The kids are all right - Dad just phoned home on his mobile
Thursday 13 July 1995
Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie (them what's left of the original band to play on the current Voodoo Lounge tour) have become the greatest of all all-round family entertainers. "It's only rock'n'roll," bawls the future Sir Michael Jagger from the stage in faux-cockney-meets-Memphis Tennessee, "but I like it," - at which a grizzled dad alongside me at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night draws out his mobile phone and calls home to see if the kids are all right. Mick - pop star as family man - would understand all that stuff about babysitters, nannies and trust funds.
It isn't hard to tell apart the parents (sporting vintage-Stones T-shirts listing gigs they've rocked to from Hammersmith to Hanoi) from the kids who have escaped bed and are grooving to songs first performed when mum and dad were at primary school - make that prep school.
The couple in front of me neither rock, shimmy, shake nor even tap their toes; nor do they applaud a most under-worldly "Sympathy for the Devil". Stiff as a ramrod, the wife brays above the roar of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (he's a gas, gas, gas), "Catriona is expecting us for supper at nine sharpish tomorrow, yah?" "Yah," replies her lantern-jawed hubbie.
The vast crowd might look superficially American (Midland, Texas-kind of American), but beneath the T-shirts and baseball caps it's doggedly English, whatever the age, income and social strata. The fiftysomethings on stage have had to work hard to get us thirty and fortysomethings off the phone, away from work, prepared to give up the supper party-babysitter talk and to wiggle (just a little) in time to the 4:4 beat.
I first saw the Stones as a child in a raw, smoky club when they seemed as mean as the Sex Pistols did in '76. I saw them again in Hyde Park (still as a kid), when they were in their dresses'n'psychedelia mood (redeemed by "At Her Satanic Majesty's Request"). I caught them in 1982, when they were slick and simmering but a little off the boil. On Tuesday, in the vastness of Wembley Stadium, they proved (with a little help from a phantasmagorical stage set, magical lighting and a superb video system that could take you right up on stage with Mick, facing the audience) that they could easily kick Blur and the rest into touch.
Jagger's age-defying performance and the fact that nearly everyone can singalonga-Mick (these are the pop anthems of the past 30 years) couldn't fail to get the audience to its feet, even if at least half of them were worrying about the time of the last train home. The joint finally jumped and, a day later, the audience is probably proudly, gingerly, feeling its aches and pains.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...