Rolling Stones Celebrate 50 Years with GRRR! Greatest Hits Album, Shows, Film and Books

The Rolling Stones

By A.D. AMOROSI

The Rolling Stones have been through hits and feuds, tragedies and triumphs, sex and scandals. The only thing that this crew hasn’t been through is 50 years together as a unit. Yet.

Though singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards started playing under their famous moniker in 1962 (their first performance was at London’s Marquee Club on July 12, with Brian Jones, pianist Ian Stewart and drummer Mick Avory), the "Glimmer Twins" have stated that the Stones didn’t start truly Rolling until 1963 when drummer Charlie Watts joined the band on a permanent basis, with Bill Wyman taking up the bass slot.

The Rolling Stones GRRR!
With that dispute settled, the end of 2012 is a banner moment for Watts, Richards, Jagger and long-time guitarist Ron Wood. To start, there is the multi-format, multi-CD release of GRRR! on November 13, the latest of its greatest hits packages and one that includes not only its earliest 60s smashes (Chuck Berry's “Come On,” their first single from June 1963 to “ Get Off Of My Cloud”), but also their 70s classics (“Brown Sugar,” “Miss You”) and beyond. GRRR! exclusively features “Gloom and Doom” and “One Last Shot”, the band’s two newest studio recordings and its first since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. Two additional archival works – both live recordings – are due out in October:  Some Girls: Live in Texas from their 1978 tour, and Live at The Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981. The latter stars blues legends Muddy Waters and Junior Wells backed by Jagger, Richards, Wood and Stewart. The Checkerboard LP is a particularly rare gem and one to be savored.

The publishing world also gets several cracks at the Stones on-going story. Mick and Keith: Never Stop is an eBook from NBC Publishing and one-time TODAY show music correspondent, Rona Elliot, with hot snaps from rock photographers Henry Diltz, Bob Gruen, and Ebet Roberts (to see a teaser, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFxt00Crwh0).

While Jagger, Watts and Richards get a shot at their own history in The Rolling Stones 50, authors such as Jim Marshall, Christopher Sanford and Martin Elliot weigh in on different versions of the band’s tale with their own books.

In film, there is the long-awaited Crossfire Hurricane from director Brett Morgan (The Kid Stays in the Picture), a documentary that not only plumbs the depths of the Stones’ near-lost visual archives, but captures the band in interviews and live sessions from 2012.

Live is where The Rolling Stones truly exist. With that, the discussion of four shows before 2012’s end – two at London’s 02 Arena, the others at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center – have devotees and casual fans alike salivating at the chance to see the “world’s greatest rock n’ roll band.” If it happens, it will be The Rolling Stones first tour since 2007.

Photos ©The Rolling Stones, all rights reserved

Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM