by Leonardo Bertinelli
It is difficult to imagine a band capable of playing for more than 50 years. It is difficult to imagine a band releasing their 30th studio album during their 54th year of activity. It is difficult to imagine a band made of people that are more than 70 years old touring consequently all over the world for about 3 years. It is difficult to imagine a band followed by three different generations. It is difficult, but not impossible.
Ladies and gentleman, The Rolling Stones are an example of it. Having just finished their Latin American Olè Tour, they just announced the release of the new studio album Blue & Lonesome. Earlier this month, the band opened The Exhibitionism, a touring exhibition that will be around the world for about three years, launched on April 5 in London,UK, featuring memorabilia, posters, objects, records, instruments, clothes, reconstruction of the backstage and more from 1962 until today. Is there anything else that we can expect from the greatest Rock ’n’ Roll band in the world?
The heart of the band is the one and only Keith Richards, the Rock legend who survived to the impossible, one of the best rhythm players of all time, a great songwriter, composer, arranger, and a great entertainer on stage. His passion for music, his volunteer to play and make music, and his dedication has incentivized the rest of the group to go in the studio and produce the last album, Blue & Lonesome, a compilation of blues covers, recorded in only three days (the old school way) to be released on December 2, 2016.
Other than that, they played an historic and iconic concert in Havana, Cuba this past March. They are the first rock band to play a show there, similarly to the first US president visiting the country. Additionally, they played at Desert Trip, a three night show featuring the first night Bob Dylan for the first set and The Rolling Stones for the second; the second night Neil Young and Paul McCartney; the third and last night The Who and Roger Waters.
What is that keeps the band rolling? The audience is what pushes The Rolling Stones to continue doing what they have done in the last 50 and more years. All over the world, through different generations, they have shared their music, their characteristic sound and spirit, their blues power. Age is not stopping them, and they they improve with each and every performance. It seems that life is still long for them, and one wonders if they will never stop. Maybe this album ends the circle, but maybe not. Their first album, The Rolling Stones, was a cover album of blues records of the 50’s and Blue & Lonesome has similar content and vibe, so who knows if it suggests the end of an long era and their rhythmic reign coming full circle?
The spirit is there, the sound is there, the magic is there, the audience is there, so if time is on their side: will The Rolling Stones roll forever?