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Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Austin American-Statesman reported today that the Rolling Stones concert at the Toyota Center in Houston was an overall success. I couldn’t help remembering a conversation I had about latter-day Stones performances with a friend of mine earlier this year.

I began the conversation by mentioning to him Lan’s idea of artists not being important unless they're creating good art, using an off-the-cuff example of the Rolling Stones.

“Take the Stones, for example. They’re a great band, one of my all-time favorites. But their work today really isn’t important or meaningful.”

He didn't seem to necessarily understand the point, but disagreed with the example, especially when I said they probably should have broken up twenty-five years ago.

"My dad saw them a couple of years ago, and he said they really rocked."

Whether or not they rocked is unimportant to this issue (although according to the same Statesman article, and several first-hand witnesses I’ve heard from, this is true).

“That’s not the point,” I said, “but what do people look for when they see the Stones live? They want to hear "Brown Sugar", "Tumbling Dice", "Street Fighting Man", and all the other well-known Stones standards. They certainly aren't hoping for something off of Steel Wheels or anything else released after 1978.”

“. . . [T]he tunes from this year’s album “A Bigger Bang” are not among the best,” the Statesman article said, “and the crowd, thrilled at everything else, was polite enough to feign interest in “Oh No, Not You Again,” “Rain Fall Down,” “Rough Justice” and Richards’ rambling vocal turn on “Infamy” and “Slipping Away.”

The live performance of a band doesn't have anything to do with their relevance or place in music. Mick and Keith will probably go on touring until one of them dies or gets a stroke or something, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're creating new fans or doing anything but trying to make money by putting out new albums. And it certainly doesn’t mean anything they’re doing now is important.


Blogger Andiar said...

You don't like The Rolling Stones?! Stickey Fingers is like my favroite album of all time! I can't believe you don't like them man! Learn to appriciate music!

9:20 PM  

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