Well, we should have seen this coming. Last night, the Rolling Stones -- THE Rolling Stones -- invited country girlie pop superstar Taylor Swift on stage to sing with them during their Chicago tour stop.
Just look at that picture. Looks like a snapshot from a Broadway stage show. Looks like they're singing "Satisfaction"--as interpreted by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
What could this mean other than the end of the end for rock's original rebel band?
Nothing against Taylor Swift, who can't be blamed for taking up such an offer. Good for her. But the Stones--this is really a sign that it's time for retirement. The last bit of edginess has been dulled out.
Admittedly, it must have been an enjoyable experience for Mick and Keith to share the stage with the young and gorgeous Swift. But what could be more odd for the boys who saw the world and wanted to "paint it black" than to go preening about on stage with the sunniest and brightest hero of pre-teen girls the world over? What could be a more unmistakable signal that they don't mean any of the words they're singing, or any of the notes they're playing?
It's starting to make sense now that the Stones had to slash ticket prices in order to fill up the stadiums on their current tour. It's starting to makes sense that earlier this year Chris Robinson, frontman of The Black Crowes, blasted Jagger for his lack of "sincerity" on stage, calling today's Stones concert goers "Rock 'n Roll tourists."
Enough with the back-slapping nostalgia tours, I guess, was Robinson's point. Better to let your legacy live on untarnished than to wear it out.
For mega stars like the Stones, having lived a lifetime under the spotlight, it must be hard to even notice when the seats start to empty and you're pushing 70 and you still feel like you're 19. It must be hard to let go.
Famously, Monet destroyed paintings he made in his latter years when he came to believe they didn't match up in quality to the work he did in his prime. On the other hand, I'd sure pay a lot for one of those destroyed paintings. I'd hang one in my living room, no doubt about it. Not so sure about the Stones though. Not sure what I would pay to see them now -- now that they don't seem to mean anything anymore.
Rock 'n Roll is like that. Music is like that. It's a moment, captured on tape, captured on stage. You can't go on singing the same songs forever, even as you couldn't go on painting the same picture forever. You have to move on, take it somewhere new, or else--retire.
We've all heard the old adage: It's better to go out on top.
Do you all agree? Should this be the Stones' final tour? Do they risk diminishing their prior achievements? Why or why not?