Thursday, March 3, 2011

It is the evening of the day (The Rolling Stones)

A recent Uncut magazine special edition concentrated on The Rolling Stones and it took me ages to read it. Mainly because it was packed with great articles and reviews of all The Rolling Stone's albums (studio, live and compilations). Along with old interviews that were a hoot to read. It was great.

I have all of The Rolling Stone albums post Beggars Banquet on vinyl or CD. But I've never had an urge to get the earlier albums. Having read the magazine now, I've been keen to find the early albums on CD. No luck in the UAE though. The closest I could get was a couple of American albums that compiled various Stones tracks. UK's Latest Hitmakers has the awesome Route 66 and Carol and Flowers is a plain weird bunch of songs. I also found a copy of Big Hits and High Tides which is worthwhile.

I was talking about this, for some reason, to my Egyptian translator that we have work in my school. He's a guy in his thirties with a young family. He knows vaguely of the Beatles but, quite incredibly, he has never heard of The Rolling Stones. Nor even of Mick Jagger!!

How is this possible? A band who have been around since the early sixties, you would think that over the decades their story and their music has touched everybody at some point. Well no - not in the arabic world.

A few teachers at school notice my Beatles ties and ask who the figures are on them. When I say 'Beatles' a dim recollection comes into their body language. Something registers but they couldn't name a song or an album or tell me the four names (trust me - I've checked). So if the Beatles are a dim recollection - nothing else has a prayer.

The western pop world goes on unnoticed by the vast majority. Given the spread of interweb gossip and the arabs love of new technology (phones, play station, ipods etc) many of the younger generations will be more familiar with western pop.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to play Get Off Of My Cloud really loud in the car to and from work.

Love and peace - Wozza

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