THE ROLLING STONES LIVE
17th APRIL 1967
Incredible oppositions exist. On the one hand, there is the young generation, giving you joy to see it developing and growing. The only source of solace in a country where everything seems to be sick, people and institutions. But here they are, a rainbow, children of the new times. Kids full of youth, sharpness, healthy concerns, noble aspirations. Children with sobriety and positive feelings, things unknown to older parents.
This is the one side of today’s youngsters. And then here is the other one: the yeah-yeah’s, the teenagers, the teddy-boys, the unbarbered, the unshaven, the willfully ugly and dirty. Moreover, the teenagers with mannerisms, movements, voices and manifestations exclaiming the treason against their own sex, placed by Nature. “A sin in coyness is noble too” used to say Hrisostomos. But these youngsters shamelessly promote their homosexuality as a title of honor. It’s the fashion, it’s the style.
I am referring to this manifold world, a typical feature of our era, using as a cause the appearance (in the Panathinaikos Stadium) of a dance band which arrived from London to show off their “abilities” and left after collecting (the tax of our stupidity) six hundred thousand drachmas. And of course there was the usual press conference.
Our colleagues describe them to us. With their looks, something between a man and a woman. Deniers of correct behavior, good manners or an elementary decency, they would spit on Hilton floors, wipe their shoes off with sheets and blankets. It’s their style.
And this spirit of them… Concentrated stupidity and cretinism. To show how close they are to each other, they won’t hesitate telling you that all five of them sleep in the same bed. And since one of them is married, his wife is invited in the common lie: it’s their humor.
An organized absurdity, willful schizophrenia, rudeness for commercial reasons.
But beyond that, what amazes is that professional craze achieves its aims. As if they express our century’s spirit, they cause ecstatic feelings to myriads of young people who get drunk, rhapsodize, tear their clothes off, pull their hair, and throw foams out of their mouths…
Seventy thousand fanatical youngsters invaded the Panathinaikos stadium, begging these divas for an autograph. Is there one celebrated artist or scientist to ever know such acclamation? The sky roared with screams. The fans reached to the point to cheer, apart from the Rolling Stones (as is the name of their firm), the “LSD”, which is said to be the band’s favorite drug.
Group dementia. Global phenomenon. Where does this wave come from? We do not refer so much to the storming “artists” who, like the Beatles, exercise a profession and take advantage of the wave. We refer to all those who are selflessnessly schizophrenic. Does abstract art conquer over real life? New ways of expression, new schemes, new rhythms, explosion of everything traditional. You think that all the gates of all the monkey farms and mental clinics of the world have been opened to free their inmates and let them conquer the planet.
You do not feel wrath. And what if you did, anyway? You’re just trying to find an explanation for this phenomenon and you wonder whether these crowds, who are deemed to be brainless, are not just transient madmen but the precursors of the ones who are going to conquer the planet.
(As published in Vima newspaper, April 23rd 1967).