It’s funny where you end up sometimes – I never thought as I boarded the Eurostar to Paris with ex-Rolling stones drummer Carlo Little, that I would end up being invited to Mick Jagger’s birthday party. I was there filming for a TV programme called UK Raw for Channel 5. It was a pretty dire show with little budget, but we did cover some interesting and fun items.
This story was about Carlo Little (no, I had never heard of him either) who was once in the Rolling Stones and now operates a hot-dog stall outside Wembley stadium where the Stones were due to play.
Great story – Millionaire rock stars play sell-out World tour, whilst Carlo flipped burgers outside in his van. Real Daily Mail stuff.
On the day of filming at Wembley, we had heard that Keith Richards had damaged his finger and the show was cancelled until sometime the following year. So plans were made to head off to Paris a couple of weeks later.
So who is Carlo Little? Well in the 60s he was part of Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages. He worked with Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, the Flowerpot Men, Jeff Beck, two of Led Zeppelin played with the then semi-professional Rolling Stones. Oh and not forgetting he taught Keith Moon to play the drums.
Carlo was a little older than Jagger and the boy’s at the time and he really couldn’t make ends meet as a full-time drummer with them, besides he made a reasonable living delivering bread. Fast forward to the mid-90s and he was now running two successful mobile hot-dog stands, making a good living. But music never went completely away. He played with Carl Perkins and BB King, and went on drumming into the 1980s.
Back to Paris – We arrived and tried to get tickets to the sell-out show in The Stade de France. By chance, a journalist from Le Figaro a French daily morning newspaper heard that we were in town and was trying to fix up a meeting between the Stones and Carlo. They interviewed him and the story went out the next day.
My hotel telephone rang early the next morning – “Dave – it’s only bloody well on isn’t it!” shouted Carlo. Keith Richards had apparently seen the story in the paper and tracked us down to the hotel we were staying in.
“There is one slight problem – they don’t want us to film it – but you can go to the show and your invited to Mick birthday party afterwards – fancy it?” Bloody right Carlo – I did.
I called the executive Producer back in London and told him the situation. He wasn’t happy but there wasn’t much I could do.
In the end I had a cracking night, no filming but mingling with a lot of A and Z celebrities. Here is the UK Raw piece, I am afraid it’s a dodgy VHS copy, but it is the only recording I have.
Ps – Jagger’s tiny!