One of the topics I've enjoyed regaling about lately concerns the life view that "retirement" is not in everyone's vocabulary. Fortunately, The Rolling Stones have had the last laugh on this subject.
Thirty years ago, critics predicted they would retire. They didn't. In the 1990's--again--rumors of retirement persisted, and were just as quickly doused. Yet, it is easy to forget that this band was also at the center of what is known as the "British Invasion", hot on the heels of The Beatles' 1964 visit to New York City. Consider that The Beatles arrived in February, and The Rolling Stones followed in June of that year. Pictured in their 1964 lineup above, Brian Jones (left) passed away tragically, and bassist Bill Wyman (third from the left) is currently retired. An amazing five-decades later, the band is touring sold out Latin America stadiums through the end of March. However, if history is any indication, I fully expect that more dates will be added.
During their first U.S. tour, the band played to small audiences in the eight cities. Today, their recordings, including "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street" are classics. Their tour includes a fleet of tractor trailer trucks required to transport complicated and expansive stage, sound and lighting equipment (with pyrotechnics). The indefatigable front man, Mick Jagger is still a torrent of hyper kinetic energy with guitarist Keith Richards and Charlie Watts--each of the original 1962 ensemble that began in London. Guitarist Ron Wood joined the Stones long ago from Rod Stewart's band, Faces, and additional musical support has made this band an unstoppable force.
With performances scheduled in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio De Janeiro, São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Lima, Bogotá, and México City, the one word answer to The Stone's retiring is "Never", and I admire that. They still have the chops, and the shows remain high octane and a cause for celebration!