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Green Day Kick Off 'Exile on Main Street' Week on 'Fallon'

Trio punch out "Rip This Joint," Taj Mahal joins the Roots for "Shine a Light"

May 11, 2010 2:47 PM ET

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon kicked off a week of special performances devoted to celebrating the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street reissue last night. First, as promised, Green Day launched the festivities with a revved-up take on Exile's second track "Rip This Joint." The frenetic "Joint" was already the most punk rock song on Exile, and the NoCal trio (and their touring musicians) gave the song an extra dose of thrash and speed, rendering the shortest track on Exile even briefer. Billie Joe Armstrong did a great job of keeping up with Mick Jagger's original cadence, as if Green Day had been covering the song for years.

Fallon had one more surprise on deck: The great Taj Mahal joined house band the Roots for a bluesy version of "Shine a Light" that illuminated the song's gospel influences. For fans of Joe Cocker's rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," Taj Mahal and the Roots' rendition of "Shine a Light" is a must-hear. Watch it over on the Fallon site.

Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban and Phish — who played Exile in its entirety at their Festival 8 last year — are all booked to cover songs from Main Street throughout the week, and more surprises are certainly in store. The Stones salute culminates Friday, May 14th with the premiere of the documentary Stones in Exile during Fallon's show. As Rolling Stone previously reported, the Exile reissue is due out next Tuesday, May 18th. For much more on the Stones' masterpiece, be sure to keep it tuned to RollingStone.com in the coming days.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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