; Tangled Up In Blue: Still Rolling with the Stones

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Still Rolling with the Stones

I don’t know if I’m still the oldest poster in the TUIB house, but I suspect I still have the ‘grise’, not necessarily the eminence. I’m almost 53 and I’ve literally grown up with Keith, Mick, Charlie and all the other assorted Rolling Stones.

In 1964, I was a skinny kid in 7th grade wrestling with a series of badly mangled haircuts courtesy of my mom’s sadistic home barbering kit. I, not unlike 99.9% of my peers wanted desperately to be cool. We all loved the Beatles, but when I heard the Rolling Stones doing Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters, I knew that the true north of cool was at least within my earshot.

I was only one of two people in the 7th grade who preferred the Stones to the Beatles. Randy Hurt, who got to have cool hair, was the other Stonesophile. We banded together – brothers in vinyl - endlessly dissecting every note of every Stone's album. I still think the covers to ‘Out of Our Heads’ and ‘December’s Children’ are the two coolest album covers of all time.

The Beatles wore these cutesy matching lapel-less jackets and wore their hair neatly trimmed (at least at first). The Stones wore non-matching leather jackets and were just damn scruffy: the look of nirvana to this Sears-clad cool-wanna-be.

I’m listening to the new Stones CD right now. It’s called The Bigger Bang and it is the best thing they’ve done in 20 years. They still haven’t made a truly GREAT album/CD since 1980, but every one of their subsequent releases have contained a nugget or two. Keith still slouches and stings and Charlie still bangs like, well, Charlie Watts (the man swings).

Mick, at 61, can’t hit all the high notes anymore, but he still has the great falsetto and swagger.

I’m grateful there is still new product from these guys who are even ‘gris-er’ than me. I don’t want it to be nothing more than a nostalgia act straining out sawdust from a dozen dusty hits.

Has any singer/band been a part of your entire teen and adult life? I quit worrying about cool several decades ago, but just hearing Charlie’s downbeat and Keith chiming in 4 beats later makes me realize that cool is still out there and it’s just a shout away….


Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

Fab post, old man! And yes, to my knowledge, you're still the oldest.
Isn't the new cd grand? I love the way it is stripped down.
As far as I am concerned, throw out pro tools and 48 digital tracks and give me an 8 track anologue!
The Stones are back to basics, here. Rock and roll, and it rawks!

2:45 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

John, I'll age up if that helps any...;-p

I still need to grab the new Stones. I have never seen them in concert, but about a year ago I grabbed a live version of Sympathy (my favourite Stones song) off iTunes and developed a whole new respect for them.

Mick can ACTUALLY sing. Like from-the-balls-up sing.

2:50 PM  
Blogger John H said...

I'm on my fourth straight run-thru of this new CD and it is still growing on me...Streets of Love when Jagger goes falsetto along with a background of accoustic guitars and Keith playing over the top..damn it is just good!

If you haven't downloaded 'Gimme Shelter' you really need to purchase that song also..the best pre/post/apocalyptic song ever made (my favorite Stones song)...always menacing, once again so damn relevant.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Glen Dean said...

The one member I really miss is Bill Wyman. That bass line in Jumping Jack Flash is incredible. It totally drives the whole song, in my opinion. When you say 1980, are you talking about Tattoo You? I think that was around that time, but I'm not sure. Although I wasn't there when they got started, I have always preferred the Stones to the Beatles. No disrespect to the Fab Four, its just that the Stones were so bad, and in rock and roll, bad is good. I can't imagine how much they scared parents in the 60's.

4:33 PM  
Blogger John H said...

Yeah, to me Tattoo You is the last through and through Stones classic. From 'Start me Up' to 'Waiting on a Friend' (with Sonny Rollins on sax), every song just kicks it.

'Start me UP' has been overplayed but if you can forget the fact that it has graced everything from Windows 95 ads to practically every sporting event in the last 25 years, it still has that amazing kick when Keith just barrels out of the gate.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Glen Dean said...

Waiting On a Friend is an awesome and sometimes forgotten deep cut from that album. Excellent taste in music, John.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Sharon Cobb said...

You know I love Reggae, so Waiting On A Friend is high on my list.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Raizor's Edge said...

Sirius recently added a Rolling Stones station. It's Sirius channel 99, or 6099 on Dish Network.

6:33 PM  
Blogger dolphin said...

Has any singer/band been a part of your entire teen and adult life?

The problem in today's rock world is that there are few (if any) legends, such as the Stones. The modern rock music world is largely comprised of one-hit wonders and a few lucky bands who've scored a couple more hits. Where have the legends gone?

6:36 PM  
Blogger HUCK said...

'Exile on Mainstreet'
...'nuff said...

8:35 PM  
Blogger Luna said...

Anything with Mick Taylor is excellent.

8:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home