Most of what we’re hearing about the Rolling Stones these days may not be giving fans a great deal of hope about the future of group. Mick Jagger, in particular, seems to be have his knickers in a twist lately and what he’s saying about the group hasn’t been terribly positive.
I started picking up on these negative vibes emanating from Jagger’s general direction a week or two ago when he proclaimed that band mate Keith Richards should not be permitted to attend a ceremony that may be organized to honor the group’s 50th anniversary next year. Jagger pointed out that Charlie Watts would be welcome to attend despite the fact that he was not a founding member of the group in 1962, but he went out of his way to point out that “Keith obviously can’t come.” That seems a bit strange since the history I dug up on the group suggests that both Jagger and Richards were the driving force behind the creation of the Rolling Stones in 1962.
Up next was Jagger’s statement regarding the possibility of the Stones playing at the 2012 Olympics next year in London. Rumors had been circulating for some time that the group may have been set to perform but Jagger has cast doubt on that by announcing that they had not been approached with any proposal to perform and that he was advised against it by Bryan Adams who said his experience playing at the winter Olympics in Canada was not great. “It was so cold, and he had to wear this bizarre suit. That’s not going to happen here – it would just rain,” Jagger said.
Jagger also threw cold water on the notion that the Rolling Stones may tour next year to honor their 50th anniversary. Putting the name of a rock band and “50th anniversary” together in the same sentence is not something you get to do every day, that’s for sure. Considering the fact that all of the group’s current members are still around and probably fit to tour, it’s seems a little odd that Jagger seems so eager to blow it off. Fifty years is a pretty big deal after all and seems like a perfect time for them to exit the stage for the final time if that’s what they’ve got in mind. Not many groups can say “It’s been a great fifty years. Thank you, and good night!”
It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that Jagger recently admitted to tension within the ranks of the group during an interview with the BBC. He indicated that being together for such a long time is bound to result in a lot of tension and admitted that there is indeed tension within the group now. Beyond the tension, he also indicated there is some harmony, which he prefers, but he refused to provide any further details.
At this point one wonders whether this is all a result of that hit “below that belt” that Keith Richards delivered in Life – the tell-all book he unleashed on the world late last year. The memoir didn’t reflect well on Jagger, whom Richards referred to as “unbearable.” Perhaps Jagger is just turning into a grumpy old man. After all, he did recently admit that he gets annoyed by the constant singing that comes from his SuperHeavy band mate Joss Stone and he often tells her to “shut up,” although he added that the other members of the band tell him to “sod off and be quiet,” so it all comes out even according to Jagger.
Although there may be something to the “grumpy old man” theory, my money is on the rift between Jagger and Richards as the cause for all this angst. Although they insist things are fine between them now, it’s understandable that someone might hold a grudge against an old friend who mocks the size of your manhood and refers to you as “unbearable” in a book that’s sold over one million copies. A guy like Mick Jagger might not mind being called “unbearable” but when you start talking down the man’s “equipment,” that may be too much for a world-famous lover boy like him to ever forgive.
Whether all this means the end of the Rolling Stones remains to be revealed. We all know how these things often wind up. They may well put their differences aside and embark on another big tour before calling it quits. It’s hard to imagine one of the world’s best-loved rock groups going out with a whimper. My money says it’s not quite over yet for the Rolling Stones. Sure, I’ve lost a few bucks here and there, but right now I’m feeling pretty comfortable with this bet.