The Stones still licking the competition

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The Stones still licking the competition

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Mick Jagger has proved wrong. The Stones have been Rolling for 50 years. He said early on they’d probably last for two. This prediction is displayed at a new photo exhibition on The Stones’ story that has opened in London.

Talking about it, Jagger said: “At the time that was probably a pretty accurate life of a band. You weren’t really expected to be a rock band and go for much more than four years, say, five years. I mean you didn’t really think of it in those days as a ‘band’ going for a proper career. It hadn’t been done yet.”

The Stones did something with rhythm-and-blues and soul music that clearly worked. If Jagger’s singing and voice weren’t perfect, or parents didn’t understand the appeal, so what? The Stones also shocked. The bad boys of the 60s pop scene out of Britain soon had fans that took smashing literally.

There was always a lot made of the contrast with their contemporary British Invasion artists The Beatles, whose image was better behaved. Just compare the names of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967 with The Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request.

The sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll associated with ‘Swinging London’ suited Jagger and company fine. They have sold hundreds of millions of records.

It didn’t take much reading between the lines to catch the free love, rebellious spirit – and many will say outright misogyny – the band embodied, with, just to name two best-selling songs like Under My Thumb or Brown Sugar, the latter off the Sticky fingers LP – and their now famous tongue logo.

Jagger today said: “I don’t want to be like just an old burnt-out institution, you know, you want to be still alive. Unfortunately I do feel like that.”

The once anti-establishment rocker has four grandchildren. Later this month, ‘Sir Mick’ is turning 69.