On the Town With Richard by R. A. Stermer
“I know it’s only rocks and roll. "The Rolling Stones No Filter 2021 Tour, So Fi Stadium. Satisfaction, Sympathy For The Devil, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Women, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Wild Horses, Beast Of Burden, Brown Sugar, Under My Thumb… In Cleveland, March 1952, some credit the Moondog Coronation Ball as being the official start of Rock and Roll. A mere 10 years later a group was formed which called themselves The Rolling Stones. With roots in R&B and ”Black” music they began delivering their own brand of this newly developing music genre. Sixty years later they’re still rocking. Despite the loss of drummer Charlie Watts, who passed just before the tour began, they are carrying on. All in their 70’s now, they are still able to fill stadiums and entertain with the best of them. The show we attended, at the newly built SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, was no exception.
Photo credit: ( Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Coming in at around 2 hours in length they did not disappoint. Attending with a friend, who was born 25 years into their career, she looked at me as Mick Jagger scampered up and back down a 92 foot catwalk singing and dancing with seemingly no awareness that he was one of the seniors in this packed house of 60 - 70000 people. “Do what you love and love what you do” is what comes to my mind to explain the enduring capability of this band and its’ longtime members, Mick, Keith Richards and Ron Wood. Just before the tour began it was announced that Charlie Watts was being replaced due to health reasons by Steve Jordan. Having collaborated with the group since the middle 1980s Steve received Charlie’s blessing to fill in during the tour. An established musician in his own right, Jordan fit in and drove the beat in a rousing set that brought the house down. In fact, in an arena where the sound quality definitely left something to be desired, the drum sound was one of the highlights.
Photo credit: Heart Of Hollywood Magazine In an interview on 60 Minutes in 1994 Charlie Watts said the following about his band mates. “Keith is the heart… Mick is the best front man in the world, I think he’s the best thing on stage in the world. Ron has a very nice humor, he’s comfortable to be with, funny…I consider myself a drummer, to keep the time, help everybody else do what they do.” And the material, “You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.” “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday who could hang a name on you.” Sympathy For The Devil “Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my Name.” “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.” “Gimme shelter or I’m going to fade away.” “I’ll never be your beast if burden.” “It’s just a kiss away.” “Hey you get off of my cloud.” And the riffs and grooves. I had a music professor, esteemed composer Paul Reale, who would sit crossed legged on top of his desk in a classroom of some 20 of us lecturing on the complexity of some classical music master like Alban Berg and give equal time to the brilliance and genius of The Beatles. If it works it works.
Photo credit: Heart Of Hollywood Magazine
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