Everthing I need to know I learned from the Rolling Stones

It was 50 years ago today (okay, it was really 50 years ago yesterday) that the Rolling Stones began to play. Even though Google totally dropped the ball on this anniversary, like any person, place or thing that reaches this milestone, there is a lot we can learn from them. And although I did promise to focus on Yoda soon, I think Mick looks more and more like him every day. Here’s what I have learned:

1. I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right. Okay, that was said by P.T. Barnum, not Jagger or Richards, but I’d be willing to bet they have said something similar along the way. I am also sure they would subscribe to Wilde’s sentiment that “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” and in that regard the 50th anniversary thing has served its purpose.

2. It is still possible to stay in the same job for 50 years if you are self employed. Of course life-long employment at the same company ending with a pension and a gold watch is long gone, but if you work for yourself your boss can keep you around as long as you want. Unfortunately, this may be long after you are adding value to your goods or services. That’s why you hear old Rolling Stones songs much more frequently than new ones (but wait, are there actually any new ones?)

3. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you might find you’ll get what you need. Few except for Rod Stewart would argue that Mick needs to trade in his girlfriend every five years for a (literally) newer model that looks identical to the five-years ago version of the previous one. Learning the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’ is a very important lesson. The reason that clothes closets are small or non-existent in old houses is that no-one needed more than one good set of clothes and one or two everyday outfits. Of course the camera had not been invented yet then. I once took a two week vacation with a very edited wardrobe and learned the hard way that if you are wearing the same outfit in every photo it looks like you just Photoshopped yourself in front of the major landmarks of Europe. So maybe you want to pack at least three different outfits (even if you don’t really need them), depending on how many landmarks you plan on visiting.

4. I know it’s only rock and roll but I like it. And indeed, what’s not to like? Unfortunately lots. The problem lies in rock and roll’s humble roots and the example set by bands like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles that start with a motley crew of teenagers that pick up random instruments and somehow gain fame and fortune. This has permanently shattered the sanctity of garages everywhere.

5. Time is on my side. This is true of most things, including the weather (it will change in whichever direction you wish if you wait long enough), a bad hair cut (the difference between a bad haircut and a good one being approximately 2 weeks), anything bad (tragedy plus time equals comedy), a good wine, and hopefully my investment account.