Exile on Broadway- Newspaper Collage 7" x 11.5"

Sometimes in seeking to please everyone, you satisfy no one. Such was the case with the ill-fated 1968 collaboration between The Rolling Stones and Barbara Steisand. On paper it looked like a stroke of genius: broaden Bab's appeal to young listeners while casting Jagger and Richards as a sort of modern-day Rogers and Hart. The idea came to Barbara Steisand's long time A&R man, Tommy LiPuma who suggested to the singer that she record the Stones song, As Tears Go By. The grande dame of Broadway was so taken with the idea that she called for a recording session with the Stones. Mick Jagger agreed to the sessions thinking that a little work might give the band some much needed focus as Keith Richards slipped deeper into heroin addiction.

In a marathon session, this odd pairing knocked out a sultry version of Play with Fire that bears an uncanny resemblance to Peggy Lee's Fever. This was followed by an arch almost screwball comedy interpretation of Mother's Little Helper. Then Babs pulled out all the stops delivering Broadway bombast to a reworking of Get Off My Cloud,that would not have been out of place on the Funny Girl soundtrack. The number even included a delightful give-and-take duet with Mick each urging the other to get off of his/her cloud. By the time the band got to the Sintra-like Time is on My Side, the sexual tension between Jagger and Streisand could no longer be denied. The two adjorned to a nearby diner during a break in recording and didn't return until the middle of the next day.

Much to the band's chagrin, Streisand entered the studio the next day acting the part of Yoko Ono to Mick Jagger's John Lennon. When she criticized Richard's guitar work on a jazzy take on Under My Thumb, he retorted, "What would you do Babs? Seeing as you have all the answers." She draped an arm over Mick's shoulders and replied, "I'd nix the guitar entirely and replace it with brass." Richards reportedly shook his head and glanced over at his old friend and asked, "So, she's calling the shots now?" Jagger turned his head away. After a tense moment Streisand spoke. "Mickey and I have been doing some talking and we've agreed that given your problem with drugs it might be best if the band takes a break." Ron Wood and Charlie Watts stared at one another in disbelief. Babs then added, "And besides with his gorgeous lips and my fabulous nails, we're going to record an album together and call it The Glamour Twins." At this last remark, Richard's threw his guitar on the ground and stormed out the sessions going on a three week alcohol and heroin bender.

When word of the recordings was leaked to the press, the torrent of derision that rained down on Streisand and The Rolling Stones was so great that the tapes were shelved never to see the light of day. Jagger quickly grew tired of being bossed around by Streisand and when she proposed that he play the love interest in an early staged version of what years later became Yentl, he walked out of her apartment and jumped the next flight to London.To this day the two will not speak to one another.

Though interest in the tapes remains intense among fanatics of both Streisand and The Stones no one aside from the recording engineer, Cliff Gripes-Reeve and myself have heard them.