Rolling Stones Headlines Rich with Song Puns

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BOSTON – Newspaper writers following the Rolling Stones latest world tour opened their coverage of Saturday night’s kick off concert in Boston with a high-stepping, energetic selection of headlines based on the names of songs in the Stones catalog.

Readers who had any fears that age had dulled the writers’ chops were reassured by headlines that prowled the linguistic stage from Boston’s Globe (“Spending the Night Together”) to Australia’s The Age (“Stones Start It Up”).

“Those boys haven’t lost a step since the last world tour,” said Stones drummer Charlie Watts, 64, between huge hits of oxygen backstage. “They might have a few more wrinkles than last time, but they can still rock.”

The writers’ headline set list was indeed impressive, providing Stones fans with a gonzo mix of old favorites such as “For Fans, a Beast of Burden” (Boston Globe) and new material, “Stones Start Tour with a Bang” (Sydney Morning Herald). The inclusion of new material in headlines proved—as though it needed proving—that Stones coverage is not ready for the “nostalgia act” category.

“That’s what makes this band of writers so great,” said child-prodigy guitarist Ronnie Wood, 58, as his personal physician changed his alcohol patch in the dressing room. “They aren’t afraid to let new headlines stand on their own.”

After forty-some years of Stones coverage, writers know, however, that their headline selection must contain certain old chestnuts, and they did not disappoint. Massachusetts MetroWest Daily News obliged with “Stones Have Boston Under Their Thumb”; the Providence Journal in neighboring Rhode Island provided “Satisfaction at Fenway”; while the Minneapolis Star Tribune reached deep into the Stones repertoire for the seldom played “Time Still on Their Side.”

 “Those old rascals can still cut the mustard, heh, heh, heh,” wheezed Keith Richards, 61, between long pulls on a bucket filled with grain alcohol, vodka, and tang. “Dunno why anybody’d think, ha, ha, argghhh, that they couldn’t strap it on when the lights went down, darlin’, ha, ha, heh, heh, heh.”

If the truth be known, the Stones reviewers, like the band itself, did strike the occasional clunker. Canada’s Ottawa Sun, for example, strayed too far from the beat with a “Stones Hit Home Run” headline, an oblique reference to Fenway Park, where the concert took place. Some efforts—especially CNN International‘s “Stones Keep Rolling”—sounded as if they had been mailed in.

“Even Homer nodded on occasion,” said Mick Jagger, 62, relaxing at a $3,000-a-ticket after party attended by Massachusetts senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. “But that doesn’t make The Iliad any less relevant to our times.”

In other news, the Fox Network’s Sean Hannity blasted the newly released Google Desktop 2 for its inability to locate Natalee Holloway.    

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