Friday, October 20, 2006

Facts and Figures


Sir Mick and the boys were in town two nights ago, apparently their 10th visit to Seattle since 1965. I watched their armada of trucks unload equipment in the parking lot behind my place of employment and the roadies wheel it over to the adjacent Qwest field football stadium. And it was a lot of stuff too. So much so that it takes a fleet of 70 articulated trucks or “semis” as they call them over here to transport it across the country. The special stage weighs 300 tons, occupies 20,400 sq ft and has a 2,450sq ft video wall. All of this equipment is lugged about and assembled by a road crew of 235 and 150 local workers are hired to build and take down the stage.

I have to say that having grown up with the RS their longevity, both individually and collectively, has been quite amazing especially considering their lifestyle. The have outlasted six US presidential administrations, seven British Prime Ministers, Vietnam, the Falklands, Gulf War No. 1 (unfortunately not yet Iraq or Afghanistan), Watergate and even The Beatles. As a matter of trivia, Charlie Watts and I employed the services of the same hairstylist in London back in the early 1990s.

Reviews of their concert were very enthusiastic. Mick strutted and pranced around the stage in a highly energetic fashion for two hours; Keith Richards, true to form, chain smoked. The music was classic stones and the special effects and firework finale were spectacular. Did I go, I hear you ask? You must be joking. I saw them at Wembley Stadium in 1981 and am still traumatized by the length of time it took to get out of the parking lot. Also I find the way that iconoclastic values have been dumped in favour of mainstream corporate adoption and sponsorship (RS tunes are used to sell just about everything from banks to cars these days) quite objectionable. And besides I’m not prepared to spend $700 on a ticket. Funnily enough I’ve never had an RS record or CD in my collections either. Now tonight I’m off to see Pink Martini who are more my style these days.

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