STYLE SCOOP: Mick Jagger On L’Wren Scott, A Rockefeller Goes Spanish, Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist

Important: Studio Garance Doré discusses the best croissant in the city.

ITG interviews Queen Bey’s makeup artist of ten years. To Francesca Tolot we say, “teach us and we will follow!”

Mick Jagger has released a statement about the death of his girlfriend, designer L’Wren Scott. It begins, “I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way.” Read the rest here.

Moda Operandi’s Indre Rockefeller has left the company to become Delpozo’s U.S. President. Turnover at Moda is pretty high when you consider that Taylor Tomasi Hill and Aslaug Magnusdottir have both also left in the past year.

Thanks to New York’s Dover Street Market, Giambattista Valli is heading our way. The retailer will host a pop up from March 28-April 22.

Is a J.Crew IPO more likely now that Fast Retailing has backed out of negotiations?

 

Breaking: Mick Jagger Girlfriend L’Wren Scott Found Dead

Designer L’Wren Scott has apparently committed suicide. The designer and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend was found hanging from a scarf by her assistant at her 11th Avenue apartment, leaving a note behind. Jagger is said to be “shocked and devastated,” by the news. Scott had cancelled her runway show this past season.

The Last Act: Model and Singer Bebe Buell On Closing Down Hiro Ballroom

Hiro Ballroom will close its doors after Saturday evening’s bash, and with it goes yet another venue where rock, as we know it, could strut its stuff. The clubs, for the most part, feature hip hop, electronic, and house because those formats are featured by the bottle-buying public. Rockers drink bottles of beer, not bottles of Goose. Rock will be relegated to the cracks where it does better anyway. The closing of Hiro will not dampen the talented forces of rock and roll, but may force them into the creative cauldrons of Brooklyn. Marky Ramone’s band Blitzkrieg is headlining the perfectly imperfect venue The Bellhouse this Sunday, and so it will be. Rock won’t retreat or hide under a rock; it will simply wiggle to where it is wanted. It will survive where NY’s culture thrives …off the L train or the J or the F or someplace just a hop, skip, and a jump away via a Northside Car. The last hurrah of Hiro will be headlined by rock icon Bebe Buell. Known more for who she has famously slept with, sire Bebe offers rock purity from rock royalty as the Hiro doors ache to be shuttered. To get you to a place of understanding Bebe is Liv Tyler’s mom and has been linked over the decades with stars like Steven TylerTodd Rundgren, and Stiv Bators. Bebe is too often the subject of gossip because of her association with so many boldfaced names, but she is very much her own person and has her own talent. I once told her that she wasn’t cool because the rock stars dated her…they were seen as much cooler because she dated them. She liked me for that. She’s a busy Bebe but we squeezed in time between rehearsals to chat at the BlackBook office.

We are here because it is a sad day in the rock and roll world; Saturday is the last night of the Hiro Ballroom, which is one of the venues where cool bands have been playing for the last number of years. It’s going to be changed. The last act, the last night, is this coming Saturday and Bebe Buell is performing. Tell me about the band and tell me about what it means to you to close down the Hiro Ballroom.

Well, when I put my last album out before "Hard Love," which was "Sugar," it was Hiro Ballroom who gave me a platform to get back on stage again. I hadn’t been on stage in a while and so they are like family to me. It is one of my favorite rooms. I’ve done three sold-out shows there, and this one that I’m doing Saturday will be the last one. And there were quite a few bands in the city that wanted to close it down and I just stayed out of the entire thing, but they asked me if I wanted to do it. So I was really—a great honor.

So who is in the band?

Well I have Pete Marshall and he played with Iggy Pop and Glenn Danzig. He played with Iggy for years. He started as my bass player and now he is my second guitar player. I have Jimmy Walls, who was in D Generation for their last tour. He is the other guitar player. On bass I have Keith Roth. I had Enzo Penizzotto for my album; he played with Joan Jett for eight years and came back to me. I just lost him because he got the Memphis tour, you know that Broadway musical Memphis? He just got the whole touring thing. He is going to be going on the road with that so now I’ve got Keith Roth in my band, which is a real plus. He is also a radio guy. He does the Electric Ballroom and he also does Sirius. And I have Louisa Bradshaw on backing vocals; I have Sarah Tomek, a young girl from Asbury Park, on drums. And then I have on keyboards, my baby, I love him. He’s the baby of the bunch. Well he and Sarah are both the babies—Zac Lasher—and I found him

from a jam band, believe it or not, called U-Melt. I really saw his talent and I knew I had to get him in my band for obvious reasons. Juilliard protégé; he’s a genius.

How long have you been playing rock and roll?

That’s funny! What a question. My first band I started in 1980 and I made my first record in 1979/1980 with Ric Ocasek from The Cars. The Cars played on my first album “Cover Girl” on Rhino. And Rick Derringer, remember Rick Derringer? Yeah, he produced a couple of tracks. It was actually an EP.

At one point I was gonna say you are a rock and roll coochie-coo. You’ve got rock roots.

I do. I have absolute rock roots. I actually came to New York City because my mother sent my high school graduation picture to Eileen Ford, and the next thing you know I was on an airplane. And I would have gotten to New York any way I could. So if I was going to get here through modeling, I was going to get here through modeling. But as soon as I got here, I got into lots of trouble. I wouldn’t really call it trouble.

Well some of that trouble is what made you famous!

I discovered Max’s Kansas City. I started a very long-term relationship with Todd Rundgren. We weren’t married so we lived a very crazy Bob-and-Ted-and-Carol-and- Alice lifestyle, which I wouldn’t recommend for anybody because it is emotionally draining. It took me about six years to actually get a band together and really get down to business.

The other day you told me something that was very funny. You said that most people think that Steven Tyler gave birth to Liv – that Liv actually came out of his penis.

Which is funny because for a lot of my career, you know, people have always called me the girlfriend of, the mother of, etc. And it has just become, almost, a giggle at this point. I don’t get upset about it; I don’t take it personally. I find it very one-dimensional. First of all, it takes two people to date. It takes two people to make a child. And the way the media works in our country, the person who has the bigger name is the one that gets the credit for everything, including giving birth. In Europe, it’s a whole different story. I love America; I live here. But I have always gotten more respect in the UK and foreign countries.

Well I said to you that, you know, some people think they are cool because you dated all these rock stars. And I said maybe they were cool because they dated Bebe Buell.

I don’t look at it either way. I think people date who they date. You meet somebody…it’s chemistry! I can honestly say that I have never dated somebody as a social or a political move. I have always followed my heart and have only dated people that I loved and that I really had feelings for. I’ve turned down some pretty big dates, trust me. Warren Beatty! When I met Shirley MacLaine –  a lot of people don’t realize they are brother and sister – I went to one of her spiritual things; you know, she talks a lot about metaphysics and past lifetimes and things. She used to do these wonder seminars. And I met her afterward and I looked at her and I said, “You know you and I have something in common." And she looked at me and said, “What’s that?” I said, “Both of us have never slept with Warren Beatty!”

Well, there is a funny story with that. Shirley was on the Johnny Carson Show and Johnny asked her, “ As you are Warren’s sister, you are aware he is famous for sleeping with all these starlets. Is his reputation warranted?” And she said, “Well Johnny, I think that Warren has slept with every starlet in Hollywood except me, and I’m not so sure about that."

Oh, that is hilarious. She’s funny and, of course, she has never slept with him. I have to say: Warren has very good taste. I met a couple of his girlfriends and now his wife, and he never went there. He never went with any riff-raff. He is not a bottom feeder.

Bebe Buell

I met you at a Stiv Bators show, a The Dead Boys show, at my father’s place in Long Island a long time ago. I was sitting with a beautiful girl and you were actually sitting at the same table as us and we didn’t watch the show. We were just watching you. You were the most amazing person we had ever seen and you were very, very sweet. I have always told everybody that you were the sweetest person to us. You made us feel like we were friends of yours.

Well I think it is important to make people feel comfortable and at ease when you are sort of the hostess at an event. 

You told me then and you told again recently, that the thing about Stiv… he was this firecracker, an incredible performer, but also – as well as being incredibly talented – he was very intelligent.

Very smart. What people don’t realize is that he was just a small-town boy from Ohio. He was just a kid that went to see Iggy Pop. He handed him a jar of peanut butter and the rest is history. You know, but in some ways, he was even a more agile performer than Iggy Pop. Some of the things Stiv could do, I don’t think Iggy could do. Stiv could wrap himself up like a pretzel; he could hang himself. He could do all kinds of things. More like Alice Cooper. 

But Stiv was probably one of the sweetest, nicest boyfriends I ever had. We drifted apart. Stiv and I were like—my visual—we were sort of like a rock and roll, punk rock Sonny and Cher. I was a good three heads taller than him. He was extremely funny and when we were together we sort of had a banter like Sunny and Cher did. We would just tease each other and we had this crazy banter. In the end, we ended up becoming really good friends. Our romance peetered out and our friendship expounded, if that makes any sense. 

We used to have a house up in Maine and he would come and stay with me there. He would play on the monkey bars with the kids. The kids loved him. He was a pretzel; he could do any death-defying feat there is. All the kids loved to play with him because he could contort and do all these things to make them laugh, like push his thumbs back and all that kind of stuff. He was great with kids and he was great with animals. I mean, there are just sides to people that people don’t know about. They think its just like a girl goes “Ooh! I want that one!” and then they go and have sex in a dressing room. That’s just not real life. I have never had sex in a dressing room. I’ve never picked up one boyfriend I have ever had backstage.

You’ve dated very famous people. How did these people meet you? What kind of occasions?

It’s New York City! Models and rock stars have been pollinating for how long? This is nothing new. Rock stars who were making an iota of success – the first thing they want to do is upgrade the girls they date. That’s the first thing they want to do, and they want a model. Now it’s that they want a Playboy centerfold, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit girl. It is something they seek out.

So you prefer the word “model." Some people used to call you a groupie and I think that is a terrible name. I don’t think you were a groupie. Some people say you were one of the most famous groupies of all time.

No, I don’t think I was. I don’t think so. I think that title goes to that girl Pamela Des Barres. Pamela Miller, or whatever.

So you were not a groupie at all but you dated rock stars.

I think that’s the part about lazy journalism. The first thing they think of is “Oh! She is dating a rock star. She must be a groupie. Oh my goodness!”

Who else did you date besides rock stars?

The way you say all that! You act like I…

I just want the readers to know!

I can count my lovers on two hands. Can you?

Oh, absolutely not.

Ok. See! So, I always want to say to everybody else, “Tell me about all the people that you have dated. You’ve dated a lot more people than I have!”

What I’m asking you though is, in between all the rock stars, were there other people? Lawyers, doctors, etc.?

No, I never dated a lawyer. I never dated a doctor. I did date one photographer and his name was Clive Arrowsmith, which was really funny. I dated him when I was in London and he shot me for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and I did a lot of my best work, my biggest work, with him…he and David Bailey were the biggest photographers in the UK in the 1970s, in that early part of the ‘70s when I came up. Right before I started seeing Steven and before I got pregnant with Liv, I dated Clive Arrowsmith a little bit, which I think is hilarious because I went on to have a child with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. Life is very interesting. If I had all the answers, if I could put together the puzzle for you, I would. But I can’t even explain to you—I have had this wonderful, serendipitous life. I have just had these synchronistic moments…I am like Forrest Gump. I tell everybody that. I just fall into these wonderful situations.

Bebe Buell

You are looking for this sort of energy that rockers give you.

I think we all look for the energy that we emanate. I have to be around the people that think like I do and that understand how I think. If I am asleep in the bed and get a song idea, I leap up out of the bed and get a pen and paper. When I lived with Elvis Costello, he did the same thing. When I lived with Todd (Rundgren), he did the same thing. I think like-minded people find each other.

What is the same about Steven, Elvis, and Todd? Where is the similarity?

Brilliant, multifaceted human beings. People don’t realize what a brilliant drummer Steven Tyler is. He started as a drummer.

When did the companion aspect end in the relationship? Hmmm, let me word this right: did you at times move off being a companion, like at a gig, and become just a fan like everyone else? Did that happen?

I think, to have that consciousness when you are in a relationship, you have to think that way. And I just never thought that way. I don’t judge people and I don’t hero- worship. People ask me frequently who my heroes are and I hate to sound like an old punk rocker, but I am. I don’t have any heroes. I have people that I admire and respect and want to learn from. I can’t say that I have any heroes, but I can say that I worship some people: Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde. The people that I really admire, they are all dead. You know…John Lennon. They are all human, too. People that I tend to admire are not perfect. They are fallible. I think that is why we all love John Lennon so much – because he wasn’t perfect. He was a man that made many mistakes.

You actually had a conversation with him, didn’t you? Tell me about that.

Well I did. I had many really in-depth amazing conversations with him. I met John through Mick (Jagger). It was my birthday and Todd was in the studio and I was a little sad that I didn’t have my boyfriend to spend my birthday with me. But Todd was a workaholic before it was even fashionable to be a workaholic. I think he even had the first computer in the ‘70s, probably even before Bill Gates had one. But Mick felt a little bad for me and said that we should go out to dinner. We went down to the Lower East Side to this Japanese place called Me; its not there anymore. He said that he had a surprise for me. And earlier in our relationship he had asked me, “If you could meet three people, who would you want to meet?” And I said Edgar Allen Poe, Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde, my usual, and John Lennon. And he said, “Oh, well that is the only one alive out of that whole group." And then we went on to the next subject and I guess that stuck with him.

So after we got done eating we got in a cab and I said “Where are we going?” and he said, “Oh, you’ll see in a minute!” And it was during John’s time with May Pang and we got out of the cab. We arrived at this apartment uptown and we had to walk up some stairs. We came in and knocked on the door. The door opens and we had to go up a set of stairs and at the top of the staircase, taking a Polaroid of us as we ascended the stairs, was John Lennon. And that picture, that very photo that he took of us, is in May Pang’s book, the one filled with all the Polaroids. I think I could say that may have been the first time in my life that I may have been a little star-struck.

The second time was when I met Salvador Dali at The Ritz, at the magazine store. I adored him as a child. I thought he was just fascinating. He invited me to tea when I was eighteen at The Ritz-Carlton. So I went and had tea with Dali and Amanda Lear, and some other very unusual person who I cant remember anymore. Maybe it was Varushka? And I feel that it was one of those magical moments. He (John Lennon) said he had just seen a UFO, so we spent the entire time talking about aliens because May had heard it all before. I believed him and was very fascinated so I wanted to hear everything he had to say about aliens. And then we went down to Chinatown at four in the morning and ate in one of the all-night restaurants. These were the kind of stories…these are the most sacred memories to me because it is all about cutting your teeth and learning. I was really lucky to learn so much from so many exquisite human beings.

Well, I listened to the album and I have to say there were a lot of things on there that I feel were great, I mean, really great. Tell me more.

I’m just really excited to be playing the final Hiro. I am very touched. The album is "Hard Love." I think it is my best work. I think it is the best thing I have ever done. You know, I have made a lot of records. I’m New York’s best-kept secret. I am a cult artist and I always have been. I have never been Madonna or Lady Gaga. I have always been a little under the radar, a little underground. I think that I have never always gotten my shots because people are so occupied with the glamorous boyfriends that I had and the Playboy or whatever they are distracted by. But I don’t do this because I am trying to win any brownie points. I do this because it is who I am. I am a songwriter and a singer and I have been my whole life. I was a contra-alto in the sixth grade. I was the only contra-alto of my age group in four states. I have a background in singing and when you listen to my material, you can sing this. I’m not just some kid who picked up a microphone and said, “I think I am going to sing this week!”

So Saturday night at Hiro. I will be there and I guess a lot of the people who read this are going to run out.

Oh yeah, it is going to be a good night. A lot of people love Hiro, and one thing about New York City is that when we say goodbye to something or someone, everybody comes out to pay their respects. And it is also the one-year anniversary of the departure of Don Hill, so the timing of it is kind of auspicious. It is the end of a great room and the end of one of the greatest men…we made a slideshow for him. A beautiful Don Hill slideshow.

The Stones Concert at Barclays: My Conversation With Mick Jagger

On Saturday night, while the rest of the world thought what they were doing was important, I found myself in the perfect place…in the perfect situation. The Rolling Stones brought their 50th anniversary tour to the brilliant Barclays Center. As the show ended, I posted this on Facebook.

 "The Mayans can be completely right and it will be alright as I have just seen the Rolling Stones, the greatest rock band ever. I can go quietly into the night ,as this night, I got what I want and what I needed… absolutely religious." 

A friend close to the action Saturday night told me that Martin Scorsese and Naomi Campbell and Mary K. and Ashley Olsen and a ton of others were in the house. He’s a backstage kind of guy who told me how cool they always are. I’ve met them from time to time, save for Ronnie who would have been the easiest when he had his joint down in South Beach. They were always accessible, human. Watching them on the giant stage shaped like their trademark lips and tongue, it was hard to believe they could be anything but out-of-reach rock stars. As a 10-year-old in Connecticut, we heard the Stones on a car radio. My hot cousin’s boyfriends would take us on Slim Jim and Birch Beer runs in speedsters on curvy roads.We promised not to tell. We waited to hear the Stones on the car radio. I told Mick this story one night in a club I had a lifetime ago. Around 1988. He was coming by regularly. As I sat in the back office, I couldn’t grasp that this was the prancing icon. He listened intently as I told this tale.

"It was the fall of 1964 and the Lewis clan was huddled in our country home in Connecticut. We had a party line telephone. Two rings was us, one the neighbor. We had two channels on the T.V., you know, one of those giant pieces of furniture with a small screen. For us, it was the window to the world. The days were spent fishing and exploring the deep woods. At night we were glued to the magic. 

On October 25th, 1964 we had a crisis. The Rolling Stones were going to be on Ed Sullivan, on one channel while the other channel offered the Lawrence Welk Show. My grandparents never missed the Lawrence Welk Show with its polkas and show tunes. My cousin Ron and my brother Paul plotted all week to see the Stones. We were always tasked to give the old-folk warm milk after the show so they would go to sleep easily. We decided to come in early and strong and give them so many glasses of warm milk that they would pass out, we could switch channels, and see our gods. It worked. Right before the show, after multiple milks, they passed out.

We switched and saw the Stones for the first time. There was no internet then and few magazines would have their image. There were no posters up in our neck of the woods. We didn’t know what to expect. There they were, brash and horribly wonderful. We were in awe, stirred to life maybe for the very first time.

In the middle of their first track, the Chuck Berry cover "Around & Around," my Grandparents woke up and started to mildly complain. They pointed out that the Stones hairdos made them look like girls and they couldn’t understand the words… but they let us watch."

While telling Jagger this story, he interjected: "So let me get this straight…you drugged your grandparents to watch me on the television." I said "yes." He then added: "You realize they knew." I didn’t understand. He continued: "You realize they were in on your plot and went along with it because it was important to you." 

We had never realized that but it was obvious he was right, and I felt the love my grandparents who were long gone held for us once again. I got goosebumps, and Mick told me he loved the story. 

The Stones woke me in every way. They were outside the box that I have always avoided, sometimes successfully. That Ed Sullivan Show was 48 years ago. As I stood in the Barclays seeing them at their 50th anniversary show, I realized how my life has coincided with their carreer. I had seen them 10 or more times over the decades. Threw a party for Bill Wyman, met Keith at Life when he played a Christmas show with Ronnie Spector and Mick a few other times, and now it seemed like this would be the last time.

There was a seriousness about the concert, as if this would be the end of the run. Mick ran around a lot less than back in the day. Shoot, me and almost the entire crowd runs around a lot less. It was surreal seeing him doing it well at 69. The anthems had an almost religious feeling… providing a calm reflection of the thread that was fraying.

The show ended and I bought bags of t-Shirts and scooted over to Hotel Chantelle to give them to my girl. I had attended the show with my brother, a birthday gift to my co-conspirator back in ’64. They’ve got two shows coming at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Tickets are stoooopid expensive. I’m gonna have to go. The second song the Rolling Stones performed on Ed  Sullivan in that dream of a night so long ago was "Time Is On Our Side." That was true then, but not anymore. I’m gonna hock the watch and see them again.

The Olympics & Clubland, Mick Jagger Turns 69

With major events starting this weekend, the million-pound question is this: how will the Olympics affect clubland?

The time difference between London and New York has events slated between 4am and 6pm. The ability and the where-with-all to record shows for later viewing has increased sharply over the years. Will this Olympics be the TIVO Olympics, or will the public miss most of it or take sick days to see relevant events? In hospitality, sports bars will open early to accommodate viewers, and their bottom line will get a boost. Sports bars thrive during the NFL and College Football seasons, but baseball and its boys of summer rarely attract big crowds. The added revenue stream is a blessing.

Will clubbers be too tired to party hardy at night? Will they leave joints early because they plan on staying awake or getting up early to catch Michael Phelps live or a USA basketball team game? Will mid-day or afternoon beers slow sales at night?  My bet is that the only effect these Olympics will have on clubland is they’ll probably upgrade the small talk and pick-up lines.

I’m excited about the inaugural Catalpa Festival on Randall’s Island this weekend. It’s a 1pm-11pm affair on Saturday and Sunday with such acts as Hercules and Love Affair, TV On The Radio, The Black Keys, Matt+ Kim, and Girl Talk performing.  Snoop Doog will perform “Doggystyle” in its entirety. There is a reggae stage and a dance music venue with names like Alex English, Felix Da Housecat, and Hellfire Machina involved.

While I’m DJing at Hotel Chantelle tonight with Sam Valentine and Jes Leopard, another rocker event will be rocking at Sullivan Room. The party, called “Take Back New York," will celebrate Nicki Camp & Kerry Robinson’s belated birthdays.

Belated is right: Nicki was born on July 1st. I bet he’s telling folks he’s 29. I worked with Nicki when he ran those Sunday Rock and Roll Church nights at Limelight and kept in touch when he plied his trade at Don Hill’s. Tonight there will be performances by the New York All-Stars (Shannon Conley, Nicki Camp, Jimi K. Bones, Dave Purcell, Adam James, Al Mars), with special guests Michael T & The Vanities.

The soiree will be hosted by Lourdes Castellon and Ahmed Adil, and DJ Victor Auton will spin rock, metal, glam, and alternative throughout the night. I always liked Nicki and I wish him a belated 29th birthday.

Speaking of rockers, my favorite craggly-faced old bastard Mick Jagger celebrates his 69th birthday today. That makes me feel old, yet on some level, a bit young. I’ll have my editor link you back to last year’s article, which sums up my feelings toward Mick. The bottom line is that my set tonight will be top heavy with Rolling Stones tracks, and I’ll toast to Mick as I look forward to the 50th Anniversary Tour, which I hear will be pushed back to 2013. Somehow, a 51st Anniversary Tour sounds dodgy.

Personal Faves: How I Spent My Rent Check On A Rolling Stones Concert

Instead of ending the year with a slew of Best Of lists, BlackBook asked our contributors to share the most important moments in art, music, film, television, and fashion that took place in 2012. Here, Hillary Hughes writes about dropping a load of money on the greatest living rock ‘n’ rollers, The Rolling Stones.

“You paid HOW MUCH FOR ROLLING STONES TICKETS?!”

I had made the mistake of casually mentioning to my mother that I spent a month’s rent (literally) on a pair of tickets to watch The Rolling Stones perform at the Barclays Center, and she was completely shocked and appalled. “You’re irresponsible! I’m not gonna tell you how to spend your money, but Jesus, Hilary … they’re just so old. I wouldn’t have paid half that to see them twenty years ago let alone now.”

Mom wasn’t alone in thinking that. When The Rolling Stones announced the handful of select cities they’d visit on 50 and Counting…, the band’sfiftieth anniversary tour, their age (“But Keith Richards is probably gonna die soon!”) and the $100-$900 price range for seats were topics more avidly discussed than the fact that this rock band had made it through to the better half of a century together. My friends thought I was borderline institutional for entertaining the idea of wasting two hours and hundreds of dollars on The Rolling Stones, and so a volley of YouTube clips hit my inbox, a damning reel of highlights recorded from recent awards shows and other anniversary tours that displayed an exhausted-looking Richards and a flailing, shouting Mick Jagger in a most unfavorable light. Even my dad—the man responsible for my Rolling Stones fandom and the one whose glove compartment I lifted a tape of Tattoo You from at the age of ten—was taken aback by the fact that I was so determined to find tickets to the Brooklyn show of 50 and Counting… just to watch a band of senior rock musicians “who’ve seen better days” play through a predictable set list.

No one seemed to get why I was so hell-bent on seeing The Rolling Stones, so when the time to hit the “Confirm Reservation” button came, I had forgotten why I had decided to hand over my rent check to TicketMaster in exchange for the chance to see the greatest rock band in history play songs that mean more to me than even I understand—and I subsequently freaked the fuck out. I forgot about how, while driving back and forth between Brooklyn and Boston this fall, Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed anchored my sanity on I-84, especially because “Call Me Maybe” and “Some Nights,” two of the most lyrically inept songs ever written, were also Clear Channel’s favorite singles to play and therefore unavoidable unless I dodged Connecticut’s airwaves throughout the course of the four-hour drive. I forgot that the first real conversation I had with my dad about music was about The Rolling Stones, one about his favorite song of theirs, “Bitch,” and how it was overshadowed by “Brown Sugar” on 1971’s Sticky Fingers. I forgot about how I’d told an ex-boyfriend that I wanted to walk down the aisle to “Happy” should we ever get married, and I forgot about how many times I opted to belt the chorus to “Gimme Shelter” into a hairbrush in front of a mirror as a teenager.

I more or less forgot about the fact that The Rolling Stones have provided the off-peak soundtrack to my life, despite the fact that I was born fourteen years after the release of Exile on Main St. I sought solace in the straightforward tenacity of their choruses instead of settling for the shitty, manufactured pop songs that my friends sang along with when they came on at the dive bar, and the musical inclinations of Jagger, Richards & Co. have set the standard for my taste as a listener, fan, and critic from the get-go.

I had forgotten all of this, and yet with one play of “Doom and Gloom,” the first single from their newly released greatest hits collection, I came to. I clicked “Confirm” and that was that. I was going to see The Rolling Stones, and I was going because I needed to see them—to hear the steady build of “Gimme Shelter,” to groan when “Miss You” made an appearance, to jump up and down like a maniac during “Get Off Of My Cloud”—and this was the first time I’ve ever felt so compelled to declare my love for a band so openly before, despite the fact that I knew that I was potentially setting myself up for the kind of epic disappointment that can only occur when your expectations of meeting your idol fall short.

Thankfully, Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie eviscerated every skeptic thought in the house when they took the stage at the Barclays Center for the big event on December 8. Though 50 and Counting… could’ve been the safe and tired victory lap of a final tour, the scene that unfolded was that of a jovial reunion, one where Ronnie Wood galloped across the stage without hitting a wrong note while Richards took to his solos with the effortless dexterity of a person who has cradled the neck of a guitar in his hands more frequently than he hasn’t over the course of the past fifty years. Jagger’s bellow reached the highest and lowest recesses of his range, and though his gait and the topography of his face tell the truth about his age, the flamboyant frontman ran at the crowd with an identical fervor to that of himself thirty years prior. (Or so I’m told, anyway). Richards and Wood sauntered back to the drum kit and turned and faced the arena before them in unison, and as Jagger shimmied, clapped and convulsed while the room erupted as the hits flew into the ether, I stood there slack-jawed thinking about how impossible it was for them to be so good when time, logic and the basic truths of the human form seemed to be working against them.

The show may not have been perfect—my prediction of a Beyoncé cameo during “Gimme Shelter” disintegrated when Mary J. Blige showed up, and “Midnight Rambler,” well, rambled—but to say that I got what I paid for would be an immense understatement. 2012, for me, was the year when Autotune became a superficial stylistic choice as opposed to a performance crutch, where The Black Keys farmed out the track list of El Camino to any studio that wanted to opt it for a movie trailer and a song like “Call Me Maybe” earned more accolades for its saccharine hooks than any other single on the charts. It was also the year of The Rolling Stones, in that the rock icons showed the world, and me, that a good song is an immortal thing that can only grow stronger with age—and that a fiftieth anniversary tour isn’t to be met with the same expectations of a retirement party. 

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Florence Welch Performs ‘Gimme Shelter’ With Rolling Stones

That one-year hiatus that Florence Welch is taking a break from touring? Performing Gimme Shelter onstage with the Rolling Stones on Thursday night in London doesn’t count.

The Florence + The Machine singer, who announced earlier this month that she would be taking time off to write a musical with a friend  (… just go with it, she’s rich), joined Mick, Keith and the others for one of the concerts for the band’s 50th anniversary.

You can watch the performance — which kind of looked like a really awkward dance-off between two drunk relatives at a family reunion — below: 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

The Rolling Stones Premiere ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ At The Ziegfeld

In a recent glossy magazine feature on the lives of the post-millennial East London hipsterati, the writer, somewhat embarrassingly, blathers on fawningly about her subjects indulging in such, um, establishment-defying activities as "trading pork belly recipes" and "obsessing over fair trade coffee."It’s precisely such a banal, eviscerated 21st Century version of youth rebellion that makes it all the more seditiously provocative when, in the new Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, Mick Jagger matter-of-factly conveys that the band was only half the reason so many fired-up young lads were flocking to their early shows; the other half, he insists, was for the singular fuck-the-old-crusties thrill of "participating in a riot." Indeed, the film electrifyingly recalls how rock ’n’ roll once seethed with all the violence and anger that young people felt towards "he generation that is running our lives." The teenagers were, literally and figuratively, storming the barricades. 

Crossfire Hurricane, which has already had a run across the pond and will premier stateside on HBO this Thursday, was introduced by the Stones themselves at the Ziegfeld Theater Tuesday night; and Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and (perhaps a bit less) Charlie Watts still seemed, fifty years on, to be every bit the rock & roll hellions who had initially inspired all that adolescent fury. Uniquely formatted with current interviews (in which interim guitarist Mick Taylor also participates) laid over a lightning-paced pastiche of ’60s and ’70s era clips, it leaves out the gossip (no Jerry Halls, no Anita Pallenbergs), letting the blindingly revolutionary music—and culture-altering behavior—speak for itself. It also unabashedly canonizes the band’s shameless, glorious depravity. An unidentified commentator sums it up: "Parents become homicidal at the sight of them." To which the late Brian Jones counters with a satisfied sneer, "We’ve been called everything from beautiful to revolting."

And revolting they were, specifically against the grey, post-war misery of a still culturally clenched Britain run by stunted old farts. It was "goodbye to all that" times a thousand, the virtual ground zero of us-against-them.

The live clips are, of course, incendiary. From the ragged, anarchic early shows, with audiences full of thrashing boys and screaming, fainting girls (who were, apparently, according to Jones, literally wetting their pretty little panties), to the wildly histrionic ’70s arena clips, the Stones (despite a few inexcusable fashion faux pas) are depicted as nothing less than the coolest, baddest, greatest motherfucking rock ’n’ roll band ever. Truly, watching them tear through "Sympathy For The Devil," "Street Fighting Man," and "Jumpin’ Jack Flash" with such snarling but deadly earnest exuberance is alone worth the price of admission. 

Specific epochal episodes—Brian Jones’s funeral, the fatal pandemonium at Altamont, the band’s drug-drenched tax exile in the South of France (which, by the way, resulted in Exile On Main Street), and Richards’s genuinely career-threatening heroin bust in Toronto—are all treated with an intelligence and poignancy by director Brett Morgen, traits usually lacking in rock documentaries. Yet never are such matters allowed to get in the way of the hedonism, debauchery, and, well, balls-out fun. 

Indeed, post-bust, an impressively unshaken Richards proudly refers to himself as rock’s Jesse James. "I never had a problem with drugs," he sniffs. "I only had a problem with the cops."

The film’s only concession to normal human reality comes by way of Jagger’s not-all-too-concerned observation that, "You can’t stay young forever." Still, Richards—being Keith Richards—leaves us with an unconditional warning, nay manifesto: "Don’t fuck with the Stones."

It’s a gas, gas, gas. 

Photo Credit: ©Rolling Stones Archive

Mick Jagger’s Love Letters For Sale At Sotheby’s

This weirdest manifestation of celebrity is the sale over private correspondence, in particular love letters, between auction houses. The latest: Marsha Hunt, an ex-girlfriend of Mick Jagger and the mother of his first child, is selling 10 love letters penned by her Rolling Stone through Sotheby’s. 

According to Yahoo News, 25-year-old Mick wrote the love letters while working on the film Ned Kelly in Australia. The letters touch on subjects like the moon landing and John Lennon/Yoko Ono but also include song lyrics and set lists. They go on sale in Decemeber.

Hunt met the Rolling Stones while working as a model in the 1960s and got involved in a love affair with Mick, which resulted in her only child, Karis. The mixed race model/singer/author was the inspiration for the Stones’ song Brown Sugar

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.