Fun with Mick & Keith

By Ansen, David | Newsweek, April 7, 2008 | Go to article overview

Fun with Mick & Keith


Ansen, David, Newsweek


Byline: David Ansen

Scorsese's 'Shine a Light' proves that, after all these years, the Rolling Stones still gather no moss.

Can you picture yourself at age 60 doing what you're doing now?" asks Dick Cavett of Mick Jagger in a 1972 TV interview. "Easily. Yeah," replies the soft-spoken, impossibly sexy rock star. Back then, of course, nobody knew what a 60-year-old rock-and-roller looked like--the question itself implied that the notion was comical. Cut to the stage of the Beacon Theatre in New York in the fall of 2006, where Martin Scorsese and a team of 17 cinematographers captured the Rolling Stones for Scorsese's dynamite concert film "Shine a Light." The eloquent creases in Jagger's face testify to his 62 years, but the crazily lean, prancing and spinning body tearing up the stage is, if anything, even more exuberant than the boy I remember setting ablaze the Boston Garden in 1965. If there's comedy in it, it's the sweet smile of survival that lights up Keith Richards's grandly depraved face--he looks more and more like a Tolkien tree creature who's gathered a lot of moss. Or the ageless dexterity of Ronnie Wood's finger work--and his undying devotion to his Rod Stewart shag cut. Or the look of winded amazement on Charlie Watts's poker face after the group has polished off an incredible smoking version of "She's So Hot."

That 1982 song from "Undercover," the third in their set after "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Shattered," may be the least-known song on the playlist, but it's the moment when "Shine a Light" totally takes off--check out the erotic body language between Mick and backup singer Lisa Fisher--and Scorsese delivers a Stones concert film of shimmering intimacy. "Shine a Light" has a few tasty backstage glimpses of Scorsese and the Stones preparing for the gig (the co-host that night is none other than Bill Clinton). …

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