May 1, 2013 by Jay Minkin
My column usually includes some heartfelt commentary about music ’cause I try and I try and I try and I try to keep readers connected to the latest happenings. In the summer of 1965, I was six years old riding around in the car with my big sis driving when this song comes on the AM radio. A three note guitar riff starts one of the greatest songs ever recorded and forever grabbed my attention, as well as the music world. Ladies and Gentlemen … The Rolling Stones will be honored by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum with a major exhibition capturing the band’s legendary career beginning on Friday, May 24thwith Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction.
The Stones and those lips have been part of my life ever since. My house and older sister tended to take sides with The Beatles which at times in that era was like being from the North or South. One of the first feature films I saw in a movie theatre was Help!, their highly anticipated appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, and being covered by everyone including The Chipmunks swayed my opinion. But as I got into my junior high years, it was a succession of Stones records from Hot Rocks to Sticky Fingers to More Hot Rocks to Through The Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2), Black & Blue, and It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll that were played in my room, somebody’s basement, used to roll a joint, in a car on a homemade cassette, or that dreaded eight-track tape. I wrote a short essay about the Stones for a radio contest when I was sixteen and won tickets to The World Series of Rock at old Municipal Stadium, but let’s not discuss Goats Head Soup or driving my Mom’s Chevy Caprice from Canton to Cleveland without asking.
Then came college and the Stones were on fire with Some Girls, Emotional Rescue, Tattoo You, and bootleg tapes from the ’81 Hampton, VA concert broadcast on the radio and pay-per-view television. The Stones were on mix tapes played at parties and clubs with Motown, punk, new wave, and ’60’s classics. I received a copy of Exiles On Main Street for my birthday and went to used record stores to sift through the bins for gems like Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed. Today, the Stones greatly outnumber the Beatles in terms of songs on my smartphone mp3 mix and I don’t walk into a bar without throwing some bills into a jukebox and play at least one Stones song … usually “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. One of my other quirky obsessions is buying copies of the original Some Girls album art with the movie starlet photos in early pressings.
So, for those not up on the Hall of Fame Class of 1989 inductees, the heart of the Stones is the songwriting by the “Glimmer Twins” Mick Jagger (vocals) and Keith Richards (guitar). The rhythm section of bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts was one of the best ever. A succession of guitarists starting with Brian Jones to Mick Taylor to Ron Wood is filled with juicy stories along with styles you can hear in the band’s discography. The retrospective exhibit will encompass over two floors of exhibit space and include personal items, artifacts, film, and interactive technology from the band’s six decades. The museum will also be hosting a series of programs that explore the significance and legacy of the Stones including Q&A interviews, film screenings, educational programs, and lectures.
So don’t let some girl (or guy) tell you “Baby, better come back later next week” and make plans to visit the Rock ‘n Roll HOF. Getting a museum membership will save you money at the door and keep you connected with all upcoming events. Visit www.rockhall.com for more information. Hey, hey, hey, that’s what I say …