ELLIOT STEPHEN COHEN
OK, we’ve been hearing jokes about the chronicle ages of The Rolling Stones for ages, that their combined ages total more years than America has been around, they’re “The Rolling Bones,” etc.
Firstly, I was not at Saturday night’s concert at Britain’s Glastonbury Festival (whose founder had been courting the Stones for 43 years) but I did watch the televised portion, and as someone who has seen the Rolling Stones in concert many times over the years, I’d say they put on one truly incredible show.
Now before getting to some of the truly stupid comments I’ve read regarding the ages of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (72 year-old Charlie Watts for some reason is truly revered and doesn’t draw many ageist jokes, and Wood the “baby of the band,” at 66, is not as visible or famous as Mick and Keith, and makes an effort to look as youthful as possible) all of the reviews I’ve read truly praised The Rolling Stones performance.
However, one comedian’s jibe at Jagger, referencing Maroon 5’s hit “Moves Like Jagger,” said that would be an apt description of a nursing home caretaker filling out a medical report on a potential patient. Certainly, as anyone who saw Saturday night’s show could plainly see, it was strictly meant as a joke. In fact I would guess that even Sir Mick would find it funny (as I did).
However, the remarks of one British…I use the term “journalist” lightly, referred to the concert as “Night Of The Living Dead,” and wrote that Richards at the shows end, “looked as if he was ready for warm milk and a nurse.”
I would love to see that writer get up onstage..at an age that is probably half of Keith Richards almost 70 years, sing and dance for nearly two and a half hours with no intermission under probably extremely hot television lights; not that he would have the talent to do it for one second, and probably the stamina to even mimic it for five minutes.
It was such a stupid ageist comment. Yes, Richards does look old, and he seems to feel comfortable about his age. As one of the world’s richest rock stars, he could obviously afford plastic surgery, a hairpiece, or even have his white hair dyed, but he proudly wraps his receding white hairline with a huge bald spot in the back, with just a headband, and no one has ever looked cooler on a rock stage than Keith Richards. While one reviewer mentioned that Keith looked “tired,” as he walked off the stage, most 25 year-old performers would look tired after a two and a half hour grueling workout like Keith’s.
Yes, I do agree with some reviews that Keith’s guitar playing has been better in the past, but he’s still Keith Richards; looseness has always been part of his, and The Rolling Stones charm, and so what if he occasionally has to take his hands off the guitar to relieve his crippling arthritis, it’s obvious he’s giving all he can, He isn’t just up onstage “punching the clock.” Richards doesn’t need the money. He still loves his band, and the adulation it draws. Just read his comments about how he hopes the band will continue for another ten years, in time to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
As for Mick Jagger, he is a total freak of nature. It’s not just that he’s undoubtedly the best
frontman in all of rock history, he’s the still unquestionably at nearly 70 years old, the best, right now in 2013.
My overall feelings on the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary tour…I’m frankly very disappointed that long-time bassist Bill Wyman (who left the band in 1992) was not..except for two songs on one show last year, a part of it.
Like many other Rolling Stones fans, I was hoping that the Stones would be out promoting a new album (which would have been their first since 2005’s A Bigger Bang) with Wyman on it, and that he would be featured on at least part of every show. It’s obvious that bad feelings still exist between Wyman and Jagger and Richards from his leaving, and Wyman, perhaps out of pride and the small role he had last years winter tour, claims to prefer playing small clubs with his Rhythm Kings to being a Rolling Stone again. When I interviewed Wyman in 2010, he told me he had no interest in ever performing with the band again, unless it was for just what would be the band’s final show, that would be broadcast all over the world.While Glastonbury
is probably not the Stones final show..by a long shot..it might be turn out to be the closest to what Wyman was hoping for.
Regarding Mick Taylor, who was with the Stones during their “golden period 1969 to 1974, while Richards announced at the beginning of this year that Taylor would have a bigger role in this years tour than just coming onstage for “Midnight Rambler” as he did during last winter’s brief tour, he was still limited this year to only one or two songs per show, (plus the recent addition of joining for the final song, (“I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
Its’ a well-worn cliché, but judging them from their 50th anniversary tour, the Rolling Stones still hold the title that was bestowed upon them 44 years ago, “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”…at least onstage. Let’s hope for a new album while they’re still hot from the tour, and yes adding Wyman and Taylor to it would make it even more special.