Instant Messages


January 26, 2006


Reviewing the Rolling Stones' Monday concert at the United Center, pop music critic Jim DeRogatis suggested that instead of seeing a perfunctory greatest-hits set, fans would be better off spending their money on a weekend vacation to Las Vegas:


Did we see the same show? I am 42 years old and have seen the Stones at least 15 times, and I attended the show with my 52-year-old brother and a few of his friends. We all walked out very impressed. Did you not see the version of "All Down the Line" or "Paint It Black"? Ronnie Wood nailed those two. Even Keith [Richards] nailed "Happy." I must admit I have seen better versions of "Jumping Jack Flash," but then they came back with a nice version of "Let's Spend the Night Together." And their set on the B stage was one for the ages.


You're both right and wrong about the Stones. I didn't go to these shows because it's way too much money, and I don't want to hear a greatest-hits show. I love hearing the classics mixed in with the lesser-known brilliant songs. However, not all of the people who went were wealthy stockbrokers; some were working people who paid all this money to hear the greatest hits, and if it gives them some nourishment while disappointing you and me, so what?


Thank you for today's review. As a casual fan, I might never have known how crappy it was! I am 50 years old with a 15-year-old son that I am excited to say enjoys classic rock. It was an exciting feeling to share a bit of history with him. Those leaving disappointed were a small minority. I understand and appreciate your take on the concert, but the music was only a part of the story.


I am a devout, longtime, 40-year-old Stones fan, and I want to thank you. Finally, somebody has the nerve to call the Stones on the carpet. The last several tours (and albums) have been strictly funding vehicles for the Rolling Stones Pension Fund. ... Great material I welcome anytime; just don't ask me to pay through the nose to listen to the same old regurgitated stuff. Halftime at the Super Bowl? I'll be in the chow line.


I'm an architect, and I know how frustrating it is to see the masses flock to an uncreative, mass-marketed, uninspired product. But I also realize that when people buy a Frank Lloyd Wright home, they want ... all the hallmarks of Wright's style. ... What you have to keep in mind is that the vast majority of us do not eat, drink, live and breathe music. We love it, ... but we can only indulge in it live occasionally. Panning the Rolling Stones for putting on a fantastic show simply because you personally have seen it before is ridiculous.


Perhaps you should have gone to Vegas instead and enjoyed one of those timeless treasures that you referred to, namely Celine Dion and Elton John. After 35 years of playing bass guitar professionally with the likes of Bo Diddley, Lefty Dizz, Buddy Guy and some of the other blues and rock treasures that this city and the world have embraced, I have a slight knowledge of the creative process that goes into playing a show. Each individual note or riff that makes up the soul of the Rolling Stones to create the "gumbo" that you refer to as "a nostalgia act" came from their love and dedication to the unsung heroes of the Delta blues, the Chicago electric blues and the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll. Gee, what a shame that B.B. King still plays "The Thrill Is Gone." Imagine that! I bet if Muddy Waters were still breathing, he'd play "Mannish Boy." What a drag!


I can relate to where you're coming from. I attended only one Stones show in my life, and it was at the Aragon back in 2002. It was THE best concert I've ever been to. Mick Jagger and Bono (albeit briefly) onstage at the same time? Rock 'n' roll heaven! I was so pumped when I left that show I wanted to see them again right away, but I stopped myself for two reasons: One, I couldn't afford a second mortgage, and two, the Aragon show was so good I didn't want to take a chance and have them put on a show like you say they did last night. It would be like seeing the Bears in New Orleans in Super Bowl XX and then going to a preseason game the following year expecting the same magic.


The Rolling Stones were fantastic Monday night. You are a person of no class, and you have no idea what a great concert is. Everyone in the United Center was in concert heaven! Your opinion means nothing. You are either jealous of the band or you're just plain insane.