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Subject: On Being A Stonesfan
Date: Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Time: 10:42:02 PM
Remote Address: 188.8.131.52
Message ID: 162066
Parent ID: 0
Thread ID: 162066
I had to write this because of the tremondous favor PaulK did me. I had lost one of the discs from my Touring Party 72 collection. I asked the board for some help. PaulK sent me a copy along with some other discs from 72. I asked the board for a favor and a few days later I got more than I asked for.
So... In my own way, besides saying thanks to PaulK, I wanted to add something to the board. I have read here a lot about what is the best record or solo or some other aspect of the Stones.
I have put forward that there is no way to judge what is best because there is no objective standard to judge them by. I argued that each album was the best at the time and that the Stones could have made only that album at that time.
I stated that experience is the only way I can judge an album and experience is always in the present. That makes all the albums, for me, from "Sticky Fingers" on equal, because I lived them. I learned to love earlier albums but I was too young to experience them as they came out. Fortunately "Let it Bleed" and Ya's Ya's " were contemporary, so it was easy to bring them into my experience.
It may sound funny to speak of experience this way. I, just like Keno, had my first "grown up" experience upon learning of the death of a family friend in Vietnam and watching the Chicago riots on TV.
I was never a kid after that. After that I wanted to find my own way and the route I chose to discover myself was music. I did not know much about the Stones at that time, only remembering hearing "Jumping Jack Flash" as a kid.
The Beatles were the easiset music to slip into in 68 for me and I followed them for answers to my newly "grown up" questions. The big moment was first hearing "Bitch" at the local teen hang-out. After that I was a Stones fan. The Beatles were not playing what I was experiencing. But "Bitch" and "Brown Sugar" captured the times as I knew them.
My point is this-- we Stones fans share experience together. We shared the times and the experience of each of their albums as they came out. I am not trying to belittle younger folk, they had the same experience of hearing that first Stones song that captured them, that they connected to, they just had more to go back and learn to love.
Back then there was an element of danger to being a Stones fan. It was no peace love hippy thing. It was rebellion. Altamont was still fresh in our minds because it was the death of the peace love scene. Riots were happening. There was a war on. Their equipment was being blown up. We were on the very forefront of rock and roll and the edge is a dangerous place to be if you want to be popular or accepted or "normal." There was a feel to the Stones that was no place else and it smacked of danger. It was dangerous times.
But the sounds soaked into some of us. They were sounds that resonated with our experience. Life was not the groovy place it was made out to be. Our eyes opened up to a new experience. Part of it was drugs but the biggest part was the common ground found between others that heard the sound and felt it with our bodies. A dividing line appeared and there were those of us that heard it, felt it, and decided to live on the other side of that line. We went to see them in 72 against every "reasonable" persons advice.
The sound had already started to grow in our souls. We listened to the music until we had every note memorized. Until we could rock without any audible music because our bodies felt the sound. The songs became part of our unconscious.
At some point our experience became transparent to other Stones fans. We felt the same danger in the air and we rebelled against the same luke warm middle of the road everything is fine pacifying messages we were bombarded with. The Stones were the edge of rock and roll and we went to the edge with them.
Our bodies changed as we learned that sometimes you had to fight and sometimes you had to fuck and sometimes you had to numb the pain. Sometimes rejoice. We entered a shared reality with other Stones fans. We felt a bond with them. We broke the rules so we could see the Stones and be with people like us, sometimes bled, sometimes had hassles with the police. We were part of the swirling masses "all black and white."
We made the music part of us. It was with us as we grew up and could make more decisions for ourselves. "Midnight Rambler" rocked in our minds and we knew it was true.
We needed shelter. War was just a shot away but love was just a kiss away. We kissed each other goodnight.
We grew up with the Stones and they became part of us. We became part of them. We supported them, spent our money on them, lost jobs, lost girlfriends, we sacrificed to be a part of the sound.
We are a part of the Stones. Without us they are nothing-- we made them. We experienced life together. We felt the sound together. We made friendships that were never broken because our ties to a band. Our ties to a lifestyle. Our ties to living in the moment with a sound that changed and grew with us.
We committed ourselves to a sound and the sound in others. The Stones made the sound but we vibrated it too.
My experiences are my own but I share a portion of them with every other Stonesfan. There is no middle of the road.
The Stones are just some Englishman playing music but combined with the fans we are rock and roll.
When PaulK sent me those CDs he must have felt a comradship with me. I feel it with him now. I feel it with all of you who can say to yourselves truthfully: We lived the life.
Stonesfan brothers and sisters let's feel for a minute how we grew to become who we are. Without the Stones we would not be who we are.
We made the Stones together. They made a sound we rallied around and defined ourselves by. We have grown older together, the Stones and us. We reflect back to the Stones and that is what they become. All of us have been in a process of becoming together.
Even the arguments I read about over the new tour are nothing but us becoming older together and our conflicts about changing priorities.
I can be transported to a Stones Heaven. A Rolling Stones archetype. Mick T., Brian, Keith, Mick , Charlie, Bill, Ronnie, and all the others. We sing the songs all together because we are one.
May the Stones gods look over you, and the band as well.
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