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.