Chris Kimsey remembers recording with Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones in 1970
this article is from – telegraph.co.uk
This was taken in Studio 2 of Olympic Studios in Barnes, south-west London, when the Rolling Stones were working on their live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!. I had started working there in 1967 as a 16-year-old. I was living in North Cheam at the time but had a girlfriend living in Barnes. I had been involved in sound at school and was always called on to do the sound for school plays. I’d pop my head in at Olympic to see if they had any jobs going. After about a month of doing that, they took my name and phone number, and eventually I got an interview. A week later I started as a tape operator and tea maker on £11 a week.
After being assistant tea boy on Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!, I got to work properly with the Stones on Sticky Fingers, released the following year. I actually got to do some engineering on that. I hadn’t really been interested in the music until then. I was more involved in film sound – I had worked on The Italian Job and The Thomas Crown Affair – so when it came to working with the Stones, it was a very different atmosphere for me.
I struck up a relationship with the producer and engineer Glyn Johns, who’d been working with the Stones since the beginning. I was his assistant on many albums and, after he finished working with them, I took over. They were fantastic to work with. It was very different because they would record everything live, so there were a lot of hours waiting for them to arrive and then a lot of hours waiting for them to get their groove together. But when it happened it was amazing. In the beginning I’d get to the studio diligently at 7pm and often be still waiting for them to arrive at 1am. I gradually learnt.
We’re still in touch. I was working with Ronnie Wood about eight months ago and also saw Charlie Watts recently. I’m more in touch with Ronnie and Charlie than Keith, who is in the States a lot, and I never know where Mick is but we do keep in contact.
The industry has changed now, some parts for the better. I miss the craft of the musicians. A lot of the young ones today think that with technology they don’t have to practise much and they expect it to happen overnight. You’ve got to pay your dues and know your craft; otherwise you’ll just be a flash in the pan.