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About A Week: Will Mick Jagger Still Be Rockin' When He's 88?

The Rolling Stones are the talismen for millions of pensioner rebels who refuse to be tagged as "old'', says Peter Hinchliffe.

Tomorrow Mick Jagger will be 65 and start to receive a state pension.

He will also qualify, as do all pensioners, for a free bus pass that will take him the length and breadth of England.

I do mean the Mick Jagger -- Sir Michael Phillip "Mick" Jagger -- lead singer with The Rolling Stones.

The band's drummer Charlie Watts beat Mick to the "pension post" by two years. Charlie was born on June 2, 1941.

Guitarist Keith Richards, still enough of a rebel to smoke on stage, will also qualify for a bus pass and pension when he turns 65 on Dec. 18 this year.

The Stones are still rocking the world. They are the talismen for millions of pensioner rebels who refuse to be tagged as "old."

Their "A Bigger Bang" world tour, which ended last year, grossed a record total of $558,255,524, surpassing the previous highest tour takings of $377 million earned by U2.


The Stones did 147 sell-out shows during the tour, which started on Aug. 21, 2005, and ended on Aug. 26, 2007.

The band gives no signs of quietly fading away into doddery old age. There is still a whiff of brimstone about their performances.

Back in the early Sixties sedate adults were shocked by the Stones' rocking rhythms and lyrics. The Jagger/Richards songs, such as "Mother's Little Helper," were seen as an attack on Britain's moral citadel.

What a drag it is getting old
"Kids are different today,"
I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day…

Another Jagger/Richards song "Honky Tonk Woman" added to the concerns of prim parents.

I met a gin soaked, barroom queen in Memphis,
She tried to take me upstairs for a ride.
She had to heave me right across her shoulder
'Cause I just can't seem to drink you off my mind.

It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues.

I laid a divorcee in New York City,
I had to put up some kind of a fight.
The lady then she covered me with roses,
She blew my nose and then she blew my mind.

It's the honky tonk women
Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues…

I was in my late 20's when the Stones came rocking onto the scene -- not too old to jump aboard the rock 'n' roll train.

I have never been lucky enough to hear the Stones live, though it is not too late to do so. I did cover a Beatles show for The Indianapolis Times.

And I interviewed a couple of famous American rockers, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent when they came to do a show in Yorkshire.

Eddie was a great guy, eager to chat, unspoiled by stardom. In 1956 he appeared in what was perhaps the first true rock 'n' roll film "The Girl Can't Help It," singing the song "Twenty Flight Rock." His biggest hit, released two years later, co-written with Jerry Capeheart, was "Summertime Blues."

Just days after my interview with Eddie, he was killed in a road accident in England. He and Gene Vincent were in a taxi, traveling through Chippenham, Wiltshire. The vehicle crashed into a lamppost. He was taken to a hospital in Bath, where he died. Vincent survived the accident.

Eddie was 21 years old when he died. Gene Vincent, of Be-Bop-A-Lula fame, died when he was 36.

Last month EMI Records released a CD "The Very Best of Eddie Cochran."

The Rolling Stones will not be alone if they continue to work past retirement age. Some 1,300,000 Britons of pensionable age now continue to work -- and that number is being added to week-by-week.

U.K. citizens are living longer. A retirement lasting 20 years or more is not uncommon.

In the first heady years of retirement, pensioners re-design their gardens, go traveling, re-decorate the house … then boredom sets in. Many seek paid employment just to have something to do to pass the time, rather than from economic necessity.

A recent survey revealed that 58 percent of people in their 50's and 60's who were still working want to carry on after 65 and 10 percent do not want to retire at all.

Last year, for the first time, there were more pensioners than children in Britain. Data from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 11,129,000 people aged under 16, compared with 11,272,000 aged 60 and over.

The prediction is that by 2016, there will be 400,000 more people claiming state pensions than children, rising to more than 2 million in 2031.

Will Mick Jagger and the Stones still be around in 2031 to rock all those pensioners who refuse to grow old?

Why not? He will be a mere 88.

Still a youngster when you realize that right now there are around 55,000 centenarians living in the US, and 30,000 in Japan.

And if Mick is still rockin' in 2031, will he still be singing one of the most famous songs that he and Keith Richards wrote?

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm drivin' in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He's telling me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no…

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no girlie action
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no…

Yes! Judging by the fellah's excellent physical shape he will still be singing it and meaning it.

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