Fascinating background story on legendary Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller on the 25th anniversary of his death, from his half-sister Judith (yes, that Judith Miller) here.
Jimmy’s regard for the group, and especially Keith Richards, was mutual. Their initial collaboration resulted in rock ’n’ roll magic, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” a song whose lyrics were inspired, quite literally, by the sound of a gardener’s rubber boots stomping through mud outside Keith’s cottage at Redlands where they had been up all night. Jagger had been awakened by the splash of Jack Dyer’s galoshes. “What’s that?” Mick had asked. “Oh, that’s Jack,” Richards had replied. “Jumping Jack.” The rest is rock history.
Jimmy’s six-year collaboration with the Stones resulted in what many critics regard as the most fruitful in rock history. Writing in Rolling Stone in May 2018, reporter/critic Jim Merlis called Jimmy’s five albums with the Stones—Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goats Head Soup—not only the Stones’ best work, but four of the “greatest rock albums of all time.” (I would probably not include Goats Head Soup in that list.)
Merlis wrote that my brother had brought out the best in the band in two ways. First, Jimmy had encouraged experimentation. When the band played the demo for “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” on a mono cassette, for instance, and Richards said how much he liked the distorted sound of his acoustic guitar overloading the tape, Jimmy suggested that they record the guitar part that way.
So they did.