We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, September 7. 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Welcome The Rolling Stones
As a kid, I was most definitely not a fan of The Rolling Stones. They were scary hippies making loud music. Eventually, I became a follower of Led Zeppelin, then a punk rock fan by the time I was midway through high school. Devo's version of Satisfaction appealed more to me than Mick's. Sometime around my senior year of high school, I started to gain an appreciation for them, and by beginning of sophomore year of college I attended a concert at Rich Stadium on September 27, 1981. At this point, they were already 19 years into their campaign for great rock and roll. Little did I know at the time I was as old as the band itself. Mick Jagger was 38, which meant he was likely to retire for good within 2 years. After all, he already made it clear he didn't want to be singing Satisfaction when he was 40. I felt lucky to have seen them when I did, on perhaps one of their last tours.
Of course, they played for many years afterward. Bill Wyman retired in 1993. Charlie Watts died in 2021. Brian Jones, the founder, died of a drug overdose shortly after leaving the band in 1969. Despite all this, The Rolling Stones have continued. This was their 60th year, playing concerts delayed by Covid.
Imagine my surprise, as I walked the dog one morning in April, to get a text from Mrs. Bulldog asking "Rolling Stones in Stockholm this summer?" She wanted to see them in Paris, but we didn't have time to do a mid-week trip. Also, Stockholm was supposed to be the last stop on the tour - why not go to possibly their last show ever? How could I say no? Of course you go see The Rolling Stones in Stockholm. Is that even worthy of consideration?
Perhaps it is. Upon hearing our plans, my father said "I'll take a pass." But he'll be 87 soon. My stepmother was impressed, as were most of my friends, that I was willing to travel so far to see a concert. Why not? What's so weird about that? I get to see Stockholm and The Rolling Stones.
Perhaps the weirdest thing is that if you had told me, in 1981, after seeing them in Buffalo, that I'd go see them in 2022, in Stockholm when Mick was 79...well...really?
That said, if you told me that I'd handle myself physically the way Mick does on stage at 79, I'd say "sign me up now." Because he is incredible. A testament to maintaining a young and vital attitude.
Ronnie Wood looks good and Keith Richards, well, we all need to think about what kind of world we're going to be leaving to Keith Richards.
The showmanship, the music, the band. It was all on display. As good a show as I've ever seen from any band. Every bit as good as 1981, except my seats (or standing room, really) were 1000X better. I was 30 feet from the runway that Mick traveled down. Keith avoided going more than halfway down, and Ronnie only made it down once. But Mick and the backup singer (who now hits his high notes) had great interaction on Gimme Shelter.
One of the incredible things about this trip we noticed, from the moment we left Newark, was we were not alone. There were people traveling to see The Stones. As we changed planes in Frankfurt, I'd say half the plane was headed to Stockholm for them, based on the paraphernalia they were wearing. As we ate at outdoor restaurants, we counted the shirts, hats and buttons we saw. Mostly people our age and older. One couple on our tour of Gamla Stan was from Brazil and they were in their late 20s. They were wearing their gear and were there for the show. They also happened to have spent 3 years living in the town next to us in New Jersey. Talk about a small world.
At the show, we were on the soccer pitch. We stood for 5 hours. Next to a Canadian man and his daughter who had just graduated college. His gift to her was a drive through Europe ending at the Stones show. Lucky girl (though later we learned she didn't enjoy it and wasn't a fan).
As luck would have it, this was not the last show. Due to an earlier testing that was covid positive, the Berlin show was put off until the end of the tour. Still, assuming there are no more tours, I attended the next to last one. My guess is that it won't be the last. They looked great, and they can still entertain. You have to hand it to Mick. He and Keith formed an incredibly enduring legacy, and Mick literally held it all together through force of will and intelligence. Each band member played a role in keeping the band together at various times (see the Epix 4 part documentary), but Mick is the glue for the band. And any band that can last 60 years is doing something very, very right.
A funny side story. As we left, the cars were backed up and roads crowded. Mrs. Bulldog and I were walking to the train station and walked between some cars, just as they started to move. One driver was kind enough to let us cross. After we passed, he started yelling and screaming at us. I asked my wife what happened. She said "I don't know - I just gave a peace sign to thank him." I told her to show me how she did it. She showed me and I started laughing. I told her that because of how she did it (very relaxed, with the back of her hand facing the driver) she had basically flipped him off. She thought I was kidding. I told her no - in much of Europe, flashing the peace sign in reverse, especially if your hand is moving in an upward motion (as I assumed hers was), is the same as giving the middle finger. She went ashen and realized that she may have done that more than once as we traveled the city. I just laughed because what can you do? Customs are not always something foreigners are well aware of...
Trackback specific URI for this entry
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Well done, that. Never saw the Stones live but lived through their formative years while I was in high school just outside of Buffalo They were the dark answer to the genteel Beatles. Saw my first concert in Buffalo in the decaying War Memorial,Stdium, the precursor to Rich field. I was fortunate enough to live through, remember and enjoy the sixties.
I got into Led Zepplin for about 10 minutes in Highschool, drifted into Punk/post-punk and associated genres and never got out.
Never cared for the Rolling Stones, nor the Beatles.
Went out Sunday night to see Echo and the Bunnymen. Wasn't really impressed (I've seen them before).
Then Monday night we went out to see Peter Hook and The Light. Basically a Joy Division/New Order cover band with one off the original members.
Monday was fun.
I'll message you.
I saw Echo and the Bunnymen in 1983 at Hammersmith Palais. Mediocre show, even then. Good music. Seen New Order several times, and they will be coming back soon. I wanted to go to see Peter Hook and the Light, but nobody I know likes them, and the only people who do were out of town.
I need a concert goer for the ones my wife won't attend.
But I am definitely a fan of The Stones. Beatles, mainly because well...the Beatles. I mean, you can't be snobby about music. I do pretend to be snobby about Taylor Swift with my son's GF, because she loves Taylor, so why not have a little fun? She's a musician though, and probably understands music a hell of a lot better than I do.
If you have enough disposable income to piss away, why not see a has-been, over-the-hill band. God Bless the Elites.
LOL, well thanks for calling me an elite.
I have been making sure I see as many of my favorite bands as I can before they are gone. I call it the "dinosaurs of rock" tour.
Sure, many are only portions of the original lineup (The Yardbirds were only the drummer), but most put on a good show and play great music.
And I'm not being completely biased about who/what/when/where. I've gone to see Vivaldi's Four Seasons in upper Manhattan by candlelight in a church. It was phenomenal. I've seen Jason Aldean and a number of other country musicians - and I don't even like country. But it was enjoyable.
Took in Hall & Oates and Squeeze at the NJ Performing Arts Center (eh, Daryl Hall's voice was really bad, so that wasn't as great, but I appreciate the effort, and Squeeze was mostly intact).
Point is, we spend our money on what is important to us individually.
We can all spend our money in whatever way is good for us.
I only get upset when people tell me that I can't spend my money the way I want to, then tell me that they want the government to tax me more so my money will be spent the way THEY want it spent. Which is really saying "whatever you earn is mine, and you'll do as I say even if I use the government to force you to"
Point is, whatever you spend your money on is great for you. Good. Enjoy it.
I will add, I hardly think I'm an "elite". Stop by my house and take a look sometime. Better yet, stop by the house I grew up in and take a look at the pickup in the backyard that's still there (I learned to drive in that pickup).
"We can all spend our money in whatever way is good for us."
...until certain Stones hating do-gooders or Biden et al decide they know what's best for us. Unless things turn around soon, I plan on escalating my bucket list.
PS: My son and his wife (30 somethings) saw the Stones on current tour and were blown away by Mick et al.
Again, it's about separating art from the artist.
Mick is a follower of the Austrian School of Economics (so I'm told, and which I follow) so it seems odd he'd fall in that camp of being a do-gooder telling others how to live.
They all did that when they were younger, to an extent, it was part of the 60's culture.
But I don't really care if they do. It's their life, they can believe what they want. Until it directly impacts me, it's just an opinion. Meanwhile their music is great and their show is phenomenal.
The only musician I'll refuse to see now is Roger Waters, who stipulated that if you disagree with him putting his politics on display during his shows (which he does and is as annoying as hell to the point even my wife was pissed), then he says he'd prefer you don't go because he doesn't care about you.
Alice Cooper, meanwhile, took the opposite tack, realizing that sharing his POV on stage is a form of brainwashing a captive audience, so he refuses to do it and thinks those who do are problematic.
I feel it's all fine. The Stones mostly keep to themselves on the "You should do XYZ" front, and I'm appreciative of that. Mostly.
I grew up listening to the Stones but never bought a single one of their albums. I still enjoy most of their music because it transports me back to the good times of my youth.
But I made a mistake a year or so ago by reading a biography of Mick Jagger. What a despicable human being. Their music isn't quite as good as it used to be.
Gimme Zep, Moody Blues. Beatles.
Nobody's perfect. If I judged my enjoyment of art, music and all things in life based on the person or people providing it - I'd hate all the great things in life.
Woody Allen is a horrible person. Yet it's hard to imagine dissing some of his best work. "Midnight in Paris" and "Match Point" are phenomenal.
It's important to separate the art from the artist.
Now, I happen to like Mick. And Keith. I know they've done some pretty bad things in their life. But so have I. I seem to remember a line, can't remember where, but it was "judge not lest you be judged."
That said, I do a fair amount of judging myself, from time to time. I try to keep it honest and open, though.
When I was in high school the song that got constant airplay was Beast of Burden. I was not impressed by Jagger's falsetto. That song put me off the Stones for years.
Later I heard and appreciated some of their other stuff, but it took a while.
I listen to music when I drive. I like some songs and others not so much. I sometimes can even tell you the name of the artists. But in truth I could care less who they are and don't understand the hero worship. I would still listen to Hotel California even if some other group than the Rolling Stones had sung it.
Well, it's not hero worship if you go to see a band play music you enjoy, is it?
These people are hardly 'heroes' in any sense of the word. They are admirable achievers, though.
I do feel the same way about most music I hear. My wife knows celebrities and the names of performers. Most of the time when I hear music, I ask her "who sings this?" because I don't know.
I agree, it doesn't matter who sings "Hotel California". Good music is good music. That's why I go to see local bands play covers of music.
We have several good cover bands in my area. One does Pink Floyd reasonably well. Another does Led Zeppelin spot on. Another Grateful Dead.
The Rolling Stones are iconic. They changed music, set standards, and played a major role in the music industry. Doesn't mean they're great people or even people I aspire to be. They are entertainers. As I tell my kids 'never let a sports player, a celebrity or a musician be your hero, they will only let you down eventually'. As most heroes do.
Not to be argumentative, I don't know anything that the Rolling Stones sang. Or maybe what I mean to say is I cannot connect any song to them and in fact in my entire life have never really given that a thought. So if they changed music I didn't notice. That is not to say I don't like music, it's OK. I simply don't put music first through 99th. Now food, especially desert is number 1 for me. I have literally visited chocolate and candy factories. And I like everything Hershey has ever done (well not to excited about white chocolate). So I do attend candy venues.
I assume that a lot of people feel the same way and like music but don't obsess over it and follow what some band sings. I don't go to music venues but I have certainly gone to places where there is music and that's OK. I can't do jazz so if there was jazz playing I would have to leave. So that is the sum total of my music habits. It's kind of like the elevator if it's playing I listen and if I don't like it I take the stairs. I assume that a lot of people feel the same way.
That's totally fair and not argumentative. I didn't think ou were argumentative to start with (well, the hero worship comment is very passive aggressive).
Music is very low on my list of "must haves". Since you mentioned dessert, you'd have loved the cafe on Vaxholm we visited when going to see the band. See? It's all part of the experience. I don't just travel for music, though that is a fun thing to do, I've learned. I travel for travel and experiences, to learn, to appreciate.
Part of appreciation, though, is music and art. If you showed me a work of art, I doubt I could name the artist unless it's incredibly well known, or falls into a few narrow categories where I'm schooled. That won't lessen my appreciation of the artwork - even if it's a black velvet screen from the 70's, which certainly had its moment.
I do know you're wrong about most people feeling the same way, though. Our editor, Bird Dog, is a huge Bob Dylan fan. Most young people I know (anyone under 40, to be honest) usually knows the music of their generation, went to concerts or even held it very close to their lives/lifestyles for at least some period of time. I didn't. I didn't even start buying albums until I was 18 and had enough spare cash to do it. I didn't have a stereo to play them on until I went to college and had a roommate with a stereo. I bought one junior year.
I haven't had a stereo now in 28 years, since I was 32. Music isn't an obsession.
I do have my iPhone and listen to music at the gym on earbuds. But usually I listen to podcasts.
So all I'm saying is what works for you, works for you - and that's fine. I can appreciate that. But most people, upon hearing I was traveling to Sweden to see The Rolling Stones were stunned that they were still touring, and that I'd even travel to see them. Because they are so well-known, respected, and so iconic a band.
To this day, if you ask my sons which halftime show at the Super Bowl was the very best, they will say either Prince or The Rolling Stones. Both memorable for good music, and great showmanship.
But I don't think everyone has to enjoy music or art. It's not a requirement. There are lots of things in life to enjoy. I take pleasure in pretty much anything interesting.
History. Economics. Art. Music. Sports. Politics (only a weird schadenfreude kind of pleasure, mind you).
As someone said to me once "you do you, I'll do me. Ain't nuthin' wrong with either of those things."
I just get to share my "me stuff" here on Maggie's because, as my cousin once told me "I never get to travel or do the things you do and I really appreciate you sharing it all with me."
It's all good, bro.
Am I really the first to say...
Do neither because some troll tells you either way.
Not that much a fan of the live shows but understand the desire to DO.
Have family in that part of the world. Hope to see them. Plan to do so, prepare to not be able to.