“By the spring of 1971, the Stones chose to abandon their home country of England to avoid the amount of taxes the British government expected the band to pay. The Stones would have to leave by 5 April, or the government would have seized their assets. After much consideration, the Stones chose to settle in France at Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice, where guitarist Keith Richards had rented Nellcôte, the “Gestapo headquarters during the Second World War,” according to Richards, complete with swastikas on the floor vents. It was here that the Stones would begin work constructing their next album.” – Wiki
This album was a disaster in its making, but somehow turned out to be their best work, IMO. As a young long-haired teenager I bought Exile on Main Street in the fall of ‘72 and played it so much it wore out. Its long gone but I still have most of the dozen or so Exile postcards that came tucked in its dust jacket. (I should take this opportunity to mention that I do have my original dust jacket for Sticky Fingers – and the Andy Warhol zipper still works – but the record is of course unplayable).
According to the wiki article, Loving Cup wasn’t recorded during the drug haze at Nellcôte, but sometime later in Los Angeles, and then added to the mix. That’s OK, the song resonates of the Exile and Let it Bleed periods (“Oooooh, what a beautiful buuuuzzz, what a beautiful buzz!”). I can still see Bianca in her long dress and big white hat. And me hanging out on Friday night in front of the Dunkin Donuts in downtown Framingham, and McNamara working the late shift up at the World Bank. What a beautiful buzz.