Like A Rolling Stone – The Rolling Stones

To many of us, The Rolling Stones are one of the foundation stones of our culture. I’m aware how ‘Stoney’ the next couple of paragraphs sound by the way. To paraphrase Mrs Mia Wallace ‘There are Beatles people and there are Stones people’. There are also those who (paraphrasing Zavid now) ‘never got it off with that revolution stuff’, but (crucially) they are not our people. I’m including you in this as you’re reading Steve For The Deaf. So you are by virtue one of the three types of people described above.

Without The Rolling Stones the world would be different. Rock and Roll would not look and feel the way it does today. If there were truly only Beatles People and Elvis People then My People would have to have found another way.

But thank the Dog we got The Stones. We got them doing their early blues stuff, we got them shaping the 60’s. We got them defining the very stuff we still feast on today. From the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s we got them and (Dog willing) as I type we still have them to this very day.

And yet… And frikkin’ yet. There is a school of thought that they were nought but mere copyists. There is a snarky know it all type of sycophant rock fan who will tell you The Rolling Stones were just stealing from the poor black blues man and re-appropriating the songs they loved for the pop market.

I can only assume these people have never had their loins stirred by the opening riff of Street Fighting Man, never grooved the snake hipped walk of Sympathy For The Devil or felt the power of rock surge through them when it’s time for Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

These people value liner note facts over dancing trouser feeling. They value trivia over mania and one-upmanship over togetherness. Fuck these people. Fuck ’em in the eye.

What we’ve got here is the band in question, above the 40 year mark in their career, making a legendary live album, movie, gig extravaganza in classy black and white with the most rock and roll movie director of their era. In which! In which they cover the Bob Dylan song from which the band took their name to begin with (Papa and his influence not withstanding).

It’s! A! Cover! That they totally make their own. Because? Because they’re The Rolling Stones!

Don’t go pretending you know better than Charlie Watts. I wont hear it.

9 thoughts on “Like A Rolling Stone – The Rolling Stones

  1. This may come as a surpise to no one, but I am a Stones person, through and through. I grew up on the Beatles (my Mom’s jukebox) and it just never clicked the same way with me as did the Stones. I own all the albums, and many many peripheral releases besides. I am educating my kids in their sounds, ensuring the next generation. I sometimes play them the Beatles too, of course, but they like the Stones better, so far.

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  2. Beatles are mediocre. Stones rule. As I kid I hated the stones. Hey! I was a kid listening to top 40 AM radio. “Black + Blue” had just come out. Terrible sounds. In high school, I’d say “to hell with The Stones!” They were The Man [almost as much as Led Zeppelin]! Topple that hegemony! Up against the wall, m***********s!

    But by college I’d finally heard earlier stuff than from “Goats Head Soup” or “Black + Blue.” I was fine with that. I even bought “Hot Rocks 64-71.” A few years later the “London years” box was even better, and I got the import “Hot Rocks V.1” for the alternate stereo versions of the early stuff. I even have bought albums like “Some Girls,” which I dismissed in tis time as their “disco phase” in high school and can now appreciate their ability to synthesize their blues roots with disco and come out smelling like comparative roses …unlike, let’s say, Rod “The Mod” Stewart, whole one dalliance with disco remains utterly stomach churning to this day. I just heard it last month for the first time in 30+ years and I’m still scarred, yet now I own the 12″ disco single of “Miss You!”

    Just last week, I was playing the great “Stripped” album. Their “unplugged” release from the time when everyone but The Stones was releasing an “MTV Unplugged” album but not them. They were too big [still] to share their spotlight [and more importantly, their royalties] with the then worthless cable channel. But they performed a joyous version of “Like A Rolling Stone” on it and I still smile when Keith Richards quipped “thanks, Bob” during the applause. I also can’t help but smile when Jagger said “I felt like a hillbilly for a minute” after a great version of “Dead Flowers” that has stuck with me for days. So yes, from about 25 years and onward, I am definitely a Stones person. I wish I had more of their stuff. Only 8 albums, and a handful of singles. I’d be happy to hear it all at this point. Except for maybe “Goat’s Head Soup” and “Black + Blue. ” I still have standards.

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    1. Hahaha! Brilliant writing as ever. There really is a Stones record for everyone. I swear down I even know a guy who’s favourite Stones album is Steel Wheels. He means it. He’s not just being awkward. I love their disco phase but as a rule avoid disco at all costs. Goats Head is my Soup of the day most days though so who am I to judge?

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      1. I used to be allergic to disco, after the Disco Event Horizon® of 1979 where it became the totality of our culture… but I got over it, eventually. I have all of the CD singles from “Steel Wheels” and genuinely felt that “Mixed Emotions” was a late career peak for them. The non-LP B-sides on those singles are delightfully sloppy blues numbers they probably improvised in a half an hour.

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      2. Wow! I figured me and Big Dug were the only ones Who listened to those singles and their B-Sides beyond their chart run. There’s some gold in them thar shills. Totally agree on Mixed Emotions. Brilliant single

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  3. Mick Jagger + The Stones was a topic of conversation at the household last weekend with my wife’s 87 year old father having the same operation as Jagger recently did. I was astonished to note that Bill Wyman has been out of the band only four years less than he had been in it! It still seems like yesterday when he quit, but I’m old. But not quite as old as The Rolling Stones.

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