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History repeating

Mick Jagger Then and Now

Mick Jagger performing on May 31, 2013.

To see the before and after graphic of Mick Jagger, click here.

Just last week, I debated the virtues of sweating to the oldies with my friend Marianne. She’s in Seattle and began covering bands when I was still shoplifting Atari cartridges from the Chestnut Hill Mall.

She loves the Kinks, the Who, and the Stones but she doesn’t give geezers a nostalgia pass.

“When you charge people money to see you, you should offer good value,” she wrote me. “Being OK maybe sometimes and counting on sentimentality to fill your bank account seems so cynical to me.”

Fine, I countered, but isn’t there something about those great, emotional moments you only get from hearing an aging artist play now? I think of Brian Wilson, damaged and awkward, somehow hitting the high notes on “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder).”


But when it comes to the Stones, I’m with Marianne. I’ve already given, having seen them in 1989 and 2005.

I look at this image, of Mick in 1975 playing a gig at the Boston Garden, and I can only dream of what I missed being 4 years old at the time. This was between “It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll” and “Black and Blue,” so the set list was super hot. No “Miss You” or the crappy “must-do” bonus track from the new compilation. Ronnie Wood, on fire, having just replaced Mick Taylor. And then there’s Jagger, in white suit and scarf and matching shoes. He won’t hit Studio 54 just yet, but it’s clear the ’60s are way, way done. Gorgeous Bianca has gotta be backstage.

What do I make of the second photo, from Chicago? It is handsome and fit — and utterly lifeless. It is Scorsese’s failed Stones concert film, “Shine a Light,” in which you quickly realize — through a dizzying array of guest spots — that there is no there there.


Like any true hypocrite, I’ll go see the Rascals and Zombies this summer out of curiosity. But you won’t see me at the TD Garden this week throwing down $600 plus to shuffle to “One More Shot.” Been there, done that.

Marianne wrote: “I hate the idea of attending a show just for the morbidity factor: ‘This guy is so old /so ill we might not see him again.’ ” On this one, I’m with you.

Geoff Edgers can be reached at

Geoff Edgers can be reached at