…but if you try real hard, you can get what you need” ... Stones
This morning… a Sunday morning with an overcast sky and slowly waking up since I am alone at the house due to my wife and family traipsing somewhere on the other side of the world, the only company was the TV set. I dutifully turned it on and –again- being Sunday morning… it was a veritable deathbed for any decent programming. I turned to the movies and started going down the line… HBO, MAX and down at the bottom of the Showtime listing, just about as I was ready to turn off the machine and go back to sleep… I found gold. Yes, gold!! There it was… a two (YES…TWO) hour doc movie about the Rolling Stones’ Return to Hyde Park concert in 2013. Music Heaven… for me, anyway.
Some years ago (more than I care to remember) I was being interviewed by the host of a local talk show somewhere in CT. I guess his producer (Mr. Bubble… his dog, I think) couldn’t find anyone to fill the late spot and I, after all, had been an “aspiring-to-be-big-time-radio-jock” in the NYC market some time before. Anyway, he asked me which band, from the British Invasion of the 60’s and 70’s had been my favorite. Without hesitation and disregarding the gazillion of Beatle fans at the time, I said “Rolling Stones”.
He asked “Why?” I answered; Because of the energy they bring to a performance… it’s pure sin. And the pounding music is pretty good too. It gets you where it hurts, at gut level.
I was reminded of my answer then, as I watched today a 70ish Mick Jagger rumble about on stage, dancing, jumping and singing (well, ok… sing-screaming) and keeping some 300,000 thousand –yes, totally sold out as usual- fans in hysterics and wanting more… All the classic songs, including one of my all-time favorites, from which I quietly borrowed the title line for this entry.
But this goes beyond music and theatrics. It goes deeply to the core of a period –at least in my life- which was guttural, raw experience living.
As I think it was for many of my generation. Which generation is it? I guess I can say the 60’s generation. A questioning sea of young people, the flower children, the potheads, the lost souls, the soldiers coming back from a war they did never understand to find a country immersed in its own war. And yes, the future creators of Apple and Windows, among others, the computer revolution. A time which saw us get into a near nuclear war with a blockade, go to the moon, to Woodstock, to Viet Nam, to Selma, to Dallas (no, not for Debbie) to witness the death of a President, to Chicago for the Democratic convention riots, while bearing witness to a country which almost went into a second civil war.
A period which produced changes in our lifestyles and also the best music all around. From basic gut rock from the Elvis years, to the veritable trove of incredibly good folk music streaming from many sources and then, with the so-called British invasion and the American bands this spawned, what has by now become the classic era of rock music.
When I think of these times, as I did this morning, it is the RS who, with the body of work which is their music, bring them back to me in all its splendor. I still marvel, watching their recent performance at Hyde Park, how they can still galvanize people with their energy. Interestingly, the larger part of the crowd was under 30…
And while “I can’t get no satisfaction” by “Paint-in’ it Black” I love your “Brown Eyes”, “Brown Sugar” and in the end, “You can’t always get what you want” … but, guess what… “Time is on my side”.
Be Well … Be Back!!!
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