Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sympathy for the devil

It's a little depressing when our favourite trouble-makers lose the ability to shock. Once the the rowdy, anarchic yang to the Beatles clean-cut yin, the Rolling Stones have, over the years, grown into rock music's elder statesmen. These days, the only thing remotely upsetting thing about them is when one of them forgets to put on a shirt.

The rock 'n' roll ethos might be 'live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse', but that doesn't hold any sway with the Stones. At this rate they'd even survive a nuclear holocaust, along with the cockroaches and Twinkies.

But after half a century of strutting angrily around a stage, it seems as though Sir Mick Jagger might finally be losing his edge. Speaking to Absolute Radio this week, he found himself reminiscing about the good old days (presumably when the Earth was just a single land-mass).

In a surprising interview, Mick admitted that the group had written some of their biggest hits while 'under the influence of drugs'. I know, shocking isn't it? It's hard to know what to believe after a revelation like that. Next you'll be telling me that Jodie Marsh isn't good dating material.

"That was a period of time when everyone took loads of drugs, it was very fashionable, but I mean, we did a lot of hard work as well, so it was a bit of a party atmosphere, loads of visitors, you know, there was a lot of drugs floating around."

Whilst I'm sure that the world of music journalism is rocking on its heels at this news, it's probably worth remembering that it's almost forty three years to the day that Mick and Keith were first arrested on drugs charges. Or that Keith went on to become a heroin addict. Or that Mick has regularly spoken out about his past dalliances with illegal pharmaceuticals.

The worst thing about ageing rock stars is that they start to repeat themselves. First it's a lyric or two, then a guitar riff or melodic hook.

But when they start telling the world things that everyone's known for forty-odd years, it's time to start thinking about hanging up the skinny t-shirt and trading it in for a nice aran-knit cardigan. There's no shame in getting old - only in pretending you're not.

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