The Rolling Stones – Introductory Page

The Rolling Stones

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I had a whole lot of pictures to choose from to place atop my Stones page. As you might imagine. They’re coming up on 50 years as a band, after all, and naturally they cycled through a great many different eras that I could’ve picked to epitomize their whole glorious career as the very heart, soul and balls, the living, breathing, bleeding embodiment, of rock ‘n roll music itself. Should I have gone with their flamboyant hobo fashionista look from the groovy mid-60s? Or perhaps a shot from the Mick Taylor years, their aesthetic (not to mention creative) peak? Something from the height of their decadence in the mid-70s? From their punk-influenced late 70s resurgence? The unfortunate football pants era of the early 80s? Or maybe even a wrinkled shot from the mega-tour Vegas years, demonstrating their totally unmatched longevity?

I chose a shot of the fresh faced and hungry lads of 1964 mostly to remind you all that yes, they were young once. And the fact that many of you probably need such a reminder is the tragedy of the Rolling Stones’ legacy. You wouldn’t think theirs is a legacy that would be in need of burnishing, with them being the World’s Greatest Rock ‘N Roll Band and all. But while their classic rockin’ peers like the Beatles (of course) and Pink Floyd seem to bourgeon in popularity with each successive generation, young people’s appreciation of the Stones continues to be severely lacking in gusto. Yeah, sure, I see the tongue logo on shirts and various other paraphernalia constantly, but I’m willing to bet that most people who wear that stuff only buy it because it looks cool and have no idea that it has anything to do with the Stones – or even know who they are. And most teenagers seem to know “Gimme Shelter” and “Paint It Black,” but I think that’s only because they were in a video game or something. The sad truth is that it is no longer remotely cool to like the Stones like it is to like scores of older bands. And it’s been that way for quite a while.

You and I both know why. They’re old. Wrinkled and old. And they have the nerve to keep on sticking around like stubborn old bastards and not let us forget how fricking old they are. I mean, how DARE they? The Beatles had the common decency to break up once they turned 30 and suspend themselves in time so we never have to think about them being old. Sure, prune-faced Paul embarks on a world tour every five minutes so you can pay $300 to go see him clutch his Hofner bass, go “Yeah! Woo hoo! How ya doin’!” after every song, and croak out “Hey Jude” for the billionth time whenever you damn well please. But come on, nobody’s thinking about that when they’re listening to Abbey Road. The mental image of the four well-dressed Angels of the 60s is completely indestructible in our collective psyche. Whereas I’m willing to bet anytime a kid has the audacity to even think about the Rolling Stones, all they see is Keith’s decomposing face and Mick strutting around, sticking his ass out and pointing in random directions in a manner not at all befitting of a man his age (but certainly of a man befitting of his impossibly slim waistline).

Well, that’s bullshit, goddamn it. Who fucking cares? The Stones have been doing a lot more in the last 50 years than sitting around getting old, you know. In fact, they’ve spent most of that time putting together the most insurmountably formidable, influential, eclectic, and totally ass-kicking catalog in the history of rock ‘n roll music. Another significant portion of that time was spent, as they say, “with a needle and a spoon,” but let’s move past that and focus on the making music thing. And this is not up for discussion. The Rolling Stones were, are, and always will be the World’s Greatest Rock ‘N Roll Band, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Mick, the frontman by which all rock frontmen are measured and naturally come up well short. Keef, the Human Riff, the World’s Most Elegantly Wasted Human Being. Charlie, the jazz drummer who decided to slum a little and play rock ‘n roll. Brian Jones, the blonde wonder, the daring multi-instrumentalist and slide guitar pioneer. Bill Wyman, the stoic, womanizing, lockdown bassist. Mick Taylor, the virtuoso. Ronnie Wood, Keith’s partner in the ancient form of guitar weaving. Through these human vessels, the Great Spirit of rock ‘n roll embedded itself and shared itself with the world. The Rolling Stones are rock ‘n roll.

If you are of my generation, or a little younger, or a little older, I challenge you find out why. Buy some Stones records, listen to them, immerse yourself in them (wanna know which ones? Stay tuned for the reviews!). Don’t be deterred by the fact that they’re old now, or because your parents said they liked the Beatles better. The cuddly Beatles were the safe choice back in 60s. Maybe you can even freak out your parents like Stones fans freaked out their parents back then. And if you try, you just might find you get what you need… the Rolling Stones. We all need the Rolling Stones.



2 Comments

  1. Emily wrote:

    I can already see your passion for this band oozing out in your writing – I’m looking forward to reading all one million reviews.
    Great photo choice, by the way. You do a great job of choosing interesting photos of all the bands you at the earliest moments of their existence [for the most part. I see you did not do this for the White Stripes. That’s good. Jack peaked in attractiveness around White Blood Cells and Meg around Elephant. But Keef is clearly peaking in attractiveness at this very moment, so BRING ON THE REVIEWS. All one million of them.]

    • victoreador wrote:

      Emily…I think Keith peaked in attractiveness at his conception.

      He may have been a cute zygote, but it’s been a free-fall into physical decay and unspeakable hideousness ever since


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