Chuck Leavell Clocks Up 40 Years As The Rolling Stones Keyboard Player -
Chuck Leavell photo by Ros O'Gorman

Chuck Leavell at Cherry Bar Melbourne photo by Ros O'Gorman

Chuck Leavell Clocks Up 40 Years As The Rolling Stones Keyboard Player

by Paul Cashmere on October 29, 2021

in News

This week Chuck Leavell clocked up 40 years with The Rolling Stones. That’s longer than Bill Wyman (31 years), Brian Jones (7 years) or Mick Taylor (5 years).

Chuck is an integral part of the Stones love band. In his role as music director for The Rolling Stones, Chuck constructs the Stones setlist at each show with Mick Jagger. The Stones show is so precise that every single show features a song that has never been played live in each town before.

Watch the Noise11 interview with Chuck Leavell.

Check Leavell’s first show with The Rolling Stones was on 26 October 1981 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Here is that show:

And here is the setlist from the show:

Live at Fox Theatre, Atlanta, USA, October 26th, 1981.

00:00:00 Intro/Under my thumb
00:04:32 When the whip comes down
00:09:43 Let´s spend the night together
00:13:51 Shattered
00:18:55 Neighbours
00:22:19 Black limousine
00:26:13 Just my imagination
00:33:21 Twenty flight rock
00:35:29 Let me go
00:39:59 Time is on my side
00:43:31 Beast of burden
00:49:52 Waiting on a friend
00:54:29 Let it bleed
01:00:11 You can´t always get what you want
01:07:03 Little T&A
01:11:24 Tumbling dice
01:15:40 She´s so cold
01:20:00 All down the line
01:24:27 Hang fire
01:27:49 Miss you
01:34:13 Start me up
01:38:08 Honky tonk women
01:41:30 Brown sugar
01:45:13 Street fighting man
01:49:23 Jumping Jack flash

Chuck took over keyboard duties from Ian Stewart, an early member of the Stones who was relegated to tour manager in 1963. However, he continued to contribute to Stones releases (he plays piano on ‘She Was Hot’ and ‘Pretty Beat Up’ on ‘Undercover’ (1983) and is credited with piano on ‘Dirty Work’ (1986). Stewart died at age 47 in 1985. (He was also the piano player on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Boogie With Stu’ (which was also named after him).

Chuck Leavell has performed on every Stones album since ‘Undercover’ (1983) except ‘Bridges To Babylon’. He was the keyboard player for George Harrison ‘Live In Japan’ (1992), David Gilmour ‘Live At Pompeii’ (2017), John Mayer’s ‘Born and Raised’ (2012) and ‘Paradise Valley’ (2013), Eric Clapton’s ’24 Nights’ (1991) and ‘Unplugged’ (1992), The Black Crowes ‘Shake your Money Maker’ (1990) and four albums for Allman Brothers including their classic ‘Brothers and Sisters’ (1973) featuring ‘Jessica’ and ‘Ramblin’ Man’.

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