There are some topics that will always start an argument. The most universally known of these are politics & religion (hence the reason I rarely talk about them in public). Another I’m learning… is music. I posted the following status the other day on my Facebook page which set off quite a bit of a discussion:
Below is the discussion that was spawned. The only thing that I’ve edited out are people’s last names:
I’ve just got to say it… and I know it’ll offend some folks. I just don’t “get” the Rolling Stones. Never have… never will. The fact that they refuse to go away doesn’t make them a great band.
- Brian – Don McLean was right!! Go away Jumpin’ Jack Flash!!
- Shannon – I don’t know that we are old enough to ‘get’ them. Personally, I feel like people that are about 10-15 years our senior totally get them though!
- Cristian – Ditto
- Kristen – Oh c’mon!!! Beast of Burden! So good.
They won’t go away because Keith Richards drug abuse sent him into some weird time warp and he’ll never die, just shed his skin like a snake.
- Jeremy – I’m a huge fan, but I can see why people that weren’t around in the ’60 and ’70’s (like me) wouldn’t think much of them since they’ve pretty much gotten bad music from the ’80’s and beyond and shows that are 90% nostalgia. On a separate note, it doesn’t look like the Rock Hall gets them either…
- Greg – Kristen – don’t get me wrong… they’ve had a few good songs over the years. But then again, when your career spans 74 years and you put out 238 records, you’re bound to have a good song or two.
- Greg – As for Keith Richards… I’m pretty sure he’s been dead for about 12 years. He’s pickled at this point and they just keep wheeling the body on stage
- John – You’re just not listening to the right stuff..I used to be the same way. There 60-70s stuff is amazing.. After that avoid them like the plague.
- Greg – John, Jeremy – that’s fair… I probably haven’t gone far enough back in the catalog to give them a fair chance and the newer stuff (past 2 decades?) is crap IMO.
- Joe – Oh gees. I take it you’ve never seen the band live? That is supposed to be a life changing experience, professional rock stars.
- Greg -But I guess that’s sort of my point… if you’ve been putting out bad music for 20 YEARS+ there’s something wrong…
- Joe -You’re the minority. 3 out of the top 10 grossing tours of all time…people pay good lute for that crack.
- Jeremy – I hear ya, but I think they’ve earned their status. Plus, has Paul McCartney put out anything worthwhile since Maybe I’m Amazed?
- John – That’s why I hated them.. I thought “who are these geezers?” But weirdly enough, I heard a Stones song in Bottle Rocket (2000 Man) and I was bugged out that it was the Stones. They aren’t the Beatles but they’re pretty awesome.
- Chris – always thought they were overated. Like you said a few good songs in the past 100 years lol, enough is enough
- Ron – C’mon G…Honkey Tonk Woman…Jumpin Jack Flash…Start Me UP..Beast of Burden….and of course, Satisfaction!!…It’s only rock-n-roll….but hell….I like it!
- Ron – Now…RUSH…there’s a band not to “Get”…..??????
- Mark – Pretty much agree that the stones are excellent and amazing. Some of the best music ever but nothing past 1983 is really that good. And they have ruined their legacy with easily the last 20 years, if not the last 30.
- David – Supposed tough guys . More Beatles /guess who / bob marley
- Sara – Me either and mick jagger just creeps me out!
- Charles – Dude, the Stones are an awesome band. Just sit and listen to them, you’ll get it eventually. Lol
- Matthew – It’s about cool. It’s about swagger. It’s sonic sex. I don’t think that comes through today because they’re all pushing 70 at this point, but back in the day their music was as much about style as it was about substance. They’re heavily rooted in the blues, which I think you have to appreciate to get them. If the Beatles were the original kings of pop, the Stones were the original kings of rock.
- Alisa – i htink the beatles are overrated as well…
- Mark – Alisa, I have no idea who you are but you MUST be joking. That’s like saying breathing is overrated.
- Stacy – Chewie, say it aint so!!!
- Stacy – go listen to Paint It Black, Shattered, Miss You, Get Off Of My Cloud, Brown Sugar…
- Dave – I’m with ya Chews. Throw in Tom Petty for me.
- Shannon – Hate the Beatles. Dont get it at all. Love the Stones.
- Bill – Chewie, I was almost saddened when I read this earlier. But, to each his own. I would encourage you to listen to some select Stones songs alone and in peaceful environs. I know that you are a highly intelligent guy. You would/will see and hear the genius in Jagger/Richards. They, like the Fab Four, changed our world. Peace. whsii
- Bill – Oh, By the way I would be glad to burn you a representative sampling. Just say the word!
- Cristobal – Yeah I almost unfriended Greg over this one…I think you just need to find the right “flavor” of Stones music.
- Andrew – Blasphemer!
- Rob – I thought I was the only one. At least that’s what my wife told me.
- Matthew – Wow, surprised by a lot of comments in this thread. Beatle haters? Petty naysayers? Unfortunate how much great music is being missed out on, but to each his/her own. At any rate, i agree with a few comments above in that the Stones may be one of those bands you need to hear the right songs at the right time. If all you know them for is their hits, then you’re missing out on a lot of great work. The great thing about them is that there is a lot of diversity in their catalog. You can hear bluesy stuff, country flavors, rock anthems, poppy numbers… even some disco/dance music (Some Girls is amazing). If you ever want to give them a serious try, come to me my friend and I will put you down the right path.
Like I said, it led to some outstanding “debate” that got rather heated. I’m not suggesting they didn’t have some good songs. I’m not even suggesting I really enjoy some of their songs. I’ve just never quite understood why folks put them on the pedestal with the greatest bands of all time such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc.
I spose what this really says is two things. First, music is a very personal experience. Something that I love you’re going to hate and vice versa. Second, I think it means that I owe it to myself to really go back and check out The Rolling Stones. Sounds like I’ve got quite a few friends that would burn me a few CDs.
Where do you come out on The Rolling Stones?
2 thoughts on “The Rolling Stones… I Just Don’t Get It”
Exile on Main Street changed my life. I’m a Stones fan. But it also has to be taken into context. They were the anti-Beatles. At that point, there were 3 options. The Beatles. The Stones. And Pat Boone. The Beatles were rebellious but all wore matching suits at the beginning. The Stones were more dangerous in context. And admittedly, when a band tours into their 60s, it’s easy to dismiss them. But the adoration is there for a reason. They defined music…for a time. That time has passed. Interesting perspective though and I applaud you for throwing it out there.
I really think at this point that I need to throw together a couple of mix tape type songlists from my Stone loving friends and dive in. I really to have a feeling that the reason I don’t get them is cause I’ve never really submersed myself.
I spose it would be similar to the way I LOVE say Alice In Chains. That’s a band that many of my friends didn’t ever get in to… I however went nuts for them and have been a fan ever since. No… I’m not comparing AIC to Stones. Just a point of reference.