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Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

The Rolling Stones in 1965 L-R: Charlie, Mick, Keith, Bill & Brian.
I recently went to see The Rolling Stones in Arlington, Texas. They put on one hell of a show, cranking out hit after hit and leaving us all delighted!

The Stones have been going, in various line ups, for over 50 years now. They formed in 1962 and the line up that came to prominence in 1963 after they scored a hit with 'I Wanna Be Your Man', a song given to them by Lennon & McCartney after hearing they needed a hit. In 1968, Mick Jagger recalled how it all came about:

"We knew the Beatles by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: 'Hey Mick, we've got this great song.' So they played it and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven't heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky 'cause nobody really produced it. It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage."

However, Lennon distanced himself from the song in 1980

"It was a throwaway. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it: We weren't going to give them anything great, right?"

Whereas the Beatles gained huge popularity in Britain in 1963 and then America and the world in 1964, the Rolling Stones didn't achieve it across the board until early 1965. Their breakthrough hit was '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' which they ended the concert in Arlington with. Of course, by then the press were describing the Stones as the Anti-Beatles, which with many who were looking for an alternative to those four cute mop-heads from Liverpool, was exactly what they were looking for. It was then that the "The Beatles or The Stones?" question came up. It definitely still exists. For example, Chris O'Dell, who is immortalized in the George Harrison song 'Miss O'Dell', describes a moment in her book where she was working for the Rolling Stones and they were making fun of the Beatles, in particular George Harrison. Having a hard time laughing along with them she pointed out that George was her friend, to which Mick replied:

"Oh yeah, Chris, you're a Beatle person aren't you? Sorry about that."

So, to ask the question, which one are you? See below for my answer....


The Beatles.

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