Did they piss off the Queen?
August 12, 2012 7:56 PM   Subscribe

So why no Rolling Stones at the Olympics opening or closing ceremonies? They were willing to reach to Take That and ELO, but not one of the great English bands?
posted by rtimmel to Media & Arts (14 answers total)
A report I saw said that bands playing the closing ceremony were paid one pound for their appearance. It's not just whether they were invited or not, it's also whether they wanted to play.
posted by LionIndex at 7:59 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Speculation: Keith Richards is one of the few stars of his generation with some anti-establishment fire left in him. He openly sneered at Jagger for accepting a Knighthood, so maybe he wasn't interested in kowtowing to the Queen and Cameron and such?
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

On the offchance that this ISN'T chatfilter:

The Stones' fanbase is getting a bit geriatric and starting to die off. The Stones probably wanted a lot of money to play, and there are probably a lot more living Take That fans than Rolling Stones fans.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's rumored that Keith's health is not good. Seeing that Mick is still in great shape (his SNL finale performances were terrific), I would guess it's Keith's inability to perform. That's also been the speculation around why there wasn't a 50th Anniversary Tour.
posted by quince at 8:11 PM on August 12, 2012

I'm not trying to chat. The Olympics went out of their way to either get (McCartney, Queen) or just play (Bowie, Lennon) the classic British bands. I figured there must be a story behind one of the top British bands was ignored. I know that talking about the "best" bands is usually vague, but there really cannot be that much discussion about including the Stones as one of the most prominent British bands of the era.
posted by rtimmel at 8:12 PM on August 12, 2012

[This is an answerable question. Please don't turn it into a general rant/discussion thread - that's not what AskMe is for. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:16 PM on August 12, 2012

Keith Richards looked pretty great and healthy in a recent American Vogue photo layout with his family, so he might not be the culprit if someone's health is in play here.

But I was wondering the same thing, and thinking it might have more to do with Keith's recent autobiography, which included some serious smackdown of Mick Jagger. Mick's upcoming memoir is said to include a heated response to that, so maybe it's more a matter of infighting and the fact that there's not a shit-load of money to soothe the egos, as there is with touring.
posted by padraigin at 8:45 PM on August 12, 2012

or just play (Bowie, Lennon) the classic British bands.

The Stones are known to be tight about that kind of thing too. Notice how Wes Anderson movies sometimes have a Stones song or two in them, but they don't show up on the soundtrack? Also the "Bittersweet Symphony" lawsuit. I think the issue is that the Stones declined to participate, not that they weren't invited.
posted by LionIndex at 9:32 PM on August 12, 2012

"I didn't think, to be honest, we were quite stage ready. We haven't played in a long time and we weren't really stage-ready, and it's a very big gig and it's very risk-taking. I didn't think the band themselves felt they were really ready to do it at this point."

A slightly more meta point: what's your most lasting memory of an Olympic opening ceremony, out of all the ones you've watched? Now, what's your most lasting memory of a closing ceremony? So yeah, there's that.

(For what it's worth, Mick's daughter Georgia May was part of the catwalk sequence, wearing a dress by Victoria Beckham.)
posted by holgate at 10:00 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

It's also worth noting that Mick Jagger is both very careful about his tax arrangements and non-domiciled, ostensibly for tax reasons: in short, spending significant amounts of time in the UK on non-paying business uses up precious time for him, not least because rules on what qualifies as non-dom has been tightened and has led to at least one high profile case of a multimillionaire incurring a large tax bill based on where "the centre of gravity of his life and interest" lies.

I don't know if that is a factor given Jagger's issued statements on why he isn't attending. Personally, I find the fact that after decades of touring that the Stones couldn't do one or two songs a bit weak.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:48 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Don't believe stories of Mick and Keith falling out. They recently did press for this exhibition and were in full-on bromance (at least for the press interviews)
posted by Hugobaron at 2:19 AM on August 13, 2012

I think this is more about the Stones never discounting license fees for their music than anything else.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:33 AM on August 13, 2012

duncadunc has a point. Take That are one of the biggest selling bands in Britain. They have had at least a dozen number ones. They've been around for twenty years now, and Gary Barlow has won scores of awards for his songwriting (although they were/are a boy band the majority of their music is self-written). At this stage, they are one of the classic English bands - and Barlow is quick to sign up to charity type events. This is probably why the organisers decided to go for Take That for the nominal £1 contract than approach a band who, to be frank, really really love making money. And there's the establishment thing as well - The Smiths' songs were noticeably absent from the opening ceremony, which I would bet is down to Morrissey wanting nothing to do with it.

I did read a few days ago that several acts claimed to be unavailable to perform, then quickly changed their mind after the Opening Ceremony was a huge success. So they may have been approached and decided that it would do little for their credibility.
posted by mippy at 7:14 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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