Author and journalist Hanspeter Kuenzler engaged in a bit of time travel in researching his eBook "50 Years: The Rolling Stones — Views from the Inside, Views from the Outside" and discovered a world where rock stars wore suits and ties and music was about entertainment not change.
“It was huge fun digging through the history not just of the Rolling Stones, but actually what the Rolling Stones in that time and what else happened around them in the time they first came through,” he told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“What to me was a real eye opener was to read up on how conservative Britain was in 1962. Even the Beatles performed mostly in suits and ties because that’s what entertainment was.
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“It was just to entertain not to change anything. And then came the Rolling Stones who, with their personal arrogance,. They just broke through any rules to get to some completely different place.
"It was fascinating to read up on how the establishment reacted against that and tried to smother it and tried to prevent any changes happening. And it was fantastic to remind myself of the character of the Rolling Stones to just continue on whatever they wanted to do.”
Kuenzler’s book is the largest eBook published on the Stones and is divided into two parts. The first part, covering 25 years, is available now for download.
Kuenzler notes that Mick Jagger and his band were quite aware of their rivalry with the Beatles and played off it.
“Their manager Andrew Loog Oldham kind of encouraged them to be particularly unpleasant in the eyes of the older generation,” he said. “And, you know, it was he who first formed the phrase, 'Would you want your daughter or your sister to marry a Rolling Stone?'
"It was a rhetorical question, and everybody’s answer was supposed to be 'No. No. No.'
“But, at the same time, they were different from the Beatles in a very market way because the Beatles were very safe. I mean The Beatles had shocked people in their first couple of months but very quickly it became obvious that The Beatles were quite cuddly really.
"And because their music was considerably more left field and avant-garde than the Beatles’ music was, they were seen as much more provocative. And because they didn’t wear suits and ties, that was also completely against the grain of the time. So in many ways they did break taboos. And one thing we must not forget is sexuality.”
Also notable about the Stones is their longevity, their ability to transcend the decades.
“I think there’s a couple of things that might explain their longevity,” Kuenzler said. “One is just because in their early years they have so much energy and so much thrown at them, people hated them so much and they had to go through so much. Police were after them and all those kind of things. Those kinds of experiences glue people together.”
He added that Jagger’s failed attempt to go solo also plays into it as does the realization “that with the Rolling Stones they have something very very special that they can’t possibly hope to recreate in a different group.”
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