Wednesday, May 22, 2013


My pal Ray turned to me and said, "Charlie Watts is a metronome!" And he is. The Cakes who doesn't like to go to concerts was over the moon. Barbara lost her mind. And the old white haired guy never sat down. THE. ENTIRE. CONCERT. I was jumping around so much, I was stiff when I got up this morning.

Staples Center was packed last night for the 3rd of three Stones shows in LA. The two women in front of us had been at all three. This was my 12th or 13th Stones show, Ray, Jan and Barbara had never seen them. The show kicked ass, big time.

I've been listening to Stones music for 50 years, Actually longer than that, since the radio stations in Winnipeg played them before the US stations did. They did the same with the Beatles.

The band was formed in '62 and this is an interesting fact from the far distant past:

The Rolling Stones first signed manager was Andrew Loog Oldham, a publicist who was directed to the band by previous clients, the Beatles. Because Oldham had not reached majority - he was nineteen and younger than any of the band, he could not get an agent's license, or sign any contracts without his mother also signing for her son . By necessity he joined with booking agent Eric Easton. Oldham made several changes to the band. He changed the spelling of the band name from "the Rollin' Stones" to "the Rolling Stones". He removed the "s" from Richards last name saying it "looked more pop". (from wikipedia)

Concert sound has improved so much, it’s not as loud as it was in the old days, it doesn’t have to be because the sound is clean and distortion free and the ability to equalize and mix the sound for various venues is a science. My friend Vaughn, a sound guy, could explain this to you but he is on the road doing systems for theaters.

Its strange to watch the Stones in 2013, from a distance they look the same. Jagger still has all his energy, Ron Wood, skinny as a rail still plays with verve and Keith, other than white hair is still a massive presence. Charlie Watts, the oldest member of the band looks great. I’m sure up close they look like hell, but…

In the mid 60’s Stones songs were the soundtracks for milestones in my life; underlining some monumental changes I was going through, “Paint it Black” fit a nasty breakup with a longtime girlfriend perfectly. “Satisfaction” described my situation one year. Later, “Start Me Up” was the catalyst to make a change that was a long time coming.

I told the Cakes, I’ve never met a black woman who didn’t know every word to “Brown Sugar”. I remember watching Linda Battle put on a dance floor performance to “Brown Sugar” one night at radio station party that would put Tina Turner in her seat for good. Another black woman I worked with told me, the song in her mind was a celebration of the strength of black women, moving from being “sold in a market place in New Orleans”, to the celebration of and liberation of black women. She added, “and we dance and taste so good.” Hear, hear.

I got my daughter and her friends tickets to see the Steel Wheels tour when she was in school in California. She sang along with every song, her friends, all 80’s kids, asked her how she knew all the words. She said, “My Dad.” I provided her with all facets of education.

I’ve never walked into a dive bar in my life when I didn’t hear the opening of “Honky Tonk Woman” in my head. I hear the opening of “Gimme Shelter” I can see the Vietnam War.

Good memories ran through my mind as the Cakes and I wiggled and danced on Monday night for more than two hours, she has said over and over since we got home, “we had a good time, didn’t we!”

That we did!




  1. I envy that experience, even though I'm too old for it myself.

  2. Bob-
    Fantastic review. Envious of you.