“I’ve been ripping the Rolling Stones off with every song I write in some form or another,” says Brad Paisley about his relationship to the iconic band’s music. “We’ll all ripping them off, every artist who’s ever played anything near what they do.”
Now at least Stones frontman Mick Jagger will get his share of royalties, as he and Paisley joined forces for the rollicking “Drive of Shame” from Paisley’s new album, Love and War. The set also features collaborations with John Fogerty, Timbaland, Bill Anderson, plus a writing credit from the late Johnny Cash.
Paisley first met Jagger when he joined the Rolling Stones on stage in Philadelphia in 2013 to play “Dead Flowers,” from Sticky Fingers. “That’s a country album in so many ways,” Paisley says of the Stones’ 1971 classic, which also includes “Wild Horses.” “[Mick’s] a pretty darn important country artist.”
Paisley played with the Rolling Stones again when they visited Nashville in 2015. Over dinner during that trip, Paisley suggested to Jagger that he come back to write and record at Paisley’s farm outside of Nashville. “And [Mick said], ‘let’s do that.’ As simple as that,” Paisley says. “He booked a flight and kind of came in unexpected.”
As they sat down to write, Paisley recalls thinking that “the groove wasn’t going to be ‘you get a line, I’ll get a pole.’ It wasn’t going to be ‘Whoa Mule’ or ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken.’ I wanted to make sure the guitar part felt like something from that world,” he says.
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Paisley had the title “Drive of Shame,” and the two took it from there on the tale about early morning regrets following the previous night’s activities. “Everybody talks about the walk of shame, but you’re probably getting in the car at the end of that, so we decided to write about various places that might happen,” Paisley says. “For him, it’s Rodeo Drive, for me, Vegas works really well.”
“Drive of Shame,” which has a decidedly “Tumblin’ Dice” feel, features Paisley paying homage to Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards’ bluesy guitar riffs, though none of his legendary drug use. “My equivalent was I took a Claritin and a Benadryl and let ‘er rock,” says Paisley.
Jagger is all about “capturing the moment” in the studio. Paisley says. “You just clear out the vocal both to where he’s not going to ricochet off the walls in there, like bumper cars,” he says. “And you try not to freak out the first time [he comes] through your speakers and [he sounds] like every record you ever grew up playing.”