Monday, February 06, 2006

Never Make a Saint of Me

By Conrad Spencer

I'm less concerned by the Rolling Stones' acquiescence to censorship during their Super Bowl performance than I am with the false premise with which the story begins.

Age, it seems, has mellowed the Rolling Stones, who agreed to have their half-time performance at Sunday's Super Bowl censored twice for lyrics deemed too sexually explicit for family viewing.

Age has nothing to do with it. It's all about the TV audience. Nearly 40 years ago, when the Stones were much younger, they similarly agreed to change "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some Time Together" for the likes of Ed Sullivan.

With extraordinary business savvy, the Stones have always recognized that the group's attitude is as much a commodity as a hit song. Well managed, the aura of rebelliousness has always furthered, rather than hindered, the band's commercial success.

There was a time I might have decried the Stones for "selling out," but when Led Zepplin started selling Cadillacs, I gave up those sorts of arguments entirely. The Stones should be proud that, now in their 60s, the group is still edgy enough to warrant censorship.


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