Friday, June 7, 2013


Without question the hottest ticket in town this past week was The Rolling Stones at The United Center.  Their "50 And Counting" Tour rolled into Chicago for three sold-out shows ... and our FH Buddy Chet Coppock (who has seen The Stones in each of the past six decades ... an incredible 17 shows in all!!!) has given us an EXCLUSIVE Forgotten Hits Review of the show ... as only Chet Coppock can!  


Okay, let's cut to the chase. Will the Rolling Stones tour again? 

Absolutely. Hey, when a band goes on 55 minutes late as was the case with the Stones Monday at the United Center, it tells me that the band (i.e. Mick Jagger) has no interest in a rocking chair until every last ounce of merchandise has been moved. Now, and maybe for eternity. 

You can't help but see the Stones at my age (65, if you're scoring at home) and not have a bushel basket of memories. I vividly recall Dean Martin dissing the band on Hollywood Palace when the group was first achieving its niche. Martin's jabs told every 16 year old in America " You gotta love these guys because your parents think they're on a mission from the Soviet Union."  

I recall hanging with the group for about five minutes in General Manager Larry Cane's office at the long gone International Amphitheater back in '73. The Stones, no kidding, were using Larry's office as their dressing room.  

Anyway, I've already come up  with my AARP-Rolling Stones schedule for the next three years. Trust me, glitter gulch would go nuts over this. I strongly advise that the Stones and their slashing, prolific, 72 year old drummer Charlie Watts become the house band at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Play 30 dates a year - three sets of 10. You think the Stones wouldn’t attract gamblers?  

So, let me toss you a changeup. Instead of doing a "traditional" review, let me change gears. I'm going to interview myself about the concert.  

Q: Okay, Coppock, what really knocked you out?   

A: The Band clearly slowed its tempo on a number of songs.  This gave Mick more room to roam and left you feeling comfortable that "Paint It Black", "Gimme Shelter" and "Jumpin" Jack Flash" really aren't the same song.  

Q: Did anything leave you unhappy?  

A: Damn right. Keith Richards is still a magnificent rhythm guitarist, and his polished white grin told you he was clearly enjoying the moment. But the simple fact is, Keith has lost the body language that made him such an engaging performer to watch.    

Q: So what's the big deal?   

A: The changing of the guard. Ronnie Wood has waited 35 years to be the group's guitar hero. His time is now.  
Q: Give me a moment you'd like to freeze in time?   

A: Easy ... Mick Taylor, the former Stones' guitarist, jamming the hell out of "Midnight Rambler." It didn’t take binoculars to realize that Woodie and Keith were blown away by the work that Mick did.   
Editor's note:  By law, all Rolling Stones are required to weigh under 132 pounds. Not Mick T. He's got to be toting around 250 pounds of horsemeat pie.   

Q: What the hell was Taylor Swift doing on stage?  

A: Allowing the assembled throng a bathroom break. Taylor swung and missed on her duet with Mick on "As Tears Go By." She was simply in over her head.  

Q: What was the biggest set list surprise?  

A: I went nuts over "Sway" from "Sticky Fingers." I've seen the Stones 17 times and never heard them do that remarkably brilliant song.  

Q: Who were the all underrated players?  

A: Bass player Darryl Jones has now been with the group for 20 years - the post Bill Wyman years. Darryl slaps the bass as if he's determined to either bust the strings or his index fingers. Never underestimate what horn player, Bobby Keys, the pride and joy of Slaton, Texas brings to the table.   

Q: Was the show visually inspiring?   

A: Yes, if only for the extended montage of old time blues and rock artists who clearly inspired Jagger to ditch accounting in favor of covering songs by Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.   

Q: What about Jagger's voice?  

A: Best I've heard since "Steel Wheels" and that was 25 years ago. His falsetto on "Emotional Rescue" gave me goose bumps.  

Did I mention that the opening riff "Get Off My Cloud" had me thinking disaster? It wasn't. The song set a wonderful tone for an evening to remember.   

Q:  When did Mick reach his apex?   

A:  His energy on "Start Me Up" was a complete show stopper.    

The Coppock Scorecard:   
Rolling Stones - 4.5 of a possible 5 stars. 
It would have jumped to five if the group had done "Bitch" and "Hands of Fate."   

Over and out.   

Gives whole new meaning to "50 And Counting", doesn't it?  Will The Stones tour again?  One never knows for sure.  Who EVER thought they'd still be out there doing it now?  Sounds like one hell of a show.
Thanks, Chet!  (kk)