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….