Benedict GomboczSophomore CompositionRolling Stones Essay9 September 2008 Why I like the Rolling Stones Very few will believe or imagine that a man in his sixties still has the ability to be onstage. Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, at 65 years old, still enjoys touring and being abusinessman. This past April, the Rolling Stones were presented with the opportunity to see thestart of their career on screen with the worldwide premiere of the Martin Scorsese movie Shine aLight. The band was established in 1962; from debut album (titled The Rolling Stones in the UKand England’s Newest Hit Makers in the U.S.) to most recently released compilation Exile onMain St.: Rarities Edition, the band has had an enormous influence on music. The greatest rockand roll band in history, the Rolling Stones were indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in1989, the year studio album Steel Wheels was released. Since the band’s start, Mick Jagger has been their front man. Born in Dartford, Kent,England on 26 July 1943, Jagger attended the London School of Economics in the early 60sbefore the band’s establishment. In According to the Rolling Stones, Jagger states that he “wasalways a singer and always sang as a child.” While he was attending Wentworth Primary Schoolin September 1950, he befriended classmate and future bandmate Keith Richards. Jagger went onto Dartford Grammar School, now home to the Mick Jagger Centre. After losing contact withRichards as the latter went to a different school, Jagger rejoined Richards in the summer of 1960;they resumed their friendship and discovered a common love for rhythm and blues music.
Jagger quit school in 1961 and moved with Richards into a flat in Edith Grove; there,they met a guitarist named Brian Jones, with whom Richards made plans to start a rhythm andblues group. At the London School of Economics, Jagger continued his business courses anddecided between becoming a journalist or politician. Strangely enough, he compared the latter tobecoming a pop star. In 1963, he left the London School of Economics to start his musical careerwith the Rolling Stones. Much like ex-rival the Beatles and many other rock and roll bands of their time, theRolling Stones have covered many songs from earlier artists. Highly influenced by MuddyWaters, they took their band name from his famous song “Rollin’ Stone”. Blues music was sucha big part of the band that they covered many blues songs on both the debut album and itssuccessor released later in 1964, 12 X 5, and the first two albums of 1965, The Rolling Stones No.2 and The Rolling Stones, Now! 1965 saw more Jagger/Richards songs with “Play with Fire”, “(ICan’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “The Spider and the Fly”, “Get Off of My Cloud”, “I’m Free”, and“As Tears Go By”. 1966’s Aftermath through 1967’s Their Satanic Majesties Request were theonly studio albums between 1964 and 1968 not to feature cover songs. 1968’s Beggars Banquetfeatures Robert Wilkins’ “Prodigal Son”; Robert Johnson’s “Love In Vain” is featured on 1969’sLet It Bleed and Fred McDowell and Reverend Gary Davis’ “You Gotta Move” is featured on1971’s Sticky Fingers. I saw the Rolling Stones in concert for the first time when they played in Minneapolis butI had been a fan of them well before that; memories associated with my childhood are listeningto their 1971 compilation Hot Rocks 1964-1971 during yearly summer vacations in Germany andHungary. This concert was during the brief (only two and a half months) No Security Tour of1999; the tour supported 1998’s concert album No Security and 1997’s Bridges to Babylon. I was
not yet seven and there I was in a big Midwestern city. My favorite memory of driving throughthe city was watching Northwest aircraft approach the Minneapolis/St. Paul InternationalAirport. In the three years between the No Security Tour and the Licks Tour of 2002-2003, mymusic interests switched to newer bands, particularly boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and*NSYNC, both major pop groups in 2000. I already started to like the Backstreet Boys back in1998 when I heard one of their hit singles, “As Long As You Love Me”, which was my favoritesong from them from that point. It was not until 2000 that I heard of *NSYNC but their hit songof that year, “Bye Bye Bye” made me a fan of them. Throughout both 2000 and 2001, I was oneof many fans of both bands. For both the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, 2002 was different than the preceding twoyears. The former went on hiatus after releasing The Hits: Chapter One in October 2001; thelatter broke up after releasing what was their last studio album in July 2001, Celebrity (theywould later release a Greatest Hits album in October 2005). With neither band making newreleases, I once more became a Rolling Stones fan. The Rolling Stones released Live Licks in2004. The following year, the group made a visit to the studio for the first time in eight years tobegin sessions for the next (and most recent to date) studio album, A Bigger Bang. It wasreleased on 5 September 2005, the day before it was off to Minneapolis for my second time at aStones concert; throughout the A Bigger Bang Tour, I was blessed with the chance to go to threeadditional concerts, the former two in 2006 (the first one in Omaha and the second one inVienna) and the latter one in 2007, which was held in Budapest. This summer, my dad and I sawShine a Light at a theatre in Budapest. Being a die-hard Rolling Stones fan and an admirer of rock and roll in general is truly agift. I am proud to be among the people in my generation who love their music and have their
albums in their music collection. They have contributed to a great change in music and do a greatdeal of running their success like show business. This is astonishing for men who are over 60years old. For Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, what began as a small music group of Rhythmand Blues fans became the greatest and most successful rock and roll band. The albums theRolling Stones have put out have inspired me to carry on their work and legacy even long afterthey have passed on. They will long be regarded as heroes of rock and roll music.