08 April 2008

Rolling Stones vs. Beatles 2008: Ringo's beheaded, Stones are on eMusic

For well over 40 years, it's been THE indispensable question. Volleyed back and forth at cocktail parties, deployed for instant access to the very core of one's soul, the measure of a man can be wrought by a simple query: are you a Stones person or a Beatles person?

Of course, we have our own answer to this - the Beatles, duh - which has made the last few weeks especially distressing for our kind. See, it appears that so far in 2008 the Rolling Stones have clearly been on top of their game while the Beatles have been, uh, running around with their heads cut off?

For starters, consider the Stones' recent triumphs:

- Their Martin Scorcese-directed live concert film Shine A Light opened this past weekend to rave reviews from critics. Roger Ebert described the film as "one of the most engaged documentaries you could imagine. The cameras do not simply regard the performances; in a sense, the cameras are performers too[...]Even in their 60s, the Stones are the most physical and exuberant of bands. Compared to them, watching the movements of many new young bands on Leno, Letterman and "SNL" is like watching jerky marionettes."

- Good ole' Keef has been making the rounds as well, first granting GQ an incredibly entertaining interview at his SoHo office(?). Among the many highlights here:

At this point, Richards, as he is talking, absentmindedly reaches his hand to his side and draws his shirt and jacket back to scratch himself near his hip bone. It’s then that I notice that wedged against his hip and the top of his trousers is something that looks like the handle of a revolver. “That’s not a gun you’re carrying, is it?” I ask. Keith pauses. “This?” he says, reaching for the handle. “Nah, this is a knife.” At which point he pulls it from his waistband, flips it open, and reveals a shiny blade five inches long. Richards considers the blade for a moment, in silence, then snaps the knife closed and tucks it back into his waistband and explains, “I use it to keep me pants up, because I’ve been losing weight, baby.”

Yes, he carries a knife, and yes, he's still cooler than all of us. Oh, and he's also the new "face" of Luis Vuitton luggage as well:

- Finally, and from our perspective perhaps most exciting, the Stones recently made their ENTIRE catalog from 1964-70 available on eMusic. So apparently all those years we've lazily dismissed them without giving enough attention to their back catalog have come to an end; there are simply no excuses now. Which is actually pretty damn great....

Meanwhile, what's been going on with the Beatles?

- Ringo's been beheaded! According to a BBC News report (see pic above), Liverpool residents were outraged by recent comments from Starr that he missed nothing about his hometown. This most likely led to his topiary likeness - a sculpture of the four that took 18 months to complete and was only unveiled last month - having his head lopped off yesterday while the other three remain untouched.

- Of course, the other remaining Beatle has had the equivalent of a public beheading of late. Thanks to excessive media coverage, Paul's messy divorce settlement with Heather Mills has seemingly placed him in similar company to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, subject of endless rumor-mongering and prey to paparazzi anew (though he must have practice in dealing with media attention by now).

And yet, we remain steadfast in our identity as "Beatles people". Besides, Keith can't resist the allure of climbing palm trees forever, right?

lead image found HERE