R.I.P. Bobby Keys 1943-2014
December 2, 2014 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Legendary saxophone player Bobby Keys has passed away at the age of 70. Best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, with whom he played and toured for over 45 years, his resume is a who's who of classic rock royalty. Keys has appeared on albums by George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, BB King, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marvin Gaye, Warren Zevon, and many many more. posted by rocket88 (27 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
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He was a big part of the reason Exile sounds the way it does.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:54 PM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


well, he's now gone to that great champange bathtub in the sky

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posted by pyramid termite at 4:55 PM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


. (not always singled out, but definitely part of the soundtrack of many of our lives)
posted by LeLiLo at 5:09 PM on December 2, 2014


I've said it already today, but I'll say it again: If there's an afterlife, he's up there chucking genuine CRT televisions out windows and scaring the crap out of Truman Capote. That thought is my comfort.


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posted by DeWalt_Russ at 5:09 PM on December 2, 2014


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posted by the sobsister at 5:22 PM on December 2, 2014


I was very sad to read of his passing today. He contributed to so many classic rock tracks it's ridiculous. "Partner in crime" is as apt a title as saxophonist, too -- he was a lot more than just a hired horn.

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posted by mosk at 5:22 PM on December 2, 2014


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Born the same day as Keith Richard though many thousands of miles away in Texas. Toured with Buddy Holly when he was fifteen, managed to get himself kicked out of the Stones for extreme behavior. To quote Raoul Duke ... he sure stomped the terra.
posted by philip-random at 5:25 PM on December 2, 2014 [5 favorites]



posted by Smart Dalek at 5:26 PM on December 2, 2014


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posted by spitbull at 5:54 PM on December 2, 2014


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posted by Renoroc at 6:02 PM on December 2, 2014


I'm sad for Keith Richards. They were great friends.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:07 PM on December 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bad on me for not knowing that he's the sax behind "Can't You Hear Me Knocking, "Bitch," and "Brown Sugar." That's just one freaking album.
posted by blucevalo at 7:06 PM on December 2, 2014


RIP Bobby Keys. Ever since rock and roll split off from its jump blues/R&B roots, the saxophone has held a relatively minor place in most of the music we call "rock". But Keys was a keeper of the flame who (almost singlehandedly, it sometimes seems) helped keep the horn firmly situated in the music. He had a big, muscular sound, he knew how to construct elegant, compelling and exciting solos over the relatively short sections in which the sax would be featured (often just 8 or 16 bars), and he could be funky as hell. He will be missed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:15 PM on December 2, 2014 [6 favorites]



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posted by blurker at 7:55 PM on December 2, 2014


Very sorry to hear this. I read his autobiography and what I remember is the absolute accidental and arbitrary way he wound up as a professional musician. He was born to young parents and shifted around between his mother's house and grandparents and sometimes just anywhere he could find a place to stay. He saw King Curtis and Buddy Holly and wanted that life, so learned the first instrument that could get him there. He wanted to play guitar, but could play enough sax to get by, so was brought along on a tour just to provide a couple of saxophone fills. This was at sixteen. He spent his teens on the road, touring with whomever would have him, learning along the way. It wasn't for the money, but there was nothing back in Texas. He lived for the camaraderie of the road and rock and roll.
RIP.
we are celebrating a couple of birthdays at my house and I have the doorbell set to play 'Can You Hear Me Knockin' (throw me down the keys)' Been hearing this song all night and now to hear Mr Keys is gone. sigh

posted by readery at 9:34 PM on December 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


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posted by On the Corner at 12:40 AM on December 3, 2014


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posted by GrapeApiary at 5:37 AM on December 3, 2014


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posted by snuffleupagus at 5:37 AM on December 3, 2014


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posted by Ber at 5:55 AM on December 3, 2014


I'm sad for Keith Richards. They were great friends.

Supposedly he was Keith's go-to guy when it came time to throw TVs out of hotel room windows.
posted by jonp72 at 6:16 AM on December 3, 2014


He was practically a Stone. I just found out he recorded with Elvis but had no idea he played with Buddy Holly too. How cool is that?
posted by Che boludo! at 7:19 AM on December 3, 2014



posted by Gelatin at 8:10 AM on December 3, 2014


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posted by Lynsey at 10:09 AM on December 3, 2014


And now comes the news of Ian McLagan's tragic death. I don't subscribe to hand-wavey bullshit regarding celebrity death trifectas but all the same I'd rather not wake up tomorrow morning to news of, say, Captain Sensible's passing.
posted by item at 2:52 PM on December 3, 2014


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posted by bjgeiger at 4:35 PM on December 3, 2014


damn, one of my favorite keyboard players
posted by pyramid termite at 6:29 PM on December 3, 2014


Bobby Keys-January 13, 2013
posted by philip-random at 6:53 AM on December 8, 2014


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