The Rolling Stones are celebrating 50 years in the music business.  Fifty years ago who would have believed their careers and/or their lives would have lasted this long?  With Brian Jones leaving the band and being found dead in his swimming pool shortly after seemed to signal ominous things for the Stones.  Instead they forged on with Ronnie Wood to fill the slot left open by Jones.

From our parents complaining about the volume of The Stones music, complaints of the mix that made it near impossible to understand the lyrics and their bad boy reputations the Stones have truly rolled on.  Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Moon and so many others have passed on to rock 'n' roll heaven but Keith Richards is still with us!  Kinda makes you want to smoke, drink and do recreational pharmaceuticals...NOT!  Even Richards says he doesn't understand the inequity.

Even when they released marginal albums (there's a 20th century word) their fans kept buying and the Stones kept touring.  According to wikipedia,

"Their album Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums reaching number one in the United States. Their most recent album of new material, A Bigger Bang, was released in 2005. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked the Rolling Stones at number ten on "The Billboard Top All-Time Artists", and as the second most successful group in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[5]

When you listen to older Stones music you immediately are struck by incredible percussion work driven by the drums of Charlie Watts.  Watts who turns 70 this year is still one of the best in the business in my opinion.  The guitar work by Richards and Wood is always stellar and Mick Jagger still has the moves.  Jagger says he picked up the moves by following James Brown on Shindig on American TV in 1964.  Mick says he was intimidated but went on anyway with his version of Brown's moves.  The audience must have loved the moves because now everybody 'wants to move like Jagger'.

I really don't have a clue how they've kept the fans wanting more over the years and I certainly don't have any idea how any of the Stones are still alive.  What I do know is I have a large collection of both Rolling Stones vinyl and CD's that I crank up regularly.  In my opinion the Rolling Stones are truly the best rock 'n' roll band based on popularity and longevity.