R is for the Rolling Stones

Sunday 29th September

Well. What can one say about the Stones that hasn’t been said already.  I saw them on Ready Steady Go and Top of the Pops.  They were okay, but never a favourite of mine; I was a Beatles fan.  And as the Sixties progressed that almost defined you, Beatles or Stones, as if you couldn’t like them both.  Gradually I began to like them with songs such as Ruby Tuesday, Mother’s Little Helper and of course Satisfaction.  Then came the album Sticky Fingers which was the first of theirs I actually bought, then as they moved into the early seventies ‘Exile on Main Street’ emerged as their masterpiece.  I carried on for a few years buying their albums but with diminishing returns.  Some great songs but a lot of fillers.

They have survived – the mysterious death of their first singer, numerous drugs busts, newspaper campaigns against them, addictions, personnel changes and growing old.  And they are still there, at least three of the original band, and Ronnie Wood, nicked from the Faces but now a fully fledged Stone.  I do feel a bit sorry for many who played on albums and tours but are just hired session men, while the Stones get richer and richer, but that’s show business.  I saw them once, at Twickenham, early Naughties and possibly the worst concert I have ever seen.  Terrible sound and couldn’t see a thing, but hey – it was the Stones.

Someone once said they don’t need to do it well, the fact that they do it at all is amazing.  And for longevity and making money you have to hand it to them.  Oh, and the music is still there, and a lot of it was wonderful.