This week, I like the Rolling Stones. I’ve always liked their music but I recently finished reading an unauthorized autobiography of Mick Jagger and it made me realize their significance as a band. The Rolling Stones basically started as a group of teenagers that plucked and strummed on guitars while accompanied by a prancing, attention-craving lead “singer”. Half-hearted practice sessions and performances were confined to the living room of the band members' parents before enough courage was mustered for an open-mic night at a local pub. The next thing you know, the band produces a likeable single, then tours the UK and other European countries before taking the United States by the throat.
The Rolling Stones are approaching their 50th year. Mick Jagger is only one year older than my dad. I’ll be reading more books about the Stones to help me perceive just how this band of essentially non-musicians came from nowhere (without the Internet!) and lasted for so long. Now, the musical abilities of Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman (original Stones) all improved vastly over time but the act would have never worked without the showmanship of Mick Jagger. Mick's stage presence "covered" for the band's lacking play. Mick was always an entertainer and it is interesting to note that, yeah – they all tried their own thing at one time or another. But they all enjoyed their highest level of success together. And what a ride along the way! I can’t wait to read more stories! Here’s a clip of the Stones listening to “Wild Horses” just after it was recorded.
The Stones pioneered the concept of a music video way before MTV came along (not sure where the videos were shown though…). They crafted and scratched their way through a variety of music genres and always came out on top. Most importantly, they always gave 100% on stage. Here’s a clip of Keith Richards defending his territory MID-SONG against a crazed fan. Keith takes care of business during a performance of "Satisfaction" and picks up right where he left off!
This week, I love tomatoes. Especially tomatoes grown in Alabama’s Black Belt region (see: Camden, Wilcox County). Julie and I were fortunate enough to receive some samplings from my parent’s garden, which included LOTS of tomatoes. I can’t begin to describe the sweetness and taste. Fun fact: my wife puts PEPPER on her tomatoes! GROSS! Only a heavy dose of sodium for me, thank you.
This week, I don’t like Chris Berman. I intended to mention my disdain for Berman a few weeks ago when he single-handedly ruined ESPN’s coverage of the first two rounds of the US Open. This week, he made the MLB Home Run Derby miserable for millions of Americans. Many people share the same opinion of Berman. And many people are much more vocal about their feelings. One of the world’s biggest mysteries is Chris Berman and his unfathomable ability to stay employed. This guy is bad. He is the exact opposite of the poise and stature that you expect from a golf broadcaster, his trademark baseball slogans are a 1.5 decades out of style and the meaning of the nicknames he gives to unfortunate football players often reference a person, place or thing that viewers today have no knowledge of. But Berman has been with ESPN since day 1, I think. That’s impressive but it shouldn’t override the fact that he is so reviled. The stories of Berman’s elitist attitude are too shocking to ignore, which only adds to the number of people attempting to comprehend his continued employment. For a clip of Berman in all his glory, click here - but be warned that it contains some comments that can’t be taken backbackbackbackbackback.