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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Stones not so mad, bad and dangerous

THEY were raunchy, rebellious rockers with overtly sexual moves... and good girls preferred The Beatles. Safer that way.

EM Anne Pickles
Anne Pickles

The Rolling Stones – in those strangely innocent days – were mad, bad and dangerous enough to worry parents who heard strains of Satisfaction and Sympathy For The Devil coming from bedroom record players.

In the 1960s and 70s, a young Stones fan was clearly destined for no good – and premature self-induced decline.

The parties, the sex, the booze and other stuff were all enough to make worried suburban mothers swoon in horror.

The Stones were an outrageous lot. And the more outrage they could generate, the higher their fortunes flew.

But now? Celebrating their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones’ music still has the distinctive edginess that gave it a mark of risky brilliance. The guys though, what about them?

Kicking off their half-century celebrations at London’s O2 Arena, Keith Richards was openly grateful for small mercies.

“We made it!” he declared euphorically to his audience.

“I’m happy to see you. I’m happy to see anybody.”

Jagger said: “It’s amazing that we’re still doing this, and it’s amazing that you’re still buying our records and coming to our shows. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Not so dangerous now, eh? With the energy and stamina of teenagers, these gentlemen in their later years have rendered those mums who once feared them aghast in admiration and envy.

Was all that hard living and harder playing a legendary fake – or can much too much of what you fancy actually do you good?

Mick Jagger is a smidge short of 70, still as slender as a beanpole, able to belt out all the old numbers – and a few new ones too. Health police please take note. It could be time to rethink your inflexible orders.

When I’m 70 I want to leap about like him. In truth, I’d like to be able to manage a fraction of that activity now.

Mad, bad and dangerous in youth and middle age. Sweetly endearing, in the pink, rocking socks off and artistically unbeatable in maturity.

Go on then, answer this: Who’s having the last laugh, Doc?

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