In the history of rock and roll excesses wine tends not to feature too highly. Seldom does the name of a wine sit comfortably within biographies of our musical greats. Bourbon and whiskey are there aplenty. Wines may make the odd appearance in the odd line of a song certainly, Moet et Chandon, Thunderbird and Neil Diamond's Red Red Wine brilliantly covered by UB40 but not a great deal more. Has there ever been a wine that can lay claim to the title of the most influential wine in the history of Rock and Roll? Well I believe there is and I hope you'll enjoy my reasons and claim line, and perhaps you may just be a little surprised by the wine who I feel that should be inducted. And it isn't a red red wine.
One band can lay claim to have had a massive influence on music since they formed in 1969; The Faces.
The line up at the start of Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones have a lineage worth appreciating. The band came together from two other bands, The Small Faces and Jeff Beck Group. Steve Marriot left The Small Faces to go on and form Humble Pie. Jeff Beck Group also went on to have a drummer name of Cozy Powell, which then gives the link to ELO. At the time of their first album Rod Stewart had just finished an album with Keith Emerson who went onto form Emerson Lake and Palmer. Rod Stewart went on to do well for himself, Ronnie Lane was the writer of Itchycoo Park and has a road named after him in Newham, Ronnie Lane. Nice touch Newham! Ronnie Wood went on to join the Rolling Stones, Ian McLagan played with Billy Bragg and the Blokes and also married Keith Moon's ex, and Kenney Jones went on to replace Moon in The Who. So as you can see they deserved their place in the Hall of Fame in 2012.
With a back catalogue including Stay With Me, Cindy Incidentally, Pool Hall Richard and Had Me A Real Good Time, the Faces spent the years from 1970 -73 recording and touring. They toured hard! They were one of the first bands to gather a reputation for the excesses they excessed! A bar was always set up on stage, and all the lads wore a flower in the lapel, which got a regular sniff during the show. Only three years but what a three years. Always on stage with their flower to sniff, they carried a bottle of wine to help lubricate the throat. This is the bottle of wine I am putting forward as deserving of it's place as the most influential bottle of wine in the history of Rock and Roll. It shared the stage with the Faces and therefore shares their influence. They wouldn't have been who they were without the wine that went on tour with them.
Ladies and gentlemen I give you.... Mateus Rose. Another bygone relic of the 70's? Possibly. Is there though a wine that stands so squarely with one great band? Throughout their most brilliant three years it was there lubricating to the point of anaesthesia. Also in 1973 Elton John's song Social Disease references getting 'juiced on Mateus'. He had been on the road with the Faces that year!
So let us raise a glass to the humble little bottle that deserves its place in the Rock and Roll Pantheon of greatness and wonderment. Mateus Rose....... Rock on!