can’t abide the Rolling Stones.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on this lately – the recent release of an extended Some Girls boxed set with outtakes, extras, blah blah blah has led my pal the JuvJestSharplerofoon to pass around some tunes, and to relive with friends his admiration for that record.
Although that record sealed the deal for my turn against the Stones, and is an excellent exhibit in my case against the transgressor in the bunch, it certainly wasn’t the start of what turns me off.
Mick Jagger is what turns me off.
|Oooooh, Bay-Bee. . . .|
And as I’ve listened, I can be more specific: the absence of any genuine, sincere emotional delivery, and the constant presence of obvious, exaggerated affectation is what doesn’t work for me.
Whether it’s the overblown, garish, caricatured US Southern accents, the faux-bluesman inflections, or the exaggerated “Mick-isms,” they all turn me off. And that’s my big gripe with the band.
It isn’t just that things are exaggerated – that’s not necessarily a crime. But I hear the exaggeration as being in lieu of real emotion or even feigned sincerity. I can never be sure when a singer is sincere, but I can be sure when there’s no demonstrable emotion or sincerity. And that’s Jagger.
This is a constant in my aesthetic judgments: I like actors giving me an Uta-Hagen-like presentational performance (and I know that Hagen reverses those terms from Stanislavski and some of her peers in the teaching profession. “Realistic” v. “Formalistic” might be more useful. So: think Gene Hackman in Unforgiven as Presentational [Good!], and Carol Burnett show skits as Representational [are you kidding me?]), and I like singers doing the same thing.
Mick Jagger: The Harvey Korman of Rock.
Vocal tics and quirks are also not disqualifiers from Mule-Appreciation. But they have to be something in search of sincerity and emotion, and not substituting for it.
I listen to the Stones in Brussels on a live album [The Brussels Affair] that they cleaned up for release, but did not release. Somehow, Google music got the rights to release it temporarily, and I snagged it.
Jagger runs roughshod over an otherwise, tight, cranked-up band. He gives “style” a bad name.
I hate that fucking fucker.
I sense a theme this week. . . .
*PS Yes, I know it's unfair to run a clip from "Blazing Saddles" and decry somebody's realism in performance. But I found this scene to be the closest Korman ever came to being "in the moment" and meaning what he said.
And yes, I kinda like Korman. Whereas I'd string Jagger up if I could.