June 11, 2007


I’m on a Rolling Stones kick. I recently got my hands on their latest DVD release, The Biggest Bang. It’s a four disk DVD set with over 4 hours of concert footage from their 2006-07 tour for The Biggest Bang, their 2006 Superbowl halftime performance, and two behind the scenes documentaries. I’ve had the DVDs playing all week non stop and am finally, 47 years after the band was formed, a true believer in the gospel of The Stones. My toddler Pixie, on the other hand, thinks differently. “This music makes me want to leave,” she says, and storms out of the room in a huff.

I’m not too worried though. I’m sure when she’s 25, she’ll attend her first Rolling Stones concert and finally appreciate the joys of geriatric rockers shaking their bon-bons. After all, Mick and Keith are only 64. They still have time to woo a few more up and coming generations. I've never been to a live concert but thanks to these DVDs, I finally understand why this band is still just as alluring as it was 45 years ago: straight-up showmanship. A word to the wise, you can only buy this at Best Buy so any of you looking for Father's Day presents, head on over.

And so, with no further ado, I give you:

Ten Things Every American Should Know about The Rolling Stones

1. The band formed in 1962 and was part of “The British Invasion.” Their top competitors were The Beatles so the band’s manager tried to market the stones as The Anti-Beatles, and made them dress like hoodlums. I'm sure The Stones were really torn up about having to be bad. "But Officer, I'm tripped out because I'm trying to sell albums..." Right.

2. The band took to their hoodlum status quite naturally. In 1967 Jagger and Richards were arrested and convicted on drug-related charges. A newspaper protested that the sentences were, "....more severe sentence than would have been thought proper for any purely anonymous young sexy man," and both rockers were given a break on sentencing. The Welcome Home party undoubtedly featured "special" brownies.

3. In 1969, they hired the motorcycle group, Hell’s Angels, to serve as security at the Speedway in Altamont, California at a free “Thank You America” concert. Thanks to the free beer which the Hell’s Angels enjoyed at the concert, they ended up stabbing and beating to death a man attending the concert. Nice way to say thanks.

4. Andy Warhol designed the famous tongue and lips design which now is the trademark of the band. The Rolling Stones just didn’t think a can of tomato soup would do it.

5. Bill Wyman, The Rolling Stones’ original bassist, struck up a relationship with a 13 year old Mandy Smith when he was 47. When she was 19, he married her. The marriage lasted a little over a year. Soon afterwards, Bill’s son Stephen married Mandy’s mother who was 46. This made Stephen a stepfather to his former stepmother, Mandy.

6. The Stones were anti-commercialism and never licensed any of their music for advertising. In the 90's, Bill Gates approached the group and asked to buy the rights to the song “Start Me Up” to help launch the new Windows 95 operating system. Mick, thinking he was clever, jokingly responded Gates would have to pay $14 million, thinking the sum absurdly high. Gates didn’t blink and bought it. That was the “Doh!” heard round the world. Since then, The Stones are as commercial as they get. In 2007 alone, Keith Richards played on American Idol and appears in Pirates of the Caribbean, At the World's End.

7. In 2005, Mick Jagger began drinking Guinness beer by the bucketful, supposedly to try and put on a few pounds. His goal was to gain two pounds and go from his lifelong 140 pounds to 142. However, with his wild concert shenanigans and undying need to panther crawl around stage, he couldn’t gain an ounce. Poor lamb.

8. While on tour in 2006, Keith Richards fell out of a coconut tree in Fiji and needed brain surgery, causing a six week tour delay and Ron Wood spent a few weeks in rehab for alcohol. Ironically, this tour (for The Biggest Bang) has been declared the highest grossing tour of all time beating out one of their old records and U2. Apparently, sticking 63 year old Keith in the coconut tree was the secret to success.

9. The band has been playing together for 45 years, released over 400 songs, recorded 55 albums, had 37 top 40 singles and sold 200 million albums worldwide. But much to Snickers' chagrin, they still perform “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” their 1965 hit, at almost every concert.

10. Although The Beatles broke up over 25 years ago, they continue to sell more albums per year than The Rolling Stones. Maybe Mick should reconsider his wardrobe - I’m not sure shopping for his t-shirts in the Junior Miss section of Target is doing it for the ladies.


Adrienne said...

Ugh, body by Guinness...

Not a bad weight-gain strategy, though. The stuff is practically bread in a glass.

Mark said...

I always thought that the best anti-drug poster ever would simply be a picture of kieth Richards and the words "Any Questions?"



Princess_mandilyn said...

I saw my first stones concert in 1994 at the orange bowl in Pasadena. My Dad bought us tickets- the Red Hot Chili Peppers opened. It was amazing and awful all at the same time. Our family motto: "you can't always get what you want, is cross stitched and hanging on my parent's wall. We are trying to figure out how to create a motion sensitive music player to post at my dad's grave that will play "satisfaction". After he dies, that is. What I'm trying to say is, the Stones are as much a part of my life as "give said the little stream". No wonder I'm in therapy.

Sarah said...

I love the cross-stich idea, Princess! Sounds like you have a pretty fun family.

I can't resist adding one more bit of trivia. In 2005 Keith Richards added some of his dead father's ashes to his drugs and snorted him. No joke.

Susan M said...

I don't know if anyone can beat the stones at their most brilliant. ("Gimme Shelter," "Sympathy for the Devil," etc)

Lacey said...

A little fact that I know is the song "I Wanna be Your Man" performed by the Stones was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for Ringo. They actually finished it in front of the Stones and they were like "man they just wrote a song", and the Stones then wrote a song about the Beatles writing a song in front of them.
Also "I Wanna be Your Man" was a nice hit for the Stones but not such a hit for the Beatles.
I learned this from a history of the Beatles class that I took last year in college.
Man they always look so strung out.

Annie said...

I'm with Penny. I can't stand the Stones.

(Annie leaves in a huff.)

s'mee said...

A couple of months ago my best friend's cousin's mom (there's a flow chart in there)died. Said cousin is a famous rock star. AT the funeral Keith Richards sang a song in tribute to "mom" and then sat down. My friend said she didn't know who looked worse, "The guy looked dead! He sang like crap, I think he was totally loaded, and he didn't even dress up!" Then she said everyone was impressed because he attended.

I had to explain exactly why they were impressed by K.R....she stillthought he looked dead and sang like crap!

Lisa M. said...

Good heavens-

*Laughing* @ Mark-

pflower10 said...

I have the song "Angie" as my ringback tone on my cell, fitting since my name IS Angie. Also very ironic because as a child I hated that song thinking they could see me through the radio, now I want people to think of me through my phone.

S'mee, if I may, are you up to name dropping the Famous Rock Star reference???

Lindsay said...

I'm a big fan of Item #5. Whoa Nelly.

s'mee said...

pflower, initials are S.H. that may or may not help.

chronicler said...

One more for the list; they are the only band I had tickets to see on three separate occasions and scalped the tickets for cash instead. Never had a desire to see them live. They make good money for ya on the black market.

Azúcar said...

I'm sorry, I'm with Penny.

Wait, I'm NOT sorry, not sorry at all.

Julie said...

I love the Stones.

And I actually saw them 3 times on that Bigger Bang Tour.

Maybe this year Pennelope will want to dress up like Mic Jager for Halloween?

:) Just a thought

Sarah said...

We were actually thinking of dressing her up like Sanjaya...but Mick would certainly get the church ladies talking!

L.A. Daddy said...

6. Keith Richards spent most of his time on the set of Pirates 3 completely drunk. He must have borrowed some Guinness from Mick.

The poor director had to hold Keith around the waist throughout most of his scenes, just to keep him in frame and... standing up. Fun stuff.

Anonymous said...

I love the stones. They are awesome.