On Thursday the 12th of July, it will be 50 years since Mick Jagger and his merry band of men played their very first gig at London’s Marquee club. Now in their late 60s and early 70s, the band will celebrate by attending a retrospective photo exhibition at London’s Somerset House. The aging rockers have no plans for retirement and have just started rehearsals for a new world tour.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts have defied the notoriously dangerous world of rock stardom to outlive and outlast their peers. “Groups in those days and singers didn’t really last very long,” Jagger, 68, told the BBC. “They weren’t supposed to last. It was supposed to be ephemeral. It was only really Elvis and The Beatles that were the biggest things that ever happened in pop music that I can remember. But even (Elvis) had lasted perhaps less than 10 years, so how could anyone really last?”
The band had its first hit with a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” in 1963. They went on to become one of the world’s most influential rock bands, rivalled only by The Beatles. The Stones attribute their longevity to lasting friendships and the ability to put the band ahead of their own egos. Having sold over 200 million records, one could also say that the Stones are savvy businessmen.
The Stones are not planning on gathering moss any time soon. After the success of their 2007 tour, “A Bigger Bang”, which netted half a billion dollars, plans are afoot for a new tour to kick off their sixth decade together. Keith Richards said that rehearsals had already begun; “There’s things in the works. It’s definitely happening, but when I can’t say yet.”
We take our collective hats off to the group who has proved beyond a doubt that they are the world’s greatest rocks stars.