(We will get some) Satisfaction!
On the eve of The Rolling Stones’ Warsaw gig, The First News talks to Daniel Wyszogrodzki, author of the bestselling book Satysfakcja – historia The Rolling Stones (Satisfaction – The History of Rolling Stones).
The First News: The Rolling Stones are about to play at the National Stadium in Warsaw. Could you tell us about their previous appearances in Poland?
Daniel Wyszogrodzki: The first visit to Poland was a breakthrough for both parties – The Stones and the Polish public. There was also a third party involved: the Polish United Worker’s Party, but the joys of “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” were unknown to its members. The Rolling Stones crossed the so-called Iron Curtain as the first major rock group from the “decadent west”. It was 1967 and it changed the Polish music scene forever. The explosion of our own rock bands in 1968 was a direct result of the Stones’ visit and their two legendary concerts in Warsaw. We had to wait more than thirty years for their next visit and when they finally returned in 1998 Poland was a different country altogether. What remained unchanged was the enthusiasm of our public – it’s been a long time coming, but Poland was ready to greet Mick Jagger and his mates in Chorzów. By this time Brian Jones was almost forgotten and Bill Wyman happily retired. But the band played on. The third visit was in 2007 and The Stones played in Warsaw again. Sunday’s concert at The National Stadium marks the band’s fourth visit to Poland. The show has been entirely sold out and no wonder – the band is as hot as ever!
The First News: You are an expert on The Rolling Stones. You know the whole of their career, which has had its ups and downs. Sometimes they played well, other times worse. Where they are now?
Daniel Wyszogrodzki: The funny thing about the Stones is their relentless opposition to the “older generation” which established their status with the youth. As a reminder (and a joke) I open the latest edition of my book SATISFACTION with a quote from Mick, where he says: “I’d rather die than sing Satisfaction when I’m 45”. So now he is 74 years old, turning 75 this month, still singing “Satisfaction” and not worrying about his age anymore. On the contrary – the ongoing activities of the group is proof you can be fit and fun after seventy and still rock’n’rollin’. I don’t want to get into the sex and drugs part of the deal, but surely the fun is there. Lots of fun and lots of money. Making three generations of their fans happy The Rolling Stones have been on a never-ending tour since their 50th Anniversary in 2013. Actually, they’ve played more concerts over the last five years then when there were younger (and more countries, as they have conquered China, South America and even Castro’s Cuba). Musically the quartet of the surviving Stones is in perfect shape, the supporting musicians have played with them for a couple of decades now and we can expect a hot and perfect show of their greatest hits. And some surprises from their back catalogue.
The First News: We know it’s hard to say, but what do you think - is it this last chance Polish audiences have of seeing the band live on stage?
Daniel Wyszogrodzki: It’s hard to predict anything about the Stones as they are some professional rule-breakers. They not only extended the life of a rock’n’roll band beyond imaginable limits, but they don’t seem a bit tired (except for the drummer maybe, but Charlie Watts is such a tease you can’ be sure whether he’s serious or not). Like with so many stars before we may easily be fooled – their “farewell tours” have simply been a way to sell more tickets, but The Rolling Stones don’t even say farewell. First, they will say “Good evening Warsaw” and then they will say “Goodnight”. We can’t always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need. So come to the show on Sunday, enjoy the best rock’n’roll ever and then just wait and see…