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The Rolling Stones: The Top Of The Rock and Roll Pyramid

 

Once upon a time, there was no rock and roll. The closest thing to rock was blues from the Southern American states. Back in the 1960s, blues was considered dangerous music for the mainstream people to listen to. And then came two bands that forever changed the face of the musical map – the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

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Music, culture, self­expression and life in the mainstream never were the same again. Despite the phenomenal success of modern rock bands, none can ever claim to have changed the world so much as the Beatles and the Stones. The Beatles split in 1970 but the Stones rocked and rolled on. Music fans still have a chance to see these icons in action with Rolling Stones tickets for their final world­wide tour.

How Important Are the Stones?

How important are the Rolling Stones to history? You might as well ask how important the Pyramids are to Egypt. As far as rock music goes, the Rolling Stones currently sit at the top of the rock and roll pyramid. They aren’t just a band – they are a transformative meme for anyone raised in the 1960s or 1970s.

Imagine yourself walking through the streets of just about any English city. You decide to have a pint at a charming local pub. You get talking to the locals. Suddenly, one gent narrows his eyes, leans in close and asks, “Beatles or Stones?

” The answer you give will be important than what political party you vote for, what education you have or what religion you practice. THAT’s how important the Stones are, baby!”

What Being a Rolling Stones Fan Means

So, let’s go back to this hypothetical conversation in the hypothetical English pub. What if you answered “Stones!” What did you just reveal about yourself? You’ve claimed that being a fans of Stones music, you also approve and most likely follow (or at least wished you followed) the Stones’ music and lifestyles.

You do your own thing, you do it well and you don’t give a tinker’s about what anybody else thinks. For example, the Stones were the first group to sing openly about one night stands. “Let’s Spend the Night Together” may seem tame and incredibly polite by today’s pop and rock lyrical standards, but it was downright knock­you­on­the­floor shocking back when first released in 1967. When the Stones performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, they were forced to sing “Let’s spend some time together” in order to cater to American audiences. Mick Jagger did, but not without a sneer and an eye­roll worthy of a Roman Emperor.

Not Just the Anti­Beatles

The Beatles may be considered more influential and more popular,  but the Stones were and still are icons to people who greatly prize their own individuality but also who enjoy the Holy Musical Trinity of Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. Back in the 1960s, the Stones were considered the Anti­Beatles because they were not clean­cut cheeky lads. They were rougher.  They didn’t run from fans but would even knock one out on occasion, as lead guitarist Keith Richards once did to an over­exuberant touchy­feely fan in 1981. When he ran onstage to embrace Richards, the guitarist bashed the fan over the head with the guitar, placed the instrument back on and jumped right back into “Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” And that’s the way it’s done, kids.

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