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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Being a Black Rolling Stones Fan (part 1)

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I wasn’t aware how much of a race-man I’ve been my whole life till I moved to France, where the blending of black and white is a lot less self-conscious. Case in point: I like the Rolling Stones – I’m not their biggest fan or anything, but fuck it, I can name at least 15 great songs by them – and yet a slew of racial touchstones went through my head last week watching Martin Scorsese’s Shine a Light concert film of the Stones. Stuff like

  1. Oh… isn’t it interesting that Mick Jagger doesn’t sing that line anymore from “Some Girls” about how “black girls just want to get fucked all night”? The song is in the film, but I guess that lyric is politically incorrect circa 2008.
  2. And yet on “Far Away Eyes,” he still jokes about the “preacher on the colored radio station” without being embarrassed.
  3. Is anyone aware that his first child Karis Jagger (born in 1970) was born from the African-American model Marsha Hunt? Like, nobody ever talks about Karis, and whatever became of her? Mick Jagger has a black daughter; no one ever says a word.
  4. And for all the talk about the fan who got killed at the Stones concert at Altamont Speedway back in 1969, it seems to me that most people don’t realize Meredith Hunter was an 18-year-old brother on a date with a white chick at the front row of that Stones show, and was stabbed to death by Hells Angels security for precisely this reason.
  5. Blues guitarist Buddy Guy mops the fucking floor with Keith Richards and Ron Wood during the Muddy Waters cover “Champagne & Reefer.” Mops the fucking floor.
  6. Is it fair that the Rolling Stones are British multimillionaires through imitating African-American blues guys who died broke pretty much in near anonymity?
  7. Why is black Rolling Stones bass player Darryl Jones never allowed in as an “official” member, despite touring with the group and playing on their records now for 15 years?
I sat around watching the Superbowl (of all things) with some family the year after Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, when the Stones did the halftime show. To them the performance was hilarious, because these guys are grandpas, and anyway, there was never that much respect for them. I could swear Miles Davis said something somewhere about how black folks just laugh at Jagger when he shimmies and shakes talking about the Harlem Shuffle; in the black community, the Stones are kind of a joke.

More on this in part 2. (Serendipity alert: me and Mick Jagger both have sons named Lucas; me and Keith Richards have the same birthday…)

Comments

Crystal Durant at 10:15 PM on 04/21/08:

I was having a conversation about the Stones with a friend of mine the other day, and some of it dealt with the same things you mentioned (Karis, Brown Sugar, the “non member” bass player that’s been in the band for 15 years etc.) I just saw the 2 minute cameo that Keith did in the last Depp “Pirates” movie, which stunk. I wonder if he’s taking any meds for his gnarly, arthritic paws?

I think they should have stopped after “Tattoo You” – because all of the following albums were crap. I’m on the fence about seeing the movie too. AND I think that Jagger killed Brian.

Love,
Crystal

MML at 10:49 PM on 04/21/08:

hi crystal! “brown sugar” was my 8th axe to grind with the rolling stones and i forgot, thanks for reminding me. after the movie, i felt i had so much to say that i had to divide it into 2 blog posts. i haven’t seen the “pirates of the caribbean” movies; and i wonder what woulda happened had the stones bowed out gracefully like the beatles instead of continuing on and on, and on. but like i said, more in part 2!

Mahogany L. Browne at 3:23 PM on 04/22/08:

you aint playin right now… i loved this

MML at 11:55 PM on 04/22/08:

thanks mahogany! ‘confessions of an undercover whiteboy’ this ain’t…

johnf at 10:33 PM on 09/16/09:

As for the bass player, it is very important to remember that Ron Wood was in the band for nearly 25 years before being a “full member”. Let’s see in ten years from now.

Commenting is closed for this article.

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