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"Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: Stargroves ()
Date: March 1, 2008 21:17

The Glimmer Twins are here likened to Steptoe and Son: discusseye rolling smiley



Keith needs Mick to stay cool
By Craig Brown
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 01/03/2008

Have your say Read comments


Are you a Mick or a Keith? In my experience, middle-aged men who like to think they are cool prefer to see themselves as Keith Richards, not Mick Jagger.

More articles by Craig Brown
Even if, in real life, these men are high-powered bankers or fast-talking media moguls, in their fantasy lives they like to think of themselves as cool and sluggish rather than uptight and eager. I suspect it all goes back to their school days, when nothing could be worse than to be considered "keen".

advertisementNow aged 64, Keith Richards still likes to sneer at Mick Jagger for excessive keenness. "Mick's a maniac," he told the magazine Uncut this week. "He can't get up in the morning without knowing immediately who he's going to call. Meanwhile, I just go, 'Thank God I'm awake,' and wait for three or four hours before I do anything. He is a power freak and there's nothing we can do about it. Let him bugger about. It doesn't make any difference to what we do."

This is the sort of thing that Keith has been saying about Mick for most of their lives, often recycling the same old words. He is nothing if not repetitive. "Me, I wake up, praise the Lord, then make sure all the phones are turned off," Keith said in an interview three years ago, adding: "Mick has to get up in the morning with a plan."

Sometimes, it seems that Keith can only define himself as a sort of reverse version of Mick: Mick is insufferably busy, vain, restless, bourgeois, aspirational, so Keith - good old Keith - is laid back, unambitious, naughty, grounded, cool. Forty years ago, Mick and Keith filled in Proust questionnaires for a magazine called Rave, now sadly defunct. I have a copy in front of me. Their answers look like blueprints for the future. To the question, "Who are your favourite heroes in real life?" Mick answered "Dukes", while Keith answered, "The Great Train Robbers".

Unfortunately, even the coolest dudes have mothers, and mothers are notorious for remembering just that little bit too much. "Keith was very chubby," his mother, Doris once chuckled to a reporter. "He was squat, had fat little legs and always seemed to have a cold."

But by the time Keith was 18, he was already achieving a certain measure of cool, albeit within strict financial parameters. For instance, he spent the long, cold winter of 1962-63 lying in bed, gobbing at a makeshift target on the wall.

Mick would not have approved: he always took a pride in his appearance, and liked things neat and tidy. Meanwhile, Keith preferred to throw dirty saucepans out of the window rather than wash them. As early as 1961, he had acquired the nickname Mr Unhealthy. He has always liked fast cars, but has never had the organisational skills necessary for a smooth drive. When he owned a vintage Mercedes, he was so put out by the presence of gears that he used to start it, judderingly, in third gear, and keep it there throughout each trip.

I suppose this all adds up to some sort of study in cool, but where on earth would Keith be without Mick? It is hard to imagine that he would have been able to afford a vintage Mercedes, with or without gears. Without the over-energetic Mick leaping out of bed every morning armed with a new plan, I fear Keith would still be lying in that bed, still gobbing at the wall.

Over the age of 30, there is a thin line dividing Cool from Sad, and that line is provided by wealth. Keith Richards remains the King of Cool largely because he is a multi-millionaire. If he had, by chance, ended up as the lead guitarist with, say, The Swinging Blue Jeans, and he was at present on a Sixties Revival Tour, I doubt we would now be so full of admiration for his funny little laid-back ways.

The continuing success of The Rolling Stones can be put down to Mick Jagger's eagerness to make phone calls, to his shrewd and hopelessly uncool business sense. By my calculation, the last time the Rolling Stones had a top ten hit was with Start Me Up, which reached Number 7 in the charts in August 1981.

In that same year, he managed to persuade the group to accept corporate sponsorship for their world tour, from the cosmetics group Jovan. At the time, this seemed outlandishly un-rock'n'roll, but it is now par for the course: these days, most major rock groups seem to be far more into developing their property portfolios than they are into sex, or drugs, or even rock 'n' roll.

Jagger's astute business sense ensured that, in some paradoxical way, the fewer hits they had, the more the money came in. The Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour of 1994-5 earned them $320 million, and remains the largest-grossing rock concert tour. Their Forty Licks tour in 2002-3 earned them $300 million, and is the second-largest grossing tour ever.

Walter Yetnikoff, the former chairman of CBS Records, once observed quite how impressive Jagger could be as a negotiator. "In his head, he figured out what the French royalty would be on a record, doing the conversion and taking off the tax," he said, confessing, "I can't do that without my royalty guide."

According to one of his biographers, after one American tour, Jagger flew straight from New York to Switzerland with $1.2 million to deposit straight into a numbered account.

The Rolling Stones' last world tour was sponsored by the mortgage company Ameriquest. "The Rolling Stones offer a great platform to communicate our brand as proud sponsors of the American dream," explained a delighted spokesman.

Meanwhile, all Keith Richards has to do is pick up his guitar every four or five years, play cool, and poke fun, in his rambling, repetitive way, at the man who has made it all possible.

Asked last week about Jagger's powerful on-stage presence, he scoffed: "Excuse me while I laugh. He's a bit vain, let's put it like that. Meanwhile, the band can go to work. Vanity will not carry a band. But a band can carry vanity."

There is something increasingly reminiscent of Steptoe and Son about Richards and Jagger, with Keith resembling the raddled old Albert Steptoe, forever grumbling about young Harold's frantic desire to improve himself.

But it is Young Mick who keeps the show on the road; without him, Keith would have lost all claims to coolness. Instead, he would be just another wheezy old man, experiencing trouble with his gears.

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: deadegad ()
Date: March 1, 2008 21:27

Sir Mick flew off to Switzerland with 1.2 million for a numbered account.

Good for him, really.

Wouldn't you?

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: March 1, 2008 23:28

i'm afraid to ask what gobbing at the wall means? eye popping smiley

and keith, chubby as a child? squat legs? i can't imagine this...


Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: StratoGR ()
Date: March 1, 2008 23:30

I love Keith but I have to admit that I think the author is right.God bless Mick smiling smiley

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: barking paul ()
Date: March 1, 2008 23:35

Queenie

gobbing = spittingyawning smiley

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: March 1, 2008 23:40

oh...i thought it was like "painting the walls" - jerking off.

i agree with the author too - it's like ying and yang. if a person is too much of one, they need the other person for balance. some are lucky to have a balance within i am a combination of both mick and keith - motivated but a slob at the same time. i could use a housekeeper though.


Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: ROPENI ()
Date: March 2, 2008 00:00

Keith obviously is becoming a pathetic old man, trying to sound cool,he should be a bit more appreciatative of all the shit that Mick and the other band members have taken from him,yes at one point he was the king of cool but now, he is just boring repeating the same lines time after time.

"No dope smoking no beer sold after 12 o'clock"

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: Beast ()
Date: March 2, 2008 00:14

This argument works both ways. Mick wouldn't have had any show to keep on the road without Keith.

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: March 2, 2008 00:16

Quote
ROPENI
Keith obviously is becoming a pathetic old man, trying to sound cool,he should be a bit more appreciatative of all the shit that Mick and the other band members have taken from him,yes at one point he was the king of cool but now, he is just boring repeating the same lines time after time.

yeah, but not many people see him over and over so they don't know he repeats himself...he's still the king of cool but the years of partying is catching up, that's all. maybe he'll get fat legs again.


Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: ROPENI ()
Date: March 2, 2008 00:29

Quote
little queenie
Quote
ROPENI
Keith obviously is becoming a pathetic old man, trying to sound cool,he should be a bit more appreciatative of all the shit that Mick and the other band members have taken from him,yes at one point he was the king of cool but now, he is just boring repeating the same lines time after time.

yeah, but not many people see him over and over so they don't know he repeats himself...he's still the king of cool but the years of partying is catching up, that's all. maybe he'll get fat legs again.

Queenie l agree with you that the hard life he has led is catching up fast,but maybe he should be a bit "nicer" to those that have put up with him in the good and bad times, at 64 still trying to sound like a rebel is kind of pathetic imho..

"No dope smoking no beer sold after 12 o'clock"

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: Beast ()
Date: March 2, 2008 00:39

Online Telegraph comments in response to this article so far:

Comments
Yes, for sure, Mick made it happen for all the
Stones who made a career of looking disinterested.
But the sound of the Stones comes from the Human
Riff - Keith. Without it and with only Mick's voice,
despite all the business acuumen Mick could
muster, they would've been the Swingin' Blue Jeans.
Posted by Ross Whitehead on March 1, 2008 5:42 PM
Report this comment

Yes, for sure, Mick made it happen for all the
Stones who made a career of looking disinterested.
But the sound of the Stones comes from the Human
Riff - Keith.
Posted by Ross Whitehead on March 1, 2008 5:39 PM
Report this comment

Keith has been elegantly wasted and cool for over 30 years. Its a real achievement. My car stereo has Exile on Main Street in it as I write, stopped at track 7, Torn and Frayed.

"For instance, he spent the long, cold winter of 1962-63 lying in bed, gobbing at a makeshift target on the wall."

Keith has just given me an idea. Where do I find a poster of Gordon Brown.
Posted by Russian Peasant 1939 on March 1, 2008 12:34 PM
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I hope to God that nobody will ever think that I am cool.


Posted by Rastus C. Tastey on March 1, 2008 9:53 AM
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There's nothing wrong with repetition, especially in music. For example there's the Bo Diddley riff- duh da duh, da duh duh, duh duh duh- you know it- because it was in nearly all Bo's songs whether they were fast or slow- so much so that's he seen as the proto-primitive rocker (but he's much more, too!). Bo may have got it from Johnny Otis who had probably got it from somebody else, but Johnny had it, and he put it out in a risque double entendre number called "Willy and the Hand Jive"- you remember Eric Clapton recycled that number? Anyhow, Buddy Holly got hold of the riff down there in Lubbock, Texas and wrote "Not Fade Away" which has Jerry Allison pounding on cardboard boxes to get the Bo Diddley beat. The Rolling Stones recorded Not Fade Away and it was the A side on their first US single release in 1964. They've been pounding out similar riffs and that beat ever since, so why shouldn't "The Glimmer Twins" pound out the same cliches about each other, as there's nothing like a winning formula for "bringing home the bacon" and that's for sure ain't it Sir Michael?
Posted by Nick R on March 1, 2008 9:50 AM
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How is Jagger an astute businessman ?

If I had had his income over the last 40 years , I would be worth a damn sight more than he is.

He has forked out millions on failed marriages and knee tremblers with models who got pregnant.

Goodness knows how much he's spent on mind-altering substances for him and his entourage ..

However , I'm only saying that because I'm jealous and envious.

He's had one hell of a life ,whilst I have been a wage-slaving , commuter with no past and no future.

A 'never-has-been'.

.
Posted by Carry On Fantasising on March 1, 2008 9:45 AM
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You've got a point there!
Posted by therese on March 1, 2008 2:21 AM
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For starters, let me have my own 'grumble'; I'm sure Mick Jagger is not upset in the slightest by Keith's comments as to his vanity and power hunger. No doubt Mick has heard it all before, however you (the media) never fail to sensationalise or quote out of context. Mick and Keith's friendship have lasted it's own ups and downs over the years, regardless of the media.

Secondly, perhaps you should consider that Mick could also not do what he does without Keith, or the rest of the band for that matter. Jagger's unfortunately dissappointing attempt at a solo career is testament to this. Mick and Keith are both indespensable as the core of the song writing team that has carried the Rolling Stones since the bands inception. They are joined at the hip, as I know they would both agree.

Thirdly, it's dissappointing that you make reference to Keith lying in bed for a winter gobbing at the wall (which I find very hard to believe; did he eat intravenously?), as opposed to the years he spent sitting at the top of his mum's stairs teaching himself guitar. An effort which resulted in him becoming one of the most solid rythem guitarists the world has known.

As for a journalist opining on what constitutes being cool, well... excuse me while I laugh.
Posted by Michael Kelly on March 1, 2008 2:17 AM
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Maybe Keith Richards is just a humble rock star - whilst Mick Jagger is a very astute businessman?

Don't most of the top bands have that structure in their makeup?

By the way Jagger is surely also 64. In Steptoe and Son, despite appearances, Harry H Corbett was only 13 years younger than Wilfred Brambell.
Posted by Simon Coulter on March 1, 2008 1:09 AM
Re

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: March 2, 2008 01:18

Quote
ROPEN!
at 64 still trying to sound like a rebel is kind of pathetic imho..

but if he is in fact a true rebel then he doesn't have to try and he can't help it. to call him pathetic is to assume it's an act. i personally don't think he has to try.


Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: ROPENI ()
Date: March 2, 2008 01:47

Quote
little queenie
Quote
ROPEN!
at 64 still trying to sound like a rebel is kind of pathetic imho..

but if he is in fact a true rebel then he doesn't have to try and he can't help it. to call him pathetic is to assume it's an act. i personally don't think he has to try.

Well Queenie where we differ is that a this stage of the game is very hard for me to believe that Keith is a rebel anymore,
He has all the money that he can need,he plays for bankers and private parties for the super rich,has bodyguards and others that attend to every one of his whims,has mansions all over the place,he is the establishment,so imo the "rebel" tag no longer applies to Keith,so all he has left to keep the old image is some stupid comments that the press goes wild over, but l do respect your opinion and we just have to agree to disagree..lol

"No dope smoking no beer sold after 12 o'clock"

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: Whale ()
Date: March 2, 2008 02:00

The big question remains for everybody on the board.
When push comes to shove ( hope I understood that expression correctly ): do you think of yourself as a Mick or a Keith.
I always thought Mick was the one setting the standard.
But maybe I'm the only one.
( Tomorrow when I'm sober I'll read the other comments after the first post. )

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: Angus MacBagpipe ()
Date: March 2, 2008 02:36

I think of myself as a Mick - if only because I take care of my teeth!grinning smiley

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: john r ()
Date: March 2, 2008 04:14

This either/or, black or white thinking that is so seductive to lazy, uninspired or stupid journalists pervades so much discussion of the Stones outside real music writers (*and there are SO many terrific music 'zines left it's hard to read them all...)....Of course it's not unique top this subject, (I'm thinking the discourse of US Democratic candidates this season). But after 46 years not only have these idiots nothing to say about the Stones but they insist on dredging up the tired old "themes" which are usually lacking in nuance, and well black and white. Are they too old to rock or are they still the greatest band in the world? Have they been too old for 35 years or 25 years? Artists or cynical greedy money hoarders? etc

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: March 2, 2008 04:19

Quote
ROPENI

but l do respect your opinion and we just have to agree to disagree..lol

i understand your point - you got me on the corporate private shows. if he becomes a louis vuitton employee, i may come closer to your side...


Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: dougie ()
Date: March 2, 2008 05:35

I want to be more like Mick. Totally together, babe magnet and in perfect shape
But, I am not in perfect shape, the wrong words come out of my mouth too much and I like to party- I guess I am more like Keith.

The greatness of both are so intertwined due to writing the songs and playing together. To say one is better or more important is impossible to me.

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: J.J.Flash ()
Date: March 2, 2008 05:45

Queenie- gobbing is spitting(with your mouth)

wanking is jerking off.

Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: little queenie ()
Date: March 2, 2008 06:17

thanks jjflash - barking paul clued me in on that. gob the walls, paint the walls - it all sounds the same to me.


Re: "Keith needs Mick to stay cool " Daily Telegraph 1/3/08
Posted by: sweetcharmedlife ()
Date: March 2, 2008 06:22

Quote
little queenie
thanks jjflash - barking paul clued me in on that. gob the walls, paint the walls - it all sounds the same to me.


Yeah,I think it all pretty much comes down to bodily fluids LQ.tongue sticking out smiley



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