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Watch the Rolling Stones Play ‘Time is on My Side’ With Irma Thomas


Exactly 50 years after they both recorded Jerry Ragovoy’s “Time Is on My Side,” the Rolling Stones and Irma Thomas finally had the chance to perform the song together Thursday evening at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It was the first time the Stones had played the tune since 1998, and only the second time since 1982.

“In 1964, which is a very long time ago, we heard this great song on the radio by this amazing singer,” Jagger told the crowd. “We recorded it and it became our first kind of hit in America. The lady that did the song first, she’s the Soul Queen of New Orleans! I’d like to bring out on stage now to sing the song with us, here she is, Miss Irma Thomas!”

The guest spot was the highlight of the band’s Jazz Fest debut, which is an event several years in the making. They were originally booked at the show in 2019, but had to cancel because of Mick Jagger’s heart surgery. They were booked again in 2021, but the festival was ultimately called off due to concerns about Covid-19. 

This is the only festival the Stones are booked to play all year. The setlist was largely identical to their opening night set at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Sunday, but they swapped out the Hackney Diamonds song “Mess It Up” in favor of “Whole Wide World,” which is also on the new album. They also broke out “Let It Bleed” for the first time this year, and invited Zydeco musician Dwayne Dopsie onstage to play it with them. 


Midway through the set, Jagger took a swipe at Louisiana’s newly elected Republican governor Jeff Landry. “We’re a welcoming crowd, aren’t we?” Jagger said. “I hope Mr. Landry is enjoying the show. He’s real inclusive, you know. He’s trying to take us back to the Stone Age.” In a tweet, Landry acted unbothered by the comment. “You can’t always get what you want,” he wrote. “The only person who might remember the Stone Age is Mick Jagger. Love you buddy, you’re always welcome in Louisiana!”

The Stones tour continues May 7 at Stage Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and wraps up July 17 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Their plans beyond that are unclear, but they do have at a least 23 outtakes from Hackney Diamonds that might pop up on a future record. Last year, Hackney Diamonds producer Andrew Watt told Rolling Stone he hopes they bring him back to work on it. “It’s like Batman,” he said. “They put the tongue up in the air, and I will fucking be there. It would be amazing.”


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