Well, the Grammys have come and gone, and the broadcast did good numbers. Best in ten years, I hear. I watched the first hour, taped the rest, and I'd have to agree that, on reflection, the musical performances represented the best we have these days. Bruno Mars and his crew were wonderful, I liked the tribute to Aretha (though I missed Annie Lennox in the vocal line-up), the Queen of Soul looked good in her taped message, lots of good r 'n' b stuff throughout.
Mick's one of the quintessential rock stars. He and the Stones crew were early inventors of the art. No collarless jackets and cute hair for the Stones - rebellion to the core. But as carefully created and choreographed as the Beatles. At the helm, one of the savviest businessmen you could ever hope to meet, Michael Philip Jagger, with co-conspirators Keith Richards and Andrew Loog-Oldham. Although Mick is famously quoted as once remarking back in the 60s that he wouldn't want to be "doing this" at age 65, he has obviously changed his mind, and continues to perform at break-neck speed and with enviable agility despite the encroaching years, which seem to sit lightly on his small frame.
For some years during the 60s, I kept encountering Mick through no particular design or desire. I like a lot of the Stones music, particularly the early work that included Brian Jones. I'm also from the same neighborhood - south-east England. But I wouldn't call myself a Stones fan in the strict sense of the word. But for some reason, Mick Jagger seemed to be underfoot in my life.
For example, a short story here:
It's 1965, and I'm standing outside this block of flats somewhere in London, while a friend goes inside to do some business with one of the residents. "Won't be long," says friend, "and he's paranoid," referring to whoever it was he was going to see. So there I was, trying to look like I had a purpose of some kind, rather than loitering aimlessly about on a street corner.
Two minutes after that, I look across the street, and here comes this small guy in an expensive fur parka. I didn't recognize him. Nice jacket though.
He walks by me and begins to head down the stairs of the basement flat. Well, at least here's someone to talk to, so, "She's gone out." "Oh?" says fur parka, pausing on the top step. "Left a couple of minutes ago." Awkward silence while he absorbs this information - doesn't seem too happy. "If she comes back, can you tell her Mick came by?" "Okay. I won't be here much longer though. Just waiting for a friend." " Okay. Thanks." And off he goes, back the way he came.
I wonder if I should leave a note for her just to pass the time, but at this point my friend emerges from the building, and we leave. I mention the little encounter, and he tells me that Chrissie Shrimpton lives in the basement flat. Chrissie, younger sister of supermodel Jean Shrimpton, is Mick's current girlfriend. I realize that I'd just had another random encounter with Mick Jagger.
There'd been a couple prior to this meeting, and more were to come in the days ahead. We'll get to all that.
But now I want to take a moment to congratulate Mick on one of his best performances, in memory of the wonderful Solomon Burke who passed away last year. Solomon's music was a great influence on the Stones, and he would have been so proud.