Although the record itself was recorded at Olympic Studios in London during the Spring, they brought it to California for the final touches. It had already been mixed once in London, but they were so dissatisfied with it that they called Glyn Johns, their regular engineer, to re-do the mix.
Johns, a 26-year-old English schoolboy imp, was in Los Angeles, producing the Steve Miller Band's second album, and so Mick brought the tapes there, where they were mixed in the middle of July from midnight to four or five in the morning for about a week, after the Miller Band sessions in Studio 3, located in Hollywood.
Studio 3 stands right around the corner from the giant RCA studios on Sunset Blvd., where, two and three years ago, the Stones were recording parts of their earlier albums. In RCA in 1968, the cavernous studios where orchestras are recorded are now vacant but for two guards and an unknown group who will try but never get there. Two or three years ago, hundreds of girls waited for days to see the Rolling Stones, and it was one of the prototypical scenes of the British Invasion, as it was called then.
Today, Mick Jagger quietly came and went at midnight, sitting for hours with Johns, Miller and two guests, playing each song at least ten times each, at full volume, to find the right placement, level and tonal value for each instrument on a track. Again and again it went on, the tedious workmanship of the very precise craft of rock and roll recording.
Today, Mick Jagger, a thin, modish Oscar Wilde figure, is the object of a bizarre variation on the same sort of manhunt. One night, someone left the door ajar and several girls on their way somewhere spotted Mick and hung around the outside entrance for a half hour, gathering a little crowd until it was apparent that nothing was going to happen.
A young man with cat eyes and his hair pulled back into a braid like that of a Tibetan temple keeper, re-appeared with his friends night after night to wait. The first night he threatened to pound on the door until he was let in. The look of his eyes, as he was told "no" was frightening; it seemed a matter of life for him to be inside. In the early morning he followed Jagger driving where he was staying in Beverly Hills.
There were just a few people on the first days, but the reaction to the famous – and in this case, almost what one could call the "spiritually famous" – was as intense as ever. Jagger was also seen at places like the Hollywood Bowl and the Whiskey A Go Go, and his presence caused wave-like spreading of recognition. He is still Mick Jagger.
Oh there's 20,000 grandma's
Waving their hankies in the air;
And burning up their tensions,
Shouting "It's not there.
"There's a regiment of soldiers,
Standing looking on;
And the Queen is bravely shouting,
"What the hell is going on?"
With a blood-curdling
She charged into the ranks,
And blessed all those grandma's
Who with their dying breaths,
"Jigsaw Puzzle," more or less the story of the band, was recorded with eleven other tracks at Olympic Studios in London during the period February to July. Two of the others – "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Child of the Moon" – were issued on a single ("Jack" got to number two in the charts) and are not planned for release on the album, although Jagger says their American record company may put them on, even if their English company doesn't.
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