I just read that The Rolling Stones celebrated 50 years on stage this past Thursday.
Yup, 50 years ago on July 12th, 1962, Mick Jagger played his first gig with a band called the Rollin’ Stones (a name they took from a song by the late, great man of blues, Muddy Waters).
It marks the 50th anniversary of their very first live show at the Marquee club in London.
My whole generation, today’s baby boomers, were becoming adults, and we were choosing ways that were different than our parents. Girls started wearing pants and not wearing a bra; boys started wearing their hair long, with just about everyone experimenting with drugs, and all the while having sex with each other without being married.
The music was definitely part of those revolutionary times too. One of my favorite songs by the Rolling Stones is still “Street Fighting Man”. It has that raw, electric sound that to me was the definition of what rock and roll was during the 60’s and 70’s. A time to wake up. A time to stop the senseless war that was going on in Vietnam. A time to not be governed by the ideas of society and culture. A time for peace. A time to love one another. It’s kind of the same as now, don’t you think?
According to Wikipedia, Bruce Springsteen would comment in 1985, after including “Street Fighting Man” in the encores of some of his Born in the U.S.A. Tour shows: “That one line, ‘What can a poor boy do but sing in a rock and roll band?’ is one of the greatest rock and roll lines of all time. … [The song] has that edge-of-the-cliff thing when you hit it.”
So where was I in 1962? I was 4 years old, and I don’t think I was aware of The Rolling Stones that year. It would take me another 4 or 5 years to realize what kind of energy rock and roll could have on me, because that is when we all started to listen to the weekly countdown on WIXY1260 in Cleveland, Ohio.
I remember a bunch of us hanging out in the neighbor’s kitchen, week after week, year after year; friend’s of mine, mother’s of those friends, and brother’s of those friends…all excited and waiting to hear that week’s #1 song. For me it was exciting.
But, what I want to know is, “Where were you in 1962?” Let me know if you can take a moment. I’d really like to know.