Jagger is older than I am, but not by a lot. There's no getting around it. I've been around for more than a few years. To give you an idea of how long, let's just say I've been listening to the Rolling Stones since the Rolling Stones have been the Rolling Stones. That's a long time.
Michael Phillip Jagger was born during World War II, on July 26, 1943, in Dartford, England. I was born after World War II, but not many years after. I am a baby boomer, after all, and I have rocked to the Stones for the majority of my years on Earth.
Jagger attended the London School of Economics, but left so that he and Keith Richards could start up a band and go on to make rock 'n' roll history. Imagine if Jagger had gone on to become an economist. That thought alone evokes a bit of whimsy in my head. I shake my noggin and whisk away such crazy visions and then grin, knowing that Jagger and the boys did get together and did go on to produce the rockin' music that makes up so much of the musical memories in the minds of America's boomers.
Sure, there were the Beatles and the Beach Boys and the Motown artists and the Stax stable and Fleetwood Mac and more. However, the Rolling Stones are still around, and those old farts are still rocking it!
The debate over the best rock 'n' roll band of all time will probably go on forever. But for genuine rock 'n' roll – that raw, gritty, bluesy, pounding stuff of real rock – it's hard to pick a better band than the Stones. Add the band's resiliency and longevity to that mix. The Stones stand alone.
Longevity is the astonishing thing. I keep thinking back to the years that have gone by. Where did they go? I keep thinking I'm still young, until I look into the mirror. Yikes! What happened? Seems like yesterday I was in high school, listening to Jagger and the boys sing "Heart of Stone." We rocked to "Satisfaction" when I was a college freshman. "Gimme Shelter" reminds me of the Vietnam War.
I'm no longer young, but I like to think I'm still going strong. Jagger, of course, is still going strong.
Happy birthday, Mick! You're 70! And I'm not far behind you, man!