By Ahmet Abdülaziz …..

The Beatles were topping the charts, when I started listening to English music, way back during the mid 1960s. (I must have been ten or twelve years old then) and the Beatles became my favourites. I tried to listen to their songs on radio, and tried to learn some of them by heart. I do admit I was never very good in remembering anything, so the maximum of the Beatles’ songs that I could remember were just a few lines from some of their songs.

But I remember, I did made pencil sketches of them, when I was in middle school. Later in life I wrote a song about them, which was something like this:

George, John, Paul and Ringo
Chase them where they go

With all this going on, I did come to know about the Rolling Stones. But the image of the Beatles was so overwhelming to me, that the Rolling Stones always remained somewhere in the back of my mind. Repeatedly I came across their songs, and their photos in magazines, and I did start recognising the members of the band, but I never drew their sketches.

Then all of a sudden, the Beatles broke up. I was shocked, as I had never thought of that. For me, a group is meant to keep on producing music. I really felt bad, as I saw my favourite John, George, Paul and Ringo, splitting up and going their different ways.

It was that moment when, for the first time, I took The Rolling Stones seriously. I found myself more attracted by Charlie Watts (the drummer), perhaps due to his seriousness and soft appearance. The Rolling Stones kept on rolling over the music charts week after week. They continued producing more and more music. Their die-hard followers continued attached to them. I continued listening to their music, but was not a follower of them. But I must accept, the way I was disheartened by the unexpected disbandment of The Beatles, the Rollings Stones did succeed in taking me out of that depression.

But then the Bee Gees took over.   “Staying Alive”, rocked the music world. The brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice, introduced a new thrill in the music world. The John Travolta factor too must not be forgotten, as the Bee Gees songs together with the Travolta dances, created a totally new generation of dance lovers. The previous Rock n Roll of the 50s and the Twist of the 60s had introduced a new form of dance among the young music lovers. “Staying Alive”, “Saturday Night Fever”, “You should be dancing”, took the young music lovers of that era to a totally different fantastic world.

But the Bee Gees were not alone in my music world. Abba and Boney M shared my music love jointly. I remained busy in listening to “Chiquitita” by Abba, “Rivers of Babylon”, by Boney M, along with “Massachusetts” “Tragedy”, “I started a joke”, etc by the BeeGees. But the “Imagine ” of John Lennon was still keeping my love for The Beatles alive.

With all this going on, Mick Jagger and his friends were maintaining their pace with “Angie” and other beautiful songs. Keith Richards had started showing signs of age, but had introduced a very different style of behaving on the stage. His unique style of face making and actions while playing wonderful guitar, was still ruling the hearts of the young music lovers, along with those from the 1960s. Not to mention the cool Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, another fantastic guitar player. The quartet was still appearing in the international music charts, but fans of the Bee Gees and Boney M, were not giving them the full credit.

The Rolling Stones, continued exploring new musical adventures, and maintained their high profile in the music world, but music lovers like me had started listening to “Hotel California” by The Eagles.  The fantastic display of guitar harmony by Don Felder and Joe Walsh along with Don Henley  and Glenn Frey, rocked the music world.   Boney M and Abba had already gone into the background, the Bee Gees maintained their standing in the music world, but “Hotel California”, struck the music world with a very big bang.

Music lovers like me were now busy with “Hotel California”, but somewhere in their minds, the ageing Mick Jagger was still singing along with his group. The Rolling Stones and their songs were still there in the music world, writing new songs, creating new music, having concerts and tours. They were still having vast numbers of followers.  Mick Jagger was still continuing his steady pace, and securing a respectable place in the music world.

The Rolling Stones once again found the music world and the music fans rocked with another musical sensation in the 1980s. Michael Jackson had affected almost every music lover in the world. Even those who had never liked the music of Boney M or The Beatles, were seen humming “Billie Jean”. The new dance revolution that had started with the “You must be dancing” of the Bee Gees was forgotten, as everyone was enjoying the new breakdance. A wave of new break dancers hit the stages everywhere, and Michael Jackson became the king of the music world.

But the quartet known as The Rolling Stones, continued playing their own style of music. Young girls were still losing control of themselves when they saw Mick Jagger making the best use of his legs on the stage, and the way he holds the mike. The fans of Rolling Stones, passed through the periods ruled by the “Thriller” and “Beat it” of Michael Jackson.

The music world had entered the 21st century. Faces of the music world were continuously changing. So many good singers had come and gone. The different music produced by different songs, kept on letting the music lovers taste different music, but none of them last long. They all came and went away.

Then the death of Michael Jackson, closed this chapter of music. The breakdance and the pop music suffered, but The Rolling Stones did not change their style. They did not try to fill the vacuum created by the demise of Michael, by altering their style to his type of music. They constantly kept on creating new music, and letting their fans have very good quality music. Now it’s 2018, and the Rolling Stones are still on the stage, and still going strong, it makes one believe that they are one of the best groups of musicians of the world, since it’s not such an easy job to constantly remain maintaining the high spot in the music world for over 56 years.

56 years is a very long period of time, for the show  people of the world, particularly for the musicians. The Rolling Stones did pass through good and bad days during this, but they have really performed a miracle by keeping more than two generations of music lovers, to follow them and like their music. Indeed it is not an easy job. They are still popular with my generation of the 60s and are equally popular with the generation of the 21st century.

Now I ask myself, if I really like The Rolling Stones.

What about you?