My Freshman year of college, I wrote a journal entry for English class that started, “I have been a Stones fan forever.” That may have been hyperbole, but it is true that I–like millions of others–have never lived in a world without the Rolling Stones.
Richard Cohen takes that fact as the premise of his forthcoming book, The Sun and the Moon and the Rolling Stones. It’s one of two music-related books I’ll be reviewing together for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch next month.
The title comes from an interview with Keith Richards. When Cohen asked the guitarist what it was like to live in a world always starring the Rolling Stones, he (typically) turned the question back on the interviewer: “You tell me. I don’t know. . . . For you, there’s always been the sun and the moon and the Rolling Stones.”
Cohen was 26 in 1994 when Rolling Stone magazine asked him to cover the group’s Voodoo Lounge tour. In 1994 I was 28, so we’re roughly contemporaries–late entries to Generation X. His entree to the Rolling Stones was “Honky Tonk Women.” Mine was, like so many other people’s, “Satisfaction.” But what we share more deeply is a vague feeling of being “born too late.” “Time would always separate me from these guys, from this generation,” he writes. But he soldiers on.
Cohen obviously did more than cover a tour. His book is another history of the Rolling Stones, but he promises to re-tell those familiar tales of music and madness and Altamont and decadence through the eyes of a Gen Xer rather than a Boomer. Will he see another, baby, standing in the shadows? I’ll keep you posted.