Fausta's blog

Faustam fortuna adiuvat
The official blog of Fausta's Blog Talk Radio show.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shine a Light on a lot of water under the bridge

It's a quiet Sunday afternoon and the rest of the family is otherwise occupied, it's cloudy, and Shine A Light is playing downtown.

What best way to get away from blogging about politics and news?

So I put on some red shoes (not these, but a different pair - a woman can never have enough red shoes), drive downtown and lo and behold, there is a parking space exactly in front of the movie theater.

Encouraged, actually cheered, by this fortuitous event, I buy myself a ticket, and walk in. Take a look around, and stop dead in my heels:

I am the youngest person in the audience.

By now it's starting to feel like something out of Candid Camera, another diversion from the olden days.

The movie starts with Martin Scorsese discussing what/how was going to be played and filmed. Little did I know that the concert being filmed actually was a fundraiser for the Clinton Foundation.

Dang. Was part of the ticket price going towards the Clintons? What does a woman have to do in this town to get away from politics?!

So the movie goes:
Bill, Hillary and Hillary's mom (Chelsea's obviously too young for the Stones) all were there. Bill aw-chucked his way in front of the audience for what felt like hours. At this point I was starting to click the heels of my red shoes and mutter "there's no place like home". Fortunately Bill was done before the third "there's no place..." and the concert started.

The first song (Jumpin' Jack Flash) sounded a little off tempo, but it didn't take long for the old lads to regain their stride.

Peppered throughout the film you'll find brief interview clips of Mick, Charlie and Keith in their fresh-faced tweed and Oxford shirt days, their lipstick and eye shadow days, their Super Fly shearling vest days, and then also clips of Ron Wood in more recent days.

Brian Jones's death is not mentioned at all. Bill Wyman is not mentioned.

The movie was filmed on location at the Beacon Theater in New York, and the film is almost-totally a happy concert movie, unlike the much more appalling Gimme Shelter of 1970, where a member of the audience was murdered. It is a sign of the times that The Rolling Stones have become respectable and safe enough for politicians to use them for fundraisers.

Scorcese fans should also be warned that this is not his much more superior film The Last Waltz.

A few observations:
Those of us who wonder how Keith Richards is still alive will continue to wonder, as there were times during the concert when he looked like he was about to drop off permanently.

The movie theater was not an Imax theater but their stereo system had good enough bass that the cupholders vibrated frequently. The (old) gentleman sitting next to me actually picked up his phone (which he had placed in one of the cupholders) thinking it was a call.

Mick is still bouncy. Little did Mrs Jagger know her bouncing baby boy would remain so for seven decades.

Charlie Watts had to be/may still be the least stoned of the Stones, as he has to keep the tempo.

Buddy Guy was the most electrifying performer of the concert. He stole the song Champagne and Reefer right out from under Mick.

Keith Richards does sound like he's impersonating Captain Jack Sparrow.

The Stones' visage is best described as gargoylesque, but only if you're being kind. When you burn the candle at both ends, it shows.

Bassist Darryl Jones is the unsung hero of the band, as his name is only mentioned once. I get the impression that, in addition to the music, at times he's also in charge of keeping Keith Richards focused.

Keith's arms show the ravages of severe drug use.

Ron Wood's best moment as a regular guy: greeting Hillary's mom.

Mick probably weighs 130 lbs. He has a dental bridge.

The camera men, cinematographers, and the film and sound editors should get Oscars for their seamless work.

Forty-three years, and millions of dollars, records sold, and miles travelled later and Mick still can get no satisfaction. Makes you chuckle just to think of it.

The film is dedicated to Ahmet Ertegun, who, according to Variety, at 83, took a bad fall at the recorded concert and died shortly thereafter.

Maybe John McCain should hire Scorcese to film a David Gilmour concert.

The first song I learned in English which was not a school song, As Tears Go By, made me realize how much water under the bridge had passed since I was in school in Puerto Rico, Mick was regarded as an obnoxious brat by the establishment, and how much our hopes and dreams remain the same over time. Prior Shine A Light, it had been decades since I last heard him sing it. It was a "were we ever that young?" moment.
Here's a YouTube, from Mick's tweed and Oxford shirt days (1965) along with a nearly-unrecognizable Keith Richards:


(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch
As tears go by

My riches can't buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doin' things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by
Official Shine a Light website.
Official trailer:


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At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

They may look like hell, but they can still rock.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Fausta said...

That they do, Jim!

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Don't feel too bad as I went to see one of my favorite bands at a promotional event, The Hives, and the lead singer saw me and asked on the microphone was I there to pick up my granddaughter. Ouch!

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Fausta said...

Oh, Pat! I would have run to the beauty parlor and perhaps the plastic surgeon after that!

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Gringo said...

I was at the Stone's Altamont concert when the Hell's Angels murdered a concertgoer(s). I have gone on to other types of music.

Nonetheless, "As Tears Goes By" has a deep resonance in my past. For all their rocking songs, the Stones wrote a couple of rather soulful tunes, such as "As Tears Go By" and "Dead Flowers", here done by Townes Van Zandt.


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