Main Offender is Keith Richards’ second solo studio album and his third overall. Released in 1992 in between The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels and Voodoo Lounge projects, Main Offender remains to date Richards’ most recent offering as a solo artist.
Regrouping with his group of musician friends known as “The X-Pensive Winos”, Richards teamed up with Talk Is Cheap collaborator Steve Jordan and added Waddy Watchel to the mix both in composing and producing Main Offender.
Sessions took place in California and New York City from March to September 1992, with another round of touring scheduled that fall in Europe and early 1993 in North America.
When Richards would reunite with Mick Jagger (who was recording Wandering Spirit while Richards was making Main Offender) in mid-1993 to start work on Voodoo Lounge, Jagger would compliment Richards on Main Offender, even using lead single “Wicked as It Seems” as inspiration for The Rolling Stones’ next single, “Love Is Strong”.
Released in October 1992, Main Offender received another round of positive reviews, but failed to match the commercial success of Talk Is Cheap, reaching #45 in the United Kingdom and #99 in the United States. Following the touring commitments in support of Main Offender, Richards would return to recording exclusively with The Rolling Stones and put his solo career on an indefinite hold.
1. “999” (Keith Richards, Steve Jordan, Waddy Watchel) – 5:50
2. “Wicked as It Seems” (Richards, Jordan, Charley Drayton) – 4:45
3. “Eileen” (Richard and Jordan) – 4:29
4. “Words of Wonder” (Richards, Jordan, Waddy Watchel) – 6:35
5. “Yap Yap” (Richards, Jordan, Watchel) – 4:43
6. “Bodytalks” (Richards, Jordan, Drayton, Sarah Dash) – 5:20
7. “Hate It When You Leave” (Richards, Jordan, Watchel) – 4:59
8. “Runnin’ Too Deep” (Richard and Jordan) – 3:20
9. “Will but You Won’t” (Richard and Jordan) – 5:05
10. “Demon” (Richard and Jordan) – 4:45
Generally resisting sustained ventures outside of The Rolling Stones, Richards has released few solo recordings. In 1978 he released his first solo single: renditions of Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” and Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come”. In 1987, after Jagger had put The Rolling Stones on hold in order to promote his solo albums, Richards formed the X-pensive Winos with new co-writer Steve Jordan, who had drummed on some tracks on Dirty Work and in the band Richards assembled for the documentary Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (see below).
Besides Steve Jordan, the X-pensive Winos included Sarah Dash, Waddy Wachtel, Bobby Keys, Ivan Neville and Charley Drayton. Their first album, Talk Is Cheap (which also featured session musicians Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker), went gold and has remained a consistent seller. It spawned a brief US tour – one of only two that Richards has done as a solo artist. The first tour is documented on the Virgin release Live at the Hollywood Palladium, December 15, 1988. In 1992 Main Offender was released, and following a “warm-up concert” in Buenos Aires, the X-Pensive Winos (including a new member, backing vocalist Babi Floyd) toured Europe and North America.
Seen here is some rare Winos and Offender memorabilia.
Signed invite from Keith to the “Talk is Cheap” record release party.
Passes, laminates and itinerary from the tour.
Signed tour poster to good friend and bodyguard the late Joe Seabrook.