Stones, early and late

The thing I noticed when I compared two Stones clips of them performing “No Satisfaction” was that, in the fifty years since it was first performed in 1965, the audience had been trained, had evolved, had been forcibly evolved, as it were. Nowadays, everybody knows now how to behave at Stones concert. Then, hardly anyone had a clue. Let’s start with the 1965 clip.

The audience is still jacketed and tied, for the most part. The Stones look like they are performing to a convention of car salesmen. The Stones have not yet gained the power to choose their venue, and their audience. Its playing was nothing as good as it is today. The audience, for its part, has not yet learned to get its ya-ya’s out, to shake their fists above their heads and to whoop and holler. Wrong context. No social licence yet to go nuts.

Fifty years of the band and its audience interacting has resulted in a co-evolution of behaviour. The band is better, the riffs tougher, they look more like people you don’t want around your daughter, no matter how wealthy they are.

Stones at Glastonbury 2013: Look at all the happy people

“Good evening Mr Dalwhinnie. This is Florence Eversham speaking. I am Sir Mick Jagger’s personal assistant. He would like to take your daughter out to his chateau in France for a couple of weeks. He hopes you will accept the offer of a ski vacation all expenses paid in Gstaad this December, as a recompense for your inconvenience. Or perhaps you would prefer Maui in February?” Yeah, dream on.

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