I'm not a big football fan or a big Rolling Stones fan. But something that happened during the Rolling Stones' performance at the recent Super Bowl halftime show caught my attention. The Stones sang only three songs — all standards. It was a carefully orchestrated event, guaranteed not to offend anybody and to avoid any possibility of wardrobe malfunctions.
Before singing the last song, Mick Jagger said something like this: "Here's a song that we could have sung for Super Bowl One. But, hey, good things come to those who wait." And then he sang "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". That comment helped me put the Stones in historical perspective.
Yep, "Satisfaction" was written and recorded three years before the first Super Bowl. In fact, I think it's interesting that we are coming up on several 50-year anniversaries in the history of rock-and-roll. (Elvis Presley would be over 70 years old if he were still alive.)
Arguable the greatest rock band in history was The Beatles, but their height of popularity lasted only about five years, from 1964 to 1969. The Rolling Stones have been around for that long and have continuously remained popular and creative. Not many entertainers can claim that — certainly not in rock-and-roll.
I remember a few years ago when George Harrison died, a friend of mine commented, "Oh my God! Keith Richards has out-lived George Harrison!"
So ya gotta hand it to them. No matter what you think of them, the Rolling Stones certainly get credit for success and longevity. Very few people in any industry discover exactly what they want to do and then succeed at it year after year after year any better than Mick, Keith, and Charlie.