sympathy for the devils

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Rolling Stones

The paleolithic* rockers, the Rolling Stones played at my neighbor’s place last night and, for old, old men, they seemed to put on a spirited show of crappy tunes. Having never liked the Stones to begin with, I was free from the forebarence that nostalgia sometimes produces in listening to bands from one’s youth. Several times last week, the night was interrupted by Stones practicing at Fenway Park. Please believe me when I say that they sucked hard during rehersals. And they were playing their standards. I guess thirty years isn’t enough time to explore the nuances of Jumping Jack Flash (n.b. it’s a gas, gas, gas). However, with the addition of pyrotechnics, a warm-up act of the Black Eyed Peas and beer, the geriatric group managed to put on a coherent and lively show. However, there was little life or meaning in this band’s readings of their own songs. You could have just as easily replaced the band with a bombbox. One standout number was a cover of the Ray Charles “The Right Time,” complete with a horn section. Even that, I fear, was still a bit watered down. The evening ended with a five song encore that included the perfected Jumpin’ Jack Flash and, again, more fireworks.

I’d like to point out the vast number of limos, stretched sedans and elongated SUVs that graced the streets of my neighborhood last night. It’s not just the band that’s aged, but their fans. Fatted on years of yuppy life, reaping the glory of wise 401K investiments, these sated empty nesters rolled in the park, tarted up like French whores, to get a faint whiff from that distant land of their youth that will only get progressively further away from them. On the upside, they were less troublesome than the average baseball crowd, so that had that going for them.

In short, the Stones appeal has always eluded me. Certainly, there is no siren in their song, so I suppose their draw must of the personality of Mr. Jagger. Still, I do have to credit the energy that these ancients emitted last night. That’s no mean feat.





Note: “Paleolithic” means “old stone,” which you have to admit is applicable here.