Outraged Tony Visconti walks out of Rolling Stones gig before the band plays, and it’s partly thanks to Questlove's DJ set

 Questlove performs DJ set at Rolling Stones secret Hackney Diamonds gig in New York.
Questlove performs DJ set at Rolling Stones secret Hackney Diamonds gig in New York.

You might have heard, The Rolling Stones are back with new album, Hackney Diamonds. Last week, the veteran rockers put on a surprise gig at Manhattan’s Racket club which saw the band run through a short, seven-song set including three songs from their new album, and a guest slot from Lady Gaga.

However, while the thought of watching one of the biggest bands of all-time play in an intimate club setting at short notice is the stuff of serendipitous, ‘right place, right time’ dreams for most fans, esteemed producer Tony Visconti walked out of the gig before the Stones even played a note, and it’s partly down to The Roots’ drummer, Questlove.

Taking to Facebook, Visconti shared his account of the evening with a fairly sizeable list of gripes ranging from the late opening of the doors (forty minutes on a “cold windy night”), having his phone placed in a secure bag that was “impossible to open”, and having people screaming in his ears due to the “deafening” DJ set performed by Questlove. “One guy said he listens to my productions all the time” Visconti writes, “I was so testy by then I snapped back, ‘You should!’"

Things didn’t get any better, though. As Visconti’s patience dwindled by 21:30 (and Questlove’s wheels of steel got louder), Visconti asked “someone in charge” when the Stones would be starting. With no light able to be shed, Visconti and his date for the evening opted to go home.

“I thought, f**k it, I saw the Stones so many times back in the day with a better line up, even one gig with Brian Jones and Bill Wyman.  We walked out. A security guard said we won't be able to reenter and I said, thank God.”

The producer goes on to say that he ended his night by watching 1948 horror-comedy movie, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein on Roku, adding “Now that was good!”  

Of course, it wasn’t long before Questlove saw Visconti’s post and added his own reaction. Sharing screenshots of Visconti’s Facebook page to his own Instagram account, Questlove said “Dog, the fact that I offended Tony Visconti in such a rock & roll fashion is prolly one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received in my 40 years as a professional musician.”

He added that late Roots manager Rich Nichols — who passed away in 2014 after battling leukaemia — would have “LOVED & laughed at this so hard…this would have been music to Rich’s ears.

Hackney Diamonds is The Rolling Stones' first album since the passing of drummer Charlie Watts in 2021. Watts features on Mess It Up and Live By The Sword.

Longtime Keith Richards collaborator and influential session drummer/producer, Steve Jordan recorded the remaining 10 songs, and has played drums for The Rolling Stones since Watts’ passing. Watts reportedly telling his bandmates, "Steve Jordan's your man" should anything ever happen to him.

Hackney Diamonds by The Rolling Stones is out now