After fifty years together, The Rolling Stones gave their first headline performance at the famous Glastonbury music festival last week. Now I’m a long-term fan, but the general consensus was that this performance was the best ever seen at Glastonbury and maybe the best show the Stones have given in decades. So I gave it a look. Oh yes... Mick Jagger – a few weeks short of his 70th birthday – strutting and jumping, energy bursting out of a body that never really could contain itself. Keith Richards, stalking the stage, pumping out those menacing, growling riffs; back in control of the engine room for the biggest band on earth. Even Charlie Watts, renowned for his glumness, seemed to have a permanent smile on his face for the entire set. The crowd was massive, and wild. Flags and chanting voices. Fire and music. The Somerset earth vibrating. The director of the festival summed it up best when he said, “I pity next years’ headliners, trying to top that.”
The whole thing got me thinking – here are men, artists, in their late sixties and early seventies. Men wealthy beyond imagination. Men who have no need to perform or work another day in their lives. Men beyond pension age. They had nothing to gain playing Glastonbury. In front of a massive audience – many of whom were not Stones fans – they could have looked very silly. Yet, they walked out onto that already famous stage and gave a performance to beat them all. How? Why? I can’t help but think it’s the passion for their art. It’s the enjoyment they get from playing together and having an audience come along for the ride. I know the sentiment is a touch clichéd, but if you love what you do for a living, it never seems like work. Glastonbury was a fresh life lesson, from men who have done a lot of living. Love what you do, do it better and better, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Like that idea? I like it - yes I do.