Q&A: Why did guitarist Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones in 1974?

SCOTT M writes ...

Several reasons.

  1. He was coming under the influence of drugs, and being in a band with Keith was making it feel like the drugs were ok. Mick failed to stay away from drugs after leaving the band.
  2. Mick was bored with the type of music the Stones were playing. He was capable of leading a band as the guitar player in the same way that a Jimmy Page or an Alvin Lee or a Carlos Santana was. Yet with the Stones, the guitars weren’t emphasized in the same way. He was told to play a song in a specific way and got bored with all that.
  3. Jagger and Keith snubbed Mick on a few songs that he wrote. That was a lot of money that he wasn’t getting.
  4. The band seemed to be losing some direction at around the time just before Taylor left. Goats Head Soup and It’s Only Rock and Roll weren’t exactly groundbreaking albums.

Unfortunately for Mick, he quickly learned that while he was a brilliant guitar player, he was not a rock star. He didn’t have the personality to lead a band. He has certainly gotten work since then, yet he’ll always be remembered as that guy who used to be in the Rolling Stones.

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