide an unexpected twist in a set-list, however, and the Stones are smart enough to know that a few such picks can satisfy the hardcore repeat offenders, without alienating anyone who is there solely for “the hits.”

This way, everyone wins. Even drummer Charlie Watts, who has appeared to be somewhat bored with the material for, oh, 30 years or so. Mick, Keith and Ronnie should pick a rarely-played gem just for Charlie’s sake!

Here’s my own wish list. If we get even one of these, I’ll be happy.

"Dancing With Mr. D"

This is one of the filthiest, darkest and swampiest tunes in the Stones oeuvre, and it deserves an airing.

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"She’s A Rainbow"

The Stones at their psychedelic best. The chorus simply explodes. Love to hear this one ricocheting around the Ralph.

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"2,000 Light Years from Home"

Rarely played slice of trippy, Stonesy bliss. Played during the “Steel Wheels” tour, but not particularly well. Be great to hear a solid present-day take on an absolute classic.

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"Hot Stuff"

The Stones at the peak of their 70s funk game. This groove might provide opportunity for some genuine improvisational sparks to fly.

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"Ventilator Blues"

An “Exile on Main St.” gem. And a strutting, sneering masterpiece of a song.

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"Hand of Fate"

Even though he was wrestling personal demons during the 70s, Keith still came up with some indelible riffs during this period. This is one of them.

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"Coming Down Again"

Speaking of Keith’s demons, this is quite likely his most honest recounting of a life weighed down by addiction. Keith always gets a one or two song “solo” spot in a Stones set. I’d rather hear this than “Happy” for the hundredth time.

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"If You Can’t Rock Me"

Sure, it sounds like the less talented younger brother of the “Exile On Main St.’” opener “Rocks Off.” But still, this is a burning  riff, and Jagger usually kills it when the band hauls it out of retirement.

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The Stones do punk. Burning, attitude-driven, timeless, and pretty much never played live.

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"Goin’ To A Go Go"

The Stones do Motown the way the Sex Pistols might do Memphis Soul – with fire, elegant sloppiness, and a truly bad attitude. They breathed fire into this Smokey Robinson & the Miracles classic on their 1981 tour. Love to see it make a comeback.

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