Written when the band had just released their “Between The Buttons” album – curiously enough, this album was released in two different versions – the US edition including “Let`s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday” – two great songs that never appeared on a studio album in the UK, but later was added on a lot of compilation albums. In the UK, singles were often excluded from studio albums.
Our fans have moved on with us – Brian Jones
Keith Altham considers the unique phenomenon – the Rolling Stones` image
Let us consider that unique phenomenon – the Rolling Stones` public image! When the Stones began rolling approximately three years ago they founded their personal approach upon a direct appeal to young peoples` impatience with authority and the basic premise that no one likes to be told what to do — especially a teenager. The Stones became “the defiant ones” – representatives of the eternal struggle between youth and the aged; champions of the “it`s my life and I’ll do what I like with it” school.
The parents spotted the declaration of war upon their authority and rejected the Stones — the Stones promptly rejected the parents.
Today there exists a huge social barrier between the older generation and the Stones — a barrier which some critics argue must be broken if the group are to “appeal to a wider market” and make the transition like the Beatles into films.
Since their early days the group has progressed immeasurably both musically and lyrically — take a good listen to “Ruby Tuesday” — and Jagger, with the exception of that recent abortive presentation on the Palladium TV, is without equal on stage as an agitator and interpreter of musical excitement.
Any improvement in the group as entertainers has been largely over-shadowed by the regular bursts of shock publicity and personal life exposés in a National Press apparently as dedicated to a policy of “with the Rolling Stones only bad news is good news” as the group themselves are to their uncompromising attitudes and opinions.
I took up the subject with Brian Jones in a bar off Kensington High Street last Monday, where he supped a pint of Guinness and flicked fag ash into his untouched oxtail soup at irregular intervals.
“Why should we have to compromise with our image?” posed Brian. “You don’t simply give up all you have ever believed in because you’ve reached a certain age.
“Our generation is growing up with us and they believe in the same things we do — when our fans get older I hope they won’t require a show like the Palladium.
“The recent pictures of me taken in Nazi uniform were a put-down. Really, I mean with all that long hair in a Nazi uniform, couldn’t people see that it was a satirical thing? How can anyone be offended when I’m on their side? I’m not a Nazi sympathiser.
“I noticed that the week after the pictures of me taken in that uniform appeared there were photographs of Peter O’Toole in the same newspaper wearing a German uniform for a film he is making. But no one put him down for wearing that!
“The photographs taken of my flat in a terrible mess recently was another misrepresentation. An Italian film company was filming in the room and we pushed everything into one corner to make room for the camera crew. We were not even aware of the photographs that were being taken were for publication in a paper here.
“You’ve seen my flat — I don’t live in that kind of mess normally. I’ve complained to the Press Council about the whole episode.”
At this point enter Mr. Keith Richard in his maroon leather jacket, University of Hawaii T shirt and orange neckerchief, full of apologies for being late as he had forgotten it was his chauffeur’s day off. How does he see the possibility of coming to terms with the older generation as the Beatles appear to have done?
“You can’t suddenly become accepted overnight by cutting your hair, putting on a suit and saying ‘Look, aren’t I nice? ‘—it’s not us—it’s not honest, and why should we?” asked Keith.
“We haven’t got the same PR set up as the Beatles,” added Brian. “Anyway, I think you must realise that certain of the Beatles share a great many of our ideas and opinions.”
We moved on to just who exactly are the Stones fans now. Brian obliged by describing one who had ‘passed on.’
“‘Margaret Stokes’ was a Stones fan three years ago but she ‘copped’ out,” he said. “Now she’s probably married with a kid and another on the way. She and her husband go to the same pubs as her parents and they are both bored with life. If she goes to see a pop group at all she’ll go and see Dave Dozy and Speakeasy!
“Sometimes we get the old characters like the one we met in a country club over the weekend. He came up to us and said he was a fan and that he’d been in the business 40 years and prophesied that we’d be all right ‘as long as you keep yer ‘armonies!’
“Our real followers have moved on with us — some of those we like most are the hippies in New York, but nearly all of them think like us and are questioning some of the basic immoralities which are tolerated in present day society — the war in Vietnam, persecution of homosexuals, illegality of abortion, drug taking. All these things are immoral. We are making our own statement — others are making more intellectual ones.
“Our friends are questioning the wisdom of an almost blind acceptance of religion compared with total disregard for reports related to things like unidentified flying objects which seems more real to me. Conversely I don’t underestimate the power or influence of those, unlike me, who do believe in God.
“We believe there can be no evolutioh without revolution. I realise there are other inequalities — the ratio between affluence and reward for work done is all wrong. I know I earn too much but I’m still young and there’s something spiteful inside me which makes me want to hold on to what I’ve got.
“I believe we are moving toward a new age in ideas and events. Astrologically we are at the end of the age called the Pisces age — at the beginning of which people like Christ were born.
“We are soon to begin the age of Aquarius, in which events as important as those at the beginning of Pisces are likely to occur. There is a young revolution in thought and manner about to take place.”
Returning the conversation to any kind of level related to pop music proved difficult and a chance remark of mine as to Gene Pitney`s marriage brought the retort, from Brian:
“You`ve been trying to reduce the conversation to that level all afternoon!”
However we did manage to ascertain what they thought of Max Bygraves` action on the Palladium last week when he produced a can of areosol and sprayed the stage on mentioning the Rolling Stones by name.
“Brilliant,” said Keith sarcastically, “I mean all that and ‘Tulips From Amsterdam,’ too!”
“Did he do it without wearing a wig,” retorted Brian, “I mean that’s a bit avant garde for Max Bygraves — putting down the Stones without wearing a wig!”
We stepped over Max Bygraves and conversationally circumnavigated the death of President Kennedy — something else that Mr. Jones has very definite opinions about — and cares about almost obsessively. A neat swerve in discussion bought us to what if anything or anyone is following the Rolling Stones.
“I’d like to see the Move,” said Brian. “They are really an extension of our idea of smashing conventions. Those kind of smash ups they have — destroying TV sets, cars, etc., are all a part of dissatisfaction with convention.
“Pete Townshend’s tendency to smash guitars is a physical reproduction of what is going on in his mind — I wish he’d write a book!”
A somewhat disturbing interview was rounded off by Brian insisting that the Muzak version of Ravel’s Bolero was turned up over our heads — ” it builds to a great climax ” — and we finally left the restaurant — Mr. Jones in his Rolls — Mr. Richard in his girl friend’s dirty red sports car, and me by cab.
Nothing it seems is going to change the Rolling Stones — except perhaps old age!