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Go, geezers !

Postby M. Henri Day » Mon May 16, 2005 8:02 am

I take the liberty of reproducing Bob Herbert's OpEd for Larry, for the obvious reason....

Good night, Irene, to you all !

Henri

May 16, 2005

Feeling No Pain

By BOB HERBERT


Go, geezers!

Who among the teenyboppers shrieking for the Rolling Stones during their first American tour in June 1964 could have possibly imagined that some of their grandchildren would be shrieking for the Stones with the same levels of delirium in 2005, more than 40 years later?

Mick Jagger's mug may have the look of a petrified fielder's mitt, but 25-year-old Laurin Mack of Middleburg, Va., still thinks he's the sexiest man on the planet. "I realize he's as old as my dad," she said, "but it's like a chemical reaction. He was probably born sexy."

When the Stones first came to the states (four months after the Beatles), the Watusi and the monkey were big dances, Barry Goldwater embodied the hopes of the Republican Party, and John Kennedy had been dead less than a year. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were both 17.

"It was the first time we went to Omaha that I really understood how heavy it could get," said Keith Richards in an oral history compiled by the Canadian writer Alan Lysaght. "We were just sitting around drinking whiskey and Coke out of little cups before we went on and the cops walked in and said, 'What's in that cup?' "

Richards replied, "Whiskey, sir." A cop said, "You can't drink that here; it's a public place. Throw it down the drain." Richards said, "No."

When he looked up, Richards recalled, a loaded pistol was pointed at his head.

Three of the current Stones were on that tour - Jagger and Richards, who are now 61, and Charlie Watts, who will be 64 in 21/2 weeks. Joking about their ages has proved irresistible. The Daily News came up with titles for new songs they might consider playing on their upcoming tour, including "(I Can't Get No) Metamucil" and "Let's Take a Nap Together."

A young Times employee was astonished to learn that Richards is old enough to have been evacuated with his family during the bombing of London by the Nazis in World War II.

You could get a ticket to a Stones concert in 1964 for two or three dollars. They didn't have a huge hit record and were pretty widely viewed as a rowdy, unkempt imitation of the Beatles. Forget 2005 (and its top ticket price of $453). They seemed unlikely to survive until 1965.

But while no one would have guessed that the Stones were 21st-century bound, the essential ingredients for their longevity were already in place. They were decent musicians and they put on a great show. The main attraction was Jagger's manic magnetism. Short, skinny and 21, he was a cross between a rooster and a lightning bolt.

The Stones were fun.

The whole key to the Stones was that they were masters of make-believe. They played at being blues musicians. They gleefully marketed themselves as the outrageous, anarchic alternative to the Beatles, when in fact, as Richards noted in the oral history, the Beatles "were the same kind of blokes as us."

Now, in the latest of their incarnations, they are charming, aged delinquents playing their former selves.

The Stones really did love the blues, and they promoted many of the old blues masters. But the Stones' own music was a different story. They took the blues and wrung out the grief and sadness until all that was left in most cases was the fun. (My father would have said they took out all the vitamins.)

When the Stones sang, "It's too much pain and too much sorrow," they sounded like the happiest guys in the world. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" sounds like the temporary disappointment of a frat boy on an off night.

While entertaining, those kinds of pieces are a long way from the sound and feel of Robert Johnson singing, "Li'l girl, my life seem so misery," or Muddy Waters begging, "Baby, please don't go."

The Stones learned enough from the blues to lift their best work above the level of the rock 'n' roll mainstream, and the rest was pretty much unadulterated fun. It's been working for them for more than 40 years.

"You don't find bands like that anymore," said Brendan Burke, a 22-year-old Stones fan who graduated last year from New York University. Their age, he said, doesn't bother him at all.

On a hunch, I asked him what he thought of as the age when people started getting old.

"Forty," he said. There was silence on the telephone. Brendan hung in there. "Forty or 45," he said.

E-mail: bobherb@nytimes.com
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Stargzer » Mon May 16, 2005 6:01 pm

:) Merci, Henri! And whilst we are discussing the merits of the elderly, I feel compelled to share this, received from a friend . . .

The Poodle and the Leopard

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she's lost. Wandering about, she notices a leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep crap now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew", says the leopard, "That was close. That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits
down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

Moral of this story:

Don't mess with old farts. Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience!
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby gailr » Mon May 16, 2005 9:35 pm

Henri
"Forty," he said. There was silence on the telephone. Brendan hung in there. "Forty or 45," he said.

I remember a college friend telling me that her mom was 42. We thought that was hilarious! Not so hilarious, anymore... :wink:

Good story, Larry! It reminded me of a poster I saw once--and I found this version on the web:
Image

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Jun 07, 2005 3:29 pm

ARF!

When our old beagle came back from surgery (removal of a fatty tumor the size of a softball from his abdomen as well as a small lump on the top of his head) I called him "Frankenbeagle" because of the wire stitches on his head and his zoned-out look from the meds he was on.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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