Ovation: Fifty Years Of The Rolling Stones!
In 1997, I saw the Rolling Stones perform live at one of the stops on their Bridges To Babylon tour. While I had never been a die-hard fan, I was offered a ticket at the last minute and thought it would be fun. Everyone in town was excited about the concert, it was completely sold out, and Sheryl Crow, a hot new performer at the time, was scheduled to be the opening act. The Rolling Stones had a reputation for putting on a great show and I soon understood exactly why.
We got there early and found our seats among a huge crowd of fans. It was a warm evening and the air was still which, unfortunately, meant that the smell of beer and “special cigarettes” hung in the air as the crowd gathered around the huge stage at one end of the stadium. From the main stage, there was a long narrow bridge to a smaller stage in-the-round that had been placed in the center of the stadium floor. The crowd grew loud with anticipation after Crow’s performance and when the lights came up, everyone rose to their feet.
Finally, through the roar of the crowd, the first guitar riffs were pumped through giant speakers and several old men appeared on stage. The following video was recorded live in St. Louis Missouri (USA) as part of that 1997 tour.
I don’t know why I was surprised, but the band was certainly not a “boy band”. They were iconic performers, legendary even, and well into their fifties! Mick Jagger, the well-known frontman and lead singer of the group had always been flamboyantly thin and haggard in appearance but had always had boyish qualities about him. Now, as he’d aged, I didn’t know what to expect.
Until he started singing. While his appearance certainly changed with age, his voice remained as unique and powerful as it was on any record or radio station. That man has some “pipes”! It was a fantastic concert and I’ve been a fan ever since!
Almost fifteen years later, on July 12, 2012, the Rolling Stones celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their first concert! On Surviving members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts gathered to attend a photo exhibition chronicling their career (so far) exactly fifty years to the day after the band first played London’s Marquee Club.
Rumor has it that the musicians, including Jagger who turns 70 in July 2013, are rehearsing for a special Fiftieth Anniversary Concert and a possible anniversary tour in 2013! And I thought they were old back then when I saw them live! They weren’t even close to retirement and now a whole new legion of fans can be born!
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