Day: May 14, 2012

Happy

If any Rolling Stones song is Keith’s official anthem, this one’s it. It’s got his attitude and no coincidence, it’s his best performance as frontman. Now compare the decades-apart life performances. In 1972, the sound is dirty, hard and fast, almost chaotic. In 2006 the same song sounds clean and streamlined, the playing impeccably¬†professional, the venue a new world record in itself. Look at those arthritic old monkeys, hopping about on a stage the size of football field. Conventional wisdom says the old performance has to be superior. Yes, things have changed, but was it for better or worse? Because, for one thing, in 1972 Keith Richards was simply in no condition. It’s supposed to be Keith’s big number, but the focus is steadfastly on the¬†irresistible spectacle of Mick Jagger’s arse. Mick’s not hogging the spotlight, he’s just taking up the slack – Keith, eyes rolled back and teeth missing, can barely cough out the chorus. By 2006, though, he’s earned his full three minutes of solo spotlight. In his book, he noted with pride his ongoing improvement as a singer, and you have to notice it – the old devil’s gotten way better in front of the microphone. Say what you will about aging rock stars with more money than God commanding two-million-member audiences, but this time around Keith’s actually conscious for his big number, and relishing it.