Thursday, July 12, 2012

Keith Richards: "It's damn fun!"

I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it! There's something to like about a job that involves traveling, playing music to thousands of screaming girls, and generally being treated like royalty everywhere you go.

It wasn't always that way, but for the better part of 50 years the Rolling Stones have trotted out their traveling road show and non-stop party to great success, and enormous profit as well. From Brian Jones to Mick Taylor to Ron Wood and beyond with a host of able sidemen (and women), the Stones still put out the tightest product imaginable for rockers in their 70's. Bill Wyman is long gone, rerplaced by the capable Darryl Jones, and Woody has outlasted any guitarist ever in the band besides Keef himself.

These guys made the perfect foil for the Beatles, as they were pitted against each other as good vs. bad in a morality play that propelled each band to superstardom first in their native England, and not long after, around the entire civilized world as they conquested across the North American continent and Europe, Asia, Russia, you name it. Anywhere a stadium full of teenagers could support a concert the Stones provided the entertainment for decades on end, and 2012 is no exception.  Their first North American tour was a flop but even before it was over they could see the writing on the wall, and it was the perfect kind of graffiti that forcast their eventual meteoric rise to fame and fortune.

No immediate plans for a 50th anniversary tour have been served up, but according to Charlie Watts, they are trotting out an array of books, rereleases and media that chronicle the rise to superstardom that could only befit the Greatest Rock And Roll Band (perhaps of all time, arguably), The Rolling Stones. I'm sure that, before the year is up, there will be another record set for attendance somewhere (Wembley Stadium?), an entire tour sold out in record time, and a new album (do they still call them 'albums'?) of music for the band to promote. After all, what does the Greatest Rock And Roll Band do on their 50th anniversary, sit back and rest on their laurels? Not this one! Not this time! Even if it's one last big hurrah, which I personally doubt, that sort of sendoff to retirement land would befit a music/entertainment legend such as they.

What an amazing history, what an amazing band for such an amazing time in music and beyond...If they'd packed it in back in 1975, ostensibly they'd still be regarded as the greatest, for all their seminal music had already been created before and up to that point. Keith might have required a few less blood transfusions in the long run, Charlie could have survived without a few less suits in his wardrobe, and Ron Wood would still be with Rod Stewart! Mick would have had a couple fewer divorces and Bill...well, we all know that Bill had a thing for young girls...despite his elder statesman status in the band. Jagger's latest object of lust is the indescribable Angelina Jolie, rightly so! Ronnie's kicked booze once and for all, so the boys oughtta be tuned up and ready to barnstorm the planet anytime soon.

Tomorrow we'll serve up another portion of the dish called rock and roll, and you WILL like it. Keep your tubes hot and your antenna up! See you then!

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