Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Established 1962

Some of the papers are saying that the Rolling Stones tour that just finished was their last. Others are claiming that they will go on, if not for ever, then at least for a few years yet. It's possible that they'll quit the big campaigns. Maybe Charlie will lose the appetite for touring and they'll slowly slip off into legend, playing the odd big show when they feel like it.
The one thing I can't see them doing is announcing their retirement, for the simple reason that they never have done. Whatever the rest of the world thinks of them, their endurance makes them unique. They began in 1962 and 45 years later they are arguably the most popular live attraction on the planet. In that time they've never broken up or even had a trial separation. Can anyone else get anywhere near that?


  1. Anonymous11:27 am

    As far as I know, the only ones that beat them are the Four Tops, who took that name in 1956, after 3 years under another name. Unlike other soul groups, where members have come and gone with amazing speed, it's only been long term illness and death that has caused any change in the lineup, with 2 of the original 4 still touring under the Tops banner.

  2. Surely the difference to other long running acts is that even the "second wind" line up has been around since the 1970's and also the Stones still every so often produce new material. I assumed the plan was to keep playing until the entire world had seen them live! The only newer bands with a similar longevity and stability are U2 and REM, but with almost 2 decades less dues paid.

  3. Anonymous1:49 pm

    In 1964, whilst pursuing a short career as the 13 yr old drummer in an after school band, our lead guitarist's dad, who was the manager of the local Odeon, asked us both if we'd like to see The Stones. They were heading a package tour along with Shotgun Express or Steam Packet (Long John Baldry was in 'em anyway...) 'Thee of London', and a few others. Deal was, we were to be stage hands. The job was to each stand behind the vast dark red velvet curtains and guide the leading edge as it glided across the stage to stop it knocking over the microphone stands etc, as each act changed over after the usual couple of numbers each. Sounds easy, but I was frightened stiff. Those shows usually had a compere. This one was a bluff northern comic, straight from the end of a pier somewhere. As I was standing around in the interval before the Stones, he approached me and said " Do you know the names of these lads, then?"
    So I told him, & he duly wrote their names in the palm of his hand in biro. A few minutes later, out he goes, open-palmed, & introduces "Charlie, Bill, Mick, Keith & Brian -The Rolling Stones!" Only then did it occur to me that (A) He didn't previously have a clue who they were and (B) I could have told him any old rubbish and watched as he introduced the Rolling Stones by the wrong names to a packed house. Still got the signed programme with Brian Jones' autograph on it, but my mother's put it away for safe keeping. And forgotten where.

  4. Fairport must be coming up the rear.

  5. Babyshambles?

    Ah, perhaps not.


  6. At least nobody's trotted out the old cliche about their age. Let's celebrate their longevity!!

  7. Anonymous11:25 am

    On the Jamie Wilkinson Show on BBC radio Newcastle tomorrow - 30th Aug between 2 and 3 in honour of the Stones we're going to attempt to break the world record for the most lies told about The Rolling Stones in 1 hour. If you have any lies you'd like us to include please email me:

  8. I've been a fan of The Rolling Stones since 1965 when I first heard "Heart Of Stone" on local radio but I may have been aware of them before that from reading record club advertisements found in magazines.