Monday, February 06, 2006

a triumph of the embalmers art: The Rolling Stones live at halftime

I remember it as though it were only yesterday. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was some other shit. It was THE DAY THE ROLLING STONES PLAYED THE HALFTIME SHOW AT THE SUPERBOWL.

Yes, and what a show it was. The Rolling Stones! Can you hear them back at the NFL boardroom? Oh, dude, we grab the boomer demographic and make everyone forget about that whole Janet Jacksons' tit thing!

The problem? The Rolling Stones are deceased.

They need to retire. Retire, retire, retire. Please, please, please. I sat through the whole thing hoping for I don't know what. I just did.
Man, it was like watching a breakdown in the air conditioning at the House Of Wax. They don't play their own instruments anymore so much as they just randomly flap away at them while three other 'mystery guys' tucked away at the back fill in the blank spots. (exception: Ol' Charlie Watts was keeping his end up.) It was blatant, and it was sad and ludicrous.

I cringed watching old Mick breathlessly trudging around the stage chasing chickens off the porch, yelling lyric fragments when the whim took him. Keith Richards staggering about picking up cigarette butts off the floor and looking for his Vicodin.
There were four of us watching. We sat here, former rockers every one and three of them Stones fans, and do you know what we said as we watched this debacle?
Not 'Gosh, you just gotta admire those Stones, they just keep on going!'
Not 'Wow, they're still SO GOOD!'
No, what we were all saying was 'Mick, keep your shirt on. PLEASE keep your shirt on. God, keep your shirt ON, Mick.'

The only equivalent on the 'painful to watch' scale was the pathetic last years of Frank Sinatra, another man tried in the court of Not Knowing When to Take His Hat and Go and found guilty. Maybe it's a generational thing, but watching the Stones creak through the same farce was somehow more pathetic. A lot of it had to do with Mick. It was just gross. He's still out there flogging the sulky youth -gamin- rough trade thing. With a more attractive man, it would have been a caricature. But as played by an underfed 63 year old frog wearing hiphuggers and a demi-tee........fuck, the indignity.
Old age does not have to be that ugly. Jesus God Almighty.

So no, I was less than impressed with the halftime entertainment.