So perhaps you were like me and always wished you were in a really cool rock band.

I kid about this, but only mildly.

Regardless, the rock band turned out not to be the case anyway. And good for you and me that any jackass like me and my friends who wished to make simple music did not go that route of making what we thought was music. It is good for rock generally (regardless of what Carl says about distinctions between “rock” and “rock ‘n roll”). As unmusical as one may be, it would have been bad if anyone like me started making music on the basis of his mere idiosyncratic enthusiasm. We’ve all been to that lame bar with that bad band.

However, the Rolling Stones, for instance, had (of course) some good songs in the genre of rock and rock ‘n roll. No doubt in terms of their all out badness and “big lips” they became a simulacrum of what Carl criticizes as being a bad version of what is good in popular music, but even in terms of their own “badness, “ they were pretty damn good.

I say this even in terms of late Rolling Stones—i.e., Tattoo You (circa 1981).

If I were to be so morbid (and emo) as to pick songs for my funeral, apart from the usual religious music that ought to be played, I would demand the song “ Waiting on a Friend ” by the Stones to be played. This song may not demonstrate the most deep investigation into the forms and stances of being rock ‘n roll, but it is a pretty honest attempt to give an account of a loneliness that is open to a personal relationship with another person.

It does not song of divinity to be sure, but in its waiting, it might as well do so.

I always loved this song and the video too. The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting on a Friend.” One finds oneself watching girls passing by, and one also waits for a friend. One is lonely.

When I die, I want this song—amongst several more important ones—to play at my funeral. Of course, this is a morbid emo exercise, but I couldn’t resist defending the big lips of Mick Jagger.

Even if Mick Jagger (of all people) speaks in this song of not needing a “whore,” he also speaks of the “smile” which “relieves the heart that grieves.”

It is true—especially in its vulgar tongue.

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Articles by John Presnall

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