Changing Music, Changing Times

This article is more than 15 years old.

Maybe there's another rock and roll band out there that has been playing as long as the Super Bowl has been playing...but maybe not.

In fact, The Rolling Stones are several years older than the Super Bowl, which began in 1967, which suggests that if there were any justice, the Super Bowl would be played during the intermission of a Rolling Stones concert, rather than the other way around.

The Rolling Stones released their first album in 1964. By 1967, one of the Stones was already in re-hab, and the group had performed before 14,000 fans in Vienna at an indoor show that featured a smoke bomb, a riot, and one hundred and fifty arrests.

Which kind of makes you wonder if the people booking the halftime acts for the Super Bowl have done their homework. Gee, they thought it was a big deal Super Bowl before last when some of Janet Jackson's clothes fell off. I wonder what they'd make of Altamont, the 1969 free concert where the Stones and The Grateful Dead hired the Hell's Angels to guard the stage, and one Stones fan ended up dead?

Times change. Now the Stones are a corporate entity, like the occasion at which they'll be entertaining more just a band than the Super Bowl is just a football game. Today, the idea that decisions regarding security would be left up to the performers is as silly as the possibility that actual members of the general public might be able to afford to attend the Super Bowl. In '69, the greatest security concerns were drunk drivers, adulterated drugs, and the aforementioned pool cue and knife-wielding Hell's Angels. At Super Bowl XL...well, the grim gentlemen with the plugs in their ears will be on the lookout for threats Mick and the lads couldn't have imagined when they were singing "Suzy Q" and "King Bee."

Of the opportunity to entertain at the Super Bowl, the Stones have allegedly said, "we are thrilled to perform for millions of fans at one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year." But you know it's a gag, right? At least if you go back far enough with them. Mick and Keith and Charlie didn't come up with that mouthful of mush with a straight face...had to be written by an under assistant west coast promo man, circa 1965, don't you think? they're very, very sharp.

This program aired on December 3, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.