In some respects, I agree with this guy; in others, I think he's an idiot, but that's just MHO. From the NY Times: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ September 1, 2002 Rockin' to the Stones? Yeah, in Chairs By NEAL POLLACK IN late fall of 1989, my friend Marc and I took the least rock 'n' roll road trip imaginable. We drove from our dorm, in the suburbs of Chicago, to his parents' house in Indianapolis, because we had tickets to see the Rolling Stones. The drive was flat, ugly and uneventful. We didn't smoke a joint, drink a beer or crank up the stereo. We were more like a couple of retirees going to the reservation casino to play slots than two 19-year-olds on a rock pilgrimage. The show was in a nondescript indoor sports arena. We'd spent 25 bucks each on pretty good seats, something like 10th row, just to the right of the stage. Man, were we excited! We were about to see the legendary Rolling Stones, the greatest rock band of all time. The lights went out. We heard the distinct hiss of smoke pots, and then a pop. Fire spurted on either side of the stage. The lights blew on in full glare, and there he was. Mick Jagger! In spangled pants! Singing! Look, there was Keith Richards, playing guitar! And the other guys! For two minutes, I found myself thoroughly entertained. For 10 minutes, I was at least amused. But my heart gradually chilled as I realized what I had really paid for — a two-hour set of golden oldies, accompanied by flaccid pyrotechnics. The Stones trudged mechanically through the horrible songs from their horrible "Steel Wheels" album. They played their greatest hits, just like on the radio, only with worse backup singers. I stopped cheering. Then I stopped applauding. I didn't say it that night, but I knew the hard truth. The Stones were boring. By the time the show was over, I wasn't a Rolling Stones fan anymore. Now, as the Stones launch yet another culturally irrelevant North American tour on Tuesday at the Fleet Center in Boston, which, like their previous five tours, is certain to be their last, I still want to smack myself for having been so lame. In the late 80's, Public Enemy, Sonic Youth, R.E.M., the Replacements, Husker Du and many other more obscure bands were going full strength. Guns 'n' Roses, the true Rolling Stones of their era in terms of attitude and showy stage presence, released "Appetite for Destruction." Indie music in cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles still meant something more than a fashion pose. It was right there for me, if I'd only paid attention. So how could I have possibly thought that seeing the Rolling Stones in Indianapolis would have anything to do with rock 'n' roll? Well, I'd been marketed to successfully. I grew up in the suburbs of Phoenix, the least rock 'n' roll place on earth, during the rise of "classic rock" radio, which poisoned my mind for almost a decade. There, in the desert, literal and cultural, I was the willing tool of every sleazy corporate programming executive told by the record megaliths to push Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, to play "Carry on My Wayward Son" and "Hot Blooded" during morning drive time. I heard so much bad music, but almost never got exposed to the actually good rock music that came out of the classic rock era — the Stooges, the Modern Lovers, the Velvet Underground, Big Star and, to use K-Tel parlance, many more. I'd been so thoroughly brainwashed that I thought Huey Lewis and the News had a hot sound. I bought the single of "Addicted to Love" and the Billy Joel live in the Soviet Union album. My taste in music was, frankly, pathetic. My only exposure to the Rolling Stones came when "Start Me Up" was played at junior-high dances. The first great album I heard was the Stones' "Let It Bleed," which had miraculously found its way into my parents' collection alongside the Beach Boys' "Surfin' U.S.A." and cast recordings of Broadway shows starring Carol Burnett. There was even a mint-condition poster of the band inside the jacket, which means my parents had rarely if ever listened to the record. But I did, often. The pops and skips of vinyl gave "Midnight Rambler" an extra layer of menace. "Love in Vain" sounded as if it'd been recorded by the devil under a bridge somewhere. The album was, and is, authentically weird. I'd never heard anything like it and didn't again until a friend made a tape of the Velvet Underground's 1968 "White Light/White Heat" for me a few years later. I spent the subsequent years listening to both volumes of "Hot Rocks," a Stones greatest-hits collection, more than any other album in my wimpy little collection. AFTER that Indy show in 1989, I listened to "Hot Rocks" a lot less often, and then not at all. I started working at the college radio station, albeit as a newscaster, and discovered rock records made by people who were actually younger than my parents. By 22, I was only modestly less of a music idiot (I skipped a small-venue Nirvana show because I had a paper due), but at least I'd seen the Pogues fronted by Shane McGowan and the Pixies before they broke up. I sold all my Stones albums to a used-record store for credit. They were worth nothing to me, because they'd outlived their usefulness. To someone my age who's seen or heard hundreds of more vital bands, the Stones are, or should be, distant popular history. They are a Vegas headliner show, not a rock outfit. In his book "Rock Til You Drop" (Verso Books, 2001), the definitive word on the senescent Stones, John Strausbaugh calls them "The Historical Reenactment of the Once-Great Rolling Stones." I would no sooner buy tickets to a community-theater production of "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," or an Andy Williams concert, than see the Stones again. Every time the Stones tour, someone publishes an essay begging them to stop, calling them on their dull new songs, mocking Sir Mick's withering frame and grotesque dance moves, but to what end? It's like accusing Ringling Brothers clowns of going through the motions. My very important opinion on this topic is not just generational animus. I'm no fan, particularly, of Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan, but at least their current music acknowledges and reflects the fact that they're not so young anymore. In the last five years, I've seen many musical acts of the Stones' generation or even older, including Johnny Cash, James Brown, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Solomon Burke and Aretha Franklin. Some of the performers seemed tired, while others put on inspirational shows that I'll always talk about. But I never left any of those concerts feeling empty or ripped off as I did when I saw the Stones. Earlier this year, I went to an Iggy Pop show in Philadelphia. Even though Iggy filled half the time with mediocre material off his new album, he still threw together one of the best rock concerts I've ever seen. He made Mick Jagger look like an animatronic dancing bear. And much of his audience was under 40. Iggy meant something to them, because he still rocks. Teenagers now, because of countless technological advances, have many opportunities to discover great music, both from the present and the past. But the Stones are going to get all kinds of corporate radio play with this latest "Licks" tour to promote the October release of "Forty Licks," a retrospective double album that includes a whopping four new songs. The tour will extend well into next year if you include the Asian and Australian dates. The air will be full of three-song Rolling Stones "rock blocks," and some stupid 15-year-old boy in some culturally cosseted upper-middle-class suburb somewhere will hear "Mother's Little Helper" for the first time and think the Stones are cool. He may even spend the 85 bucks or more they're asking for tickets. At those prices, with this musical product, the kid will get over the Rolling Stones, and fast. Neal Pollack is the author of ``The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature,'' a collection of satiric essays (Harper Perennial). His rock 'n' roll novel, ``Never Mind the Pollacks,'' will be published by HarperCollins in the fall of 2003.