Fifty years they’ve been shooting. The Rolling Stones 58th Anniversary 1962 2020 Thank You For The Memories Shirt, fifty years they play on all the stages of the world avoiding, sometimes narrowly, the blow of pomp. The Rolling Stones is a bit like the Duracell rabbit, but it would fuel the plutonium battery. A band whose reign knows no equal in the world history of rock’n’roll. Especially since the indestructible group was not necessarily gone to last. First appeared on the stage of the Marquee Jazz Club in London on July 12, 1962, the Stones were only the umpteenth band that moved the English. Since the mid-1950s, the country has been beating to the rhythm of rock from the United States, the black music on which white musicians have launched a takeover bid. From Manchester to Liverpool, via Bristol and Glasgow, each city has countless young musicians who, every weekend night, make a little of his worries forget about the post-war middle class. In the lot, there are therefore many called, but few elected. In 1963, the Stones, which were just beginning, were already up against the Wall of the Beatles, which broke the charts. But if they are inspired by buddy Holly’s rockabilly – The Crickets (which will inspire their name), the Stones draw from the sources of the blues to find the nuggets hidden in the music originally invented by slaves.
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Legend has it that their story starts on a station platform with the meeting of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Two childhood friends who have lost sight of each other find themselves waiting for the train. So we discuss, everything, nothing, but especially the records that Mick Jagger has just bought. Nothing but blues plates, including a “Best of Muddy Waters” that interests Keith Richards. Both are musicians. The Rolling Stones cash machine is launched. And (almost) nothing will stop it. The importance of the Rolling Stones in rock’n’roll history is never really overstated. The band, which was formed in London in 1962, drew its inspiration from the music that preceded it, and had a decisive influence on the music that followed them. Only a handful of musicians of all genres enjoy this status, and the Stones surpass them.
Every album by the band released in the early 1970s – from Rolling Stones in 1964 to Exile on Main Street in 1972 – is essential, not only to understanding the music of that era, but also to understanding the era itself. The Stones, through their blues and R-B influences, have succeeded in bringing young American audiences to music hitherto little known to white Americans. And if they weren’t openly politicized early in their careers, their obsession with African-American music —from Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf to Marvin Gaye and Don Covay—resonated in unison with The Rolling Stones 58th Anniversary Thank You For The Memories Shirt the civil rights movement’s demands. Even if the Stones hadn’t made any more albums after 1965, they would be legendary anyway.
Of course, very quickly, the Stones — singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones, bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts at the time — became synonymous with the rebellious attitude of the time. Songs such as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Street Fighting Man, Sympathy for the Devil and Gimme Shelter, are charged with the violence, frustration and chaos of the time. For the Stones, the 60s were nothing peace and love: the band sees nothing but confusion and stupidity in the psychedelic and utopian currents. The Stones have always been, and remain, fierce pragmatists. To the idealistic promises of the 60’s, the Stones preferred You Can’t Always Get What You Want. “You simply want to Let It Be? Why not Let It Bleed?”
During the 1970s, the Stones redoubled their creativity, shaking up all the popular music in their path. Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile on Main Street (1972) are often named the best albums of all time, and rightly so. All made with the American producer Jimmy Miller – “a man in the sense of incredible rhythm,” in the words of Keith Richards – these albums move as the culture moved then. While the band worked on Let It Bleed, Brian Jones died, drowned in his pool, and the band replaced him with Mick Taylor, an irreducible rhythmic leader, opening up new musical tracks for the Stones.
Subsequently, the Stones posed as indomitable forces of the music scene, which they still are today. In 1978, the album Some Girls, rubbed shoulders with punk (When the Whip Comes Down) – whose beginnings, by energy and attitude, by the Stones ten years earlier – but also indulged in the groove swings of disco (Miss You). It’s one of the best albums of the decade. It was also at this time that Ron Wood replaced Mick Taylor.
Tattoo You, in 1981, added the classics Start Me Up and Waiting on a Friend to the Stones’ repertoire, making it one of the Most Fascinating – and Most Popular – of the Stones’ albums. Dirty Work, the most rabid, the most rhythmically charged of all, can be seen as a reflection of the tumult within the band during the recording. True Stones fans have long waved their taste for Dirty Work as a medal of honour.
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With the release of Steel Wheels in 1989, the Stones returned to the road for the first time in seven years. Strong and credible albums were born from this period – Voodoo Lounge (1994), Bridges to Babylon (1997) – not to mention the excellent live Stripped (1995), and the fun and complete best of, Forty Licks (2002). The Stones are also a benchmark in terms of live performance, which turns out to be totally in line with the band’s history. When the Stones began touring in 1969, they were introduced by their manager as “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World”. Suffice to say that they are already announcing the color for their stage performances. Because at the time, it seems to be a good tone to denigrate the scene, The Rolling Stones 58th Anniversary Thank You For The Memories Signatures Hoodie as Bob Dylan or the Beatles were able to do. But the Stones were keen to prove that you could write brilliant songs, make powerful records, without having the snobbery to no longer go on stage, to the delight of the audience. The Stones’ concerts – embodied, of course, by Jagger’s galvanizing eroticism – allowed the band to forge its reputation from the early years of their careers, and this flame continues to burn.
Bassist Darryl Jones, who previously played with Miles Davis, joined the band in 1994, replacing Bill Wyman, and gave the Stones a boost of energy. No money or box office here, although the band has fully enjoyed both. It’s about demonstrating a vital, ongoing commitment to the idea that the stage is what keeps a band really alive.
The Stones still dodge this question, which is often asked by journalists. Over the decades, the band has been making ink, and not just about its music: arrests, provocative statements, divorces, adventures… anything that represents a rowdy lifestyle in the eyes of the public.
Beyond the Jagger icon, the Stones are above all to be apprehended as musicians, because that is what has allowed them to maintain their talent and energy for so long. Mick Jagger is actually an extraordinary leader, and a fascinating stage beast of all genres. Keith Richards is the engine that propels and drives the Stones, making their music instantly recognizable. Ron Wood is a guitarist who has created a rhythm in harmony with Richards, but who, skilfully, also gives their color and texture to the band’s songs, with its melodic touches. And needless to say, Charlie Watts is one of the best rock drummers. It is both the rock that allows the group to hold, and the force able to make it swing. At once elegant in their simplicity, and overflowing in their impact, none of his gestures is useless, all are necessary. He and Darryl Jones bring to life the often monotonous notion of the rhythm section in rock.
Musicians live and create right now, and that’s what the Stones always show their fans. How can we denigrate the crucial role that the band played in our idea of rock today? To see the Rolling Stones on stage is to see an inexhaustible energy, a striking power, a fascinating talent, and then we no longer speak of the last time.
In 2008, director Martin Scorsese followed the Stones in preparation, backstage, on stage. The whole thing is interspersed with archival images. Shine a Light captures all the energy of rock’n’roll grandpa!
In February 2006, on the occasion of the release of their latest album, A Bigger Band, the Stones gathered 1.5 million people on Copacabana beach in Rio and the event remains until the biggest concert ever given by the band! In 2013 and 2014, the Rolling Stones celebrated their jubilee with two major anniversary tours. The first, 50 County, included some thirty dates in Europe and the United States, including two private concerts in Paris. The second, 14 On Fire Tour, passed through Japan, Australia and… Paris!
In May 2015, the world’s most rock’n’roll septuagenarians are back on the road for a new tour, Zip Code Tour, heading to North America. The band also announced a reissue of the album Sticky Fingers (1971). Inexhaustible, The Rolling Stones 58th Anniversary 1962 2020 Thank You For The Memories Shirt the Stones continue to delight their oldest fans and announce a major exhibition in London in 2016. Guitars, original objects, Mick Jagger’s legendary sequined jackets, Keith Richards bandana, will be revealed to the public.