Exhibit A: Bob Dylan’s, Keith Richards’ & Ron Wood’s gloriously ragged “Ballad of Hollis Brown” from Live Aid (couldn’t find this song without the cringey sing-a-long at the end). Exhibit B: Same festival: Mr. Showbiz, Sir Mick, preening and prancing, desperate for your approval of him as a solo act. My point? I think it’s interesting that if you take Keith out of the Stones, you still have the coolest guy on the planet. Take out Mick, and he just looks ridiculous. Keith saunters out and owns a stage; Mick has to shake his ass and do calisthenics for it, but even then he needs Keith around looking cooler. Interesting dynamic.
4 Replies to “Stone vs. Stone”
That is a spot on observation. Also, all of Keef’s solo stuff was excellent, while very little of Mick’s (Brenda’s?) was worth a shit. I love Mick and think his lyrics are some of the best in rock, but he’s always been cringey on stage to me.
But Bob is really cooler than all of them. Ha ha. I love the way he gives absolutely no room to either Keith or Ronnie to get a note in. He also is very much not phoning it in.
It’s also funny when you realize they were all in their early 40s here, and we thought they were old codgers at the time.
I wouldn’t dispute that Mick is one of the great front men or that he wrote some great lyrics. And he was pretty cool up through the early 70’s. I think his becoming fashionable independent of the Stones during the 70’s brought out something douchey in him, as he became something of a celebrity schmoozer. Keith, by contrast, has always seemed like the same guy. Of course these are just my perceptions as a fan, having never met either (I did once speak with Bill Wyman, though not about any of this).
Interestingly, Mick’s career as an international jet-setter began around the end of the Stones’ greatest period. Keith’s addiction might have caused their lull, but the new Mick coud have been a factor. Not that it matters: something had to end the Beggars Banquet – Exile streak. No one’s allowed to be that great that long.
I won’t dispute that Dylan is cool in that set, but Keef’s aura and Ronnie’s slide add quite a bit.
They did seem old at the time, and ancient by the late 80’s/early 90’s. When they toured for Steel Wheels people called them The Strolling Bones. That was 30 years ago.
Our proud tradition of documenting Mick’s various choices continues.
As I’m sure you all do, I read What Would Keith Richards Do? Daily Affirmations from a Rock ‘N’ Roll Survivor on the reg.
Regarding Mr. Jagger:
“Mick would be nowhere without me. To me, he’s only half-discovered his real potential.”
“I always feel sorry for Mick’s women because they end up crying on my shoulder. And I’m like, ‘how do you think I feel? I’m stuck with him.’ “
“With the Stones he’s great. It’s best to keep him on a short leash.”
“You’re no Mick Jagger.” [to Mick Jagger]