Rolling Stones

“Time is on my side, yes it is”

The “Forty Licks” tour stop in Phoenix was one of the mothers of all concerts that I have attended (#422) and Mother’s Little Helpers were focused and near perfect. Rolling Stones concerts have been called the greatest show on earth and I agree. Clearly, Mick Jagger is the best front man that the business has seen, and many consider the Stones the greatest Rock and Roll Band of all time. Others would argue that Led Zeppelin deserves that honor but my vote goes to the Stones.

The British group was formed when I was a sophomore in high school—and getting no satisfaction. Two years later “ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” became the Stones’ first number one hit and an anthem for all young frustrated guys.

The Rolling Stones, who were heavily influenced by American rhythm and blues, took their name from a Muddy Waters’ song. The guys were the original “bad boys” of Rock and Roll.

The Rolling Stones were woven into the fabric of my misspent youth. There are so many memories, such as returning from a draft physical in Oakland on a bus filled with Reno boys. Ralph Gabrazano had his portable radio cranked up to “Paint it Black”
Every guy on the bus was singing (screaming) and beating their hands on the seats in tune with the music. When my girl friend dumped on me I would silently hum “Don’t play with me cause your playing with fire.”

Forty years later my concert partner and mate, Gerry, are at America West Arena seeing them in concert. Remarkable!
Forty years and forty albums released. Eight number one hits!
Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, and Charlie Watts were there from the beginning. Mick and Keith are both pushing 60. Ron Wood has been a Stone for thirty years. Original band member Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool in 1969. The official coroner’s report listed his death as a result of “misadventure.”

In the 60s, before they appeared on his show, Ed Sullivan ordered Mick Jagger to sing “Lets spend some time together” instead of the original lyric “Lets spend the night together.”
At a free concert at Altamount Speedway in California, a nightmarish murder committed by Hell’s Angels hired as security guards occurred in front of the stage while the group played “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Over the years there has been a long list of drug busts. But things have changed. The bad boys are focused and solid. They are filling arenas wherever they go and have amassed enough wealth to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.
Tickets to see the legends were expensive. But like a birder wanting a rare bird sighting for his lifelong list, El Lobo needed this rare gem for his lifelong concert list. So we paid the price. And it was worth every penny!
This concert at America West Arena has been sold out for months. The lights went out and thousands of red and blue battery powered flashing tongue pins filled the arena. Mick and Keith opened the show with Street Fighting Man. The roar was deafening.

The ageless Jagger pranced throughout the show. Gerry commented that he moved like a man 35 years younger. He started the show wearing a blue jacket and ended in tank top. He demonstrated incredible fitness while he danced and flung his wiry body and well sculpted arms around. The show was astronomical energy from start to finish. Keith Richards smiled throughout the performance and all band members seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their work. Their timeless sound was superb.

The first part of the show they played mostly new stuff, including their latest single release “Don’t Stop.” It went down real smooth. The second part was all about old classics. We really enjoyed their upbeat version of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”
They finished with “Jumpin Jack Flash, and by this time the crowd of, mostly, bad boys and girls in their 30s 40s and 50s, were in a frenzy. We would have liked to hear more of their old classics but they could play only a fraction in the terrific two hours that they played. The four old friends who have sustained their close relationship took numerous curtain calls for the appreciative crowd.

This was an alcohol free concert for Ger and I (the limitations of our diets and fitness regimen). We agreed that we would not let that happen again. Therefore it would be hard to rate this concert compared to the other 441 that I have seen that were far from alcohol free. It is definitely in my top 10.

Thanks for the gifts, guys, I can’t imagine this life’s journey without the Stones.

“I know it’s only Rock and Roll, but I like it” sums up it all up.

“Don’t stop!”

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