Forever Young

The big news this past week in the music and entertainment world surrounded the Rolling Stones 50 year anniversary celebration.  The band mates all gathered for a private view of the photo exhibit at Somerset House in London. Even though this gathering was met with a great deal of excitement, band members just seemed to take it all in stride. Charlie Watts said regarding the event, “We’ve never been apart really,” he said. “It’s just they live in another part of the world – well, he [Ron Wood] doesn’t, but the other two do.” There is much speculation that the Rolling Stones are going to perform publicly this year and possibly record some new music. Watts also mentioned that the group had been playing together – but not rehearsing. This means the world will wait in eager anticipation of an announcement of something concrete.  As I watched this union (I cannot call it a reunion because the band never really broke up) my thoughts went a little different than most fans and admirers. When you really sit down and think about fifty years – that is a lifetime of any activity. Can you imagine working at the same job for fifty years? Although the job of a professional musician is unlike any other, there is no comparison to a 9am to 5pm regular forty hours a week employment. The work hours for a musician can be anytime during a day. In fact, studio sessions can last several days consecutively with very little if any breaks in work. Performances take place during the night and/or weekends as others enjoy time with family and friends – maybe even attending your concert. I can remember times when I just wanted to scrap an entire project and go home, only to tough it out until the end. Sure, even the 9 to 5 job can be grueling sometimes but the musician must enjoy his work in order to endure the intensified grind of a musical career. I began to reflect on the Rolling Stones spending fifty years of the tough times and the successes together, now I’m wondering if these guys are going to continue to give us music in their seventies. Another question comes to mind: How did the Rolling Stones stay together this long while so many other bands of their time have gone separate ways years ago? They have faced similar problems of drug use, creative differences, family influence and so much more. Nevertheless, the Rolling Stones have continued to create music a half century. Perhaps they have found that figurative fountain of youth. The band has continued to keep the music fresh not only for the fans but more importantly for themselves. Even though they may be seventy in age, the way they approach the creative side is still like a group of twenty year olds.

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