Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rolling Stones 50




I was eight years old when the Rolling Stones began their career. I've lived in a parallel universe to this band, these guys. Their longevity defies the odds. How many rock and roll bands have survived since the beginning of rock and roll till today? That alone is enough to make them a legend. But it doesn't stop there. Consider the back catalog of hits, of classic rock tunes that define an era, that define what is rock and roll. That is material for legend in itself.
Consider the timeless qualities of the greatest hits in rock and roll history. Tunes that never date and are as fresh and exciting now as the day they were created. Jumping Jack Flash, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil etc etc
Consider the craftsmanship and beauty of their last great song, Wild Horses. Yes, they make fewer albums now and fewer hits but so what?
Consider how drugs have been part and parcel of their lifestyle. Drugs were always the recreational preference for musicians living on the edge, especially the jazz era that preceded rock and roll. But rock and roll defines itself, defines its identity and mystique in a lifestyle where drugs as as important as the musical instruments that make the music. It's a miracle that a band can not only survive the ravages of drug abuse but thrive and prosper and persist for 50 years. That's another part of the legend.
Consider their fans who range in age from 70 to anything teenage. Who can remember when rock and roll alienated the parents and their children? What an achievement to progress from rebels to icons and heroes.Definitely a reason to make them legends.

I don't know if the boys that make up the Rolling Stones have any regrets but who among us would not trade places for a different life in a parallel universe called the Rolling Stones? I know I would.

Keith Richards autobiography Life is an excellent, fascinating read.

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