When you look at the rolling stones today you understand the meaning of rock'n'roll. Yes, now. You know, the wrinkled skeletons making all this racket and going around with a huge smile, generally having a kick of it all.
That's rock'n'roll. Dying at 27 from an overdose or chocking on your own vomit is nice for the history books, but that is a cowardly option, the easy way out. Keeping on rocking as you are waving your wheelchair above your head, and making millions of people who could be your grandchildren jump and screem, THAT is rock'n'roll
One of the things I love about watching the stones today is that look of surprise on their faces, puzzled by the basic fact they are still alive. And very much kicking.
Nobody can say that the rolling stones are not rock'n'roll, not pure original stadium rocking, guitar shredding, drums banging, singer screaming, good times rock'n'roll. But the rolling stones is not a rock'n'roll band. Oh, you are thinking, he will now say they are THE rock'n'roll band, but no, that is not the direction I am going to. I am not even trying to say they ARE rock'n'roll.
Rolling stones made and still make great music, and wrote amazingly beautiful songs, some of which became anthems, some are still being performed by scores of other fledgling bands as a ritual of passage, but was it really rock?
Take "she's like a rainbow" for example. Not your basic three chord guitar bashing stadium song, is it? How about "ruby Tuesday"? they wrote a lot of what you might call 'rock ballads' or 'slow' songs, and some of them , like 'wild horses' were indeed your basic rock slow acoustic songs, all rock groups have them, but it is their eccentric sweet theatrical stuff that they did in their early phase that really makes me tingle. I have heard a lot of rock groups playing rock. I have only heard one rolling stones.
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need. "
Even one of my all time favorites "sympathy to the devil" is not really a rock song. If anything it is an old time rock'n'roll hyper ballad with a bluesy twist, a semi-Caribbean beat and new Orleans style backing vocals. It is a musical masterpiece. I feel bad putting such a gem in the 'rock' category of life.
But then again, if you want classic rock'n'roll, with its notorious behavior and all the toppings, you do have Keith Richard waking alone to the middle of the stage, with a stagger of someone who just sucked the marrow of a bottle of jack, wearing a pimp's leopard jacket and sun glasses, with fireworks exploding and pyrotechnics showering from heaven, while playing those immortal nine simple notes of "I can't get no satisfaction" to a screaming crowd, and when the skinny scarecrow Jagger runs in with his tight pants, long hair and silk scarf, they just go wild in a tribal roar that drowns even Richards meanest plucking. That’s rock.
Don't need a whore, don't need no booze, don't need a virgin priest, but I need someone I can cry on."
They showed us what rock can be. They still do. But they also showed us that this is just one part of their being, of their creation, of their personality. a group of amazingly talented musicians with a great background, a great soul, a sense of freedom that is contagious and four decades of mind boggling great material, no matter how you choose to call it.
I just call it the rolling stones.