It's been a rough month for Rolling Stones fans. Keyboard player Ian McLagan and sax man Bobby Keys died a day apart. I don't know much about Ian other than the fact he was a happy fun-loving guy (much like Ronnie Wood who he played with in Faces.) I know he was frail and sickly, which eventually led to his early retirement touring with the Stones. When Bobby Keys book Every Night's A Saturday Night came out a couple years ago, I read it and loved the guy ever since. He was as close to being a Stone as one could get. Despite the fact he was under educated and could not read one note of music ( he played by ear,) his style of playing was both unique and unmatched. I remember my friend Glen Hardin needed a sax player for a very "special artist."

He had seen Bobby play and was very impressed, so he called him to come immediately to the recording studio. The song was to start with a sax, so Glen gave Bobby the sheet music, not knowing Bobby couldn't read a note. To help him, Glen played the sax part of the song on his piano, and Bobby got it, note for note. The recording session went off without a hitch. By the way, the "special artist" was Elvis, and the song was Return to Sender. It was the first big hit Bobby played on.Bobby  was in constant demand, and can be heard on many songs by the Stones, George Harrison, Ringo, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Carly Simon, Delaney & Bonnie, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Joe Cocker, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more. He was also good friends with the Stones, and was asked by Mick Jagger to come on tour with the band. That one tour led to many more Stones tours, recordings, and video's.

Bobby was no saint, especially when the Stones were on the road. He was a bit of a bad ass, just like Keith. You might remember the video of Keith and another guy tossing a TV out the 7th floor window of a hotel? The other guy was Bobby, I rest my case. So, will the Rolling Stones be okay without Ian and Bobby? Well, they've filled Ian's slot on keyboards, but Bobby, I don't know. They can get a fill in on sax to be sure, but how do you replace a legend?