Super Bowl

Super Bowl Beh-lues (Is Mick Jagger Clinically Dead?)

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While I generally agree with Tim Cavanaugh's Super Bowl comments below, I'm surprised that he left out arguably the greatest lowlight of the evening: the half-time show in which Mick Jagger limped around the stage like he'd just stubbed his toe while wheezing out the lyrics to "Start Me Up," just about the worst song in the Stones' legit discography (roughly defined as anything up through, well, Tattoo You, the LP that contains "Start Me Up," a fake signature song that the World's Oldest Rock and Roll band has foisted on audiences for going on 25 years now). Sir Mick even had old lady flapping triceps on display, arguably more offensive than any wardrobe malfunction could ever be.

Dast I say that Michael Novak was as right about Super Bowl extravaganzas as he was wrong about the "unmeltable ethnics" (who ended up blending right into an oh-so-tasty All-American dessert fondue of identity–oh so good on marshmallows especially)? Recall his Kurtzian (as in Heart of Darkness or, even more so, Marlon Brando in the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now), "exterminate the brutes" rant in the wake of Lady Janet's exposed nipple from just two years ago (A.D.):

Why does the NFL do this? Why do they want to dramatize in corrupt "art" the very opposite of what they dramatize on the field, in the inherent beauty of football itself? Why do they turn halftime over to people who loathe every virtue football stands for and depends on?

There are so many beautiful events in the history of our nation that our children and our families deserve to know, so many glorious episodes to dramatize. Why doesn't the NFL stage a ten-year sequence of halftime shows that tell the great story of the Founding of our nation? For this story embodies all the virtues required by championship football, and many others besides….

Why can't the NFL support the Herculean struggles of besieged families, and overworked schools, against the horrid drudge of a sick popular culture, and help parents and teachers to fire the imaginations of our children with ennobling images of greatness and achievement? Why does the NFL put our families through the sludge of an exhausted, desperate pagan culture that is going nowhere, and celebrates losers and freaks? Our families have enough enemies to fight through. Must they also fight the NFL?

On a deeper level, why does the NFL go against its own nature, beliefs, and strengths? Why does it embarrass and demean itself?

Indeed, why NFL, why? Novak's whole unintentionally hilarious blast, which includes a call for "a ten-year sequence of halftime shows that tell the great story of the Founding of our nation" and which will make even the biggest Seahawk fan (you know you're out there) forget for a minute the drubbing your team took, online here.

NEXT: I won't even tell you what you can do with your cheese danishes

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  1. See this site for more information about Art.

  2. man, i want some of what novak’s having.

  3. I congratulate the Rolling Stones for proving that “Start Me Up” can, in fact, get worse. The whole halftime concert was terrible, but they put the lamest performance up front.

    Incidentally, if you’re going to extend the Rolling Stones’ legit discography past Some Girls — probably a bad idea — you might as well bring it up to Undercover, which had at least two good songs on it.

  4. Oh yeah? Well, let’s see your fucking triceps, Nick! And only a totally bourgeoise jerk-off would fail to grasp the transcendental brilliance of “Start Me Up.” Frankly, Nick, sometimes you make Michael Novak look cool! And, besides, what would be so wrong about a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, starring the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders? That’s patriotism we can all get behind!

  5. “Dast I say”

    What the heck does “dast” mean? Was it supposed to be “darest”?

  6. Sorry guys, but “Waiting on a Friend” is a brilliant song. They still had a bit left then…in 84 that is.

  7. Football has inherent beauty?

    Virtue?

    What the hell is this guy on about?

  8. I don’t think “Start me up” is an awful song, but that was a godawful performance. In fact, I had to turn it off after a few seconds just out of respect for the Stones’ historical work.

    In fact, considering how lame the average NFL halftime show has become, there might be a small grain of truth to Novak’s argument. Maybe the league should accept that the shows wind up as just a sad parody of popular culture, and embrace that fact full-tilt. Maybe next year, they should bring in Kevin Federline to do a rendition of “Popo Zao”, and follow it up with a skit involving William Hung and Paris Hilton. You might as well have people laugh at you rather than cringe with you.

  9. Live rock doesn’t really come across that well on TV sometimes but it was a pretty good performance in my opinion.

  10. uh, me people dontcha looka futboll, me only watcha socca! Micka Jagga yum yum badda bing!
    Still best zombie show ever — better than Dawn of the Dead.

  11. Saying you like Tattoo You is the rock equivalent of jumping the shark. You basically have no credibility after that. Sadly, I know many people who have said it.
    I like Novak’s idea. I think they should do it. Of course, I wouldn’t be the one who watching it since it is not soccer.

  12. Actually, the last good song the Stones did was Slipping Away off Steel Wheels. And while I’d agree that 90% of their post-1979 output is a waste of time, Start Me Up is a pretty great song with a brilliant guitar hook.

    I’d even say their halftime performance wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Of course, I think any halftime show that doesn’t involve dogs catching frisbees is a waste of time.

    Why don’t they do something that actually involves football? Find the two best peewee-league teams in the country and have them play a 15-minute halftime challenge! Now that would be cool to watch.

  13. Tattoo You is a great album, side two especially.

  14. Quit picking on me!

  15. Come on, Tattoo You wasn’t some awful album. Sure, the Stones were in a decline when they produced it, but it’s okay–especially compared to everything since then. I like “Start Me Up” fine, though it gets too much air time, and I wouldn’t adopt it as a “signature tune”, either.

  16. And if I ran the NFL, I would’ve hired Iron Butterfly to play the extended version of “Ina Gadda da Vida”. Oh, yeah.

  17. Apparently, the censors fuzzed out the line “You make a dead man come”.

    Why do they even bother? Entertainment cannot be sanitized enough. They should just roll out a big digital clock that ticks down the minutes until the next half.

  18. Brian24,

    The peewee halftime challenge is a great idea, but it might be even better if you pitted the peewee champions against the worst NFL team, and then had a ceremony afterwards where the players were forced to wear t-shirts saying “We kicked little kids’ asses at the Super Bowl!” And if they refuse, well, they must not really want that #1 draft pick…

  19. Back in the old Foxboro Stadium, for several years we were graced with an annual appearance by “Frisbee Dogs” during halftime of one of the Pats games. It was by far the best halftime entertainment exhibition of the year when they did it.

    I’m not asking, I’m demanding: FRISBEE DOGS DURING SB HALFTIME!!!

  20. Re: bleeping Stones’ lyrics, from the Australian Age:

    Two sexually explicit lyrics were excised from the rock legends’ performance today.

    The only song to avoid the editor was (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, the 41-year-old song about sexual frustration.

    In Start Me Up, ABC’s editors silenced one word, a reference to a woman’s sexual sway over a dead man.

    The lyrics for Rough Justice included a synonym for rooster that the network also deemed worth cutting out.

    Whole bit here

  21. I predict we will have this same conversation next year and every year thereafter until at least Super Bowl C, when most of us will be either dead or Robotsapiens who have lost the capacity to feel pain.

  22. I just want to know what ever happened to Up With People…

  23. Why can’t the NFL … help parents and teachers to fire the imaginations of our children with ennobling images of greatness and achievement?

    Forget ennobling. Why can’t the NFL embiggen the smallest man?

  24. Holy mother of the gridiron,

    That Novak guy is batshit crazy.

    He actually said =
    “”An NFL halftime should feed our minds and souls””

    I dont know what to tell you buddy. Maybe PBS should air it?

    JG

  25. Why don’t they do something that actually involves football? Find the two best peewee-league teams in the country and have them play a 15-minute halftime challenge! Now that would be cool to watch.

    I seem to recall that when I was a kid, they had the Punt Pass and Kick finals during half time. I could be wrong though.

    Half-time shows should suck though, so you don’t miss anything when you go for food, drink, and bathroom. What the heck, let’s get 1000 kids to play a medley of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest hits on recorders and auto-harps.

  26. Wow. I’m a Prophet (but not the Great Muhammed (pbuh) so please don’t saw my head off, ‘kay?)!

    Didn’t I say this very thing in my comments last Friday? (https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/02/prophet_on_the.shtml)

    It confirmed the “Rolling Stones” principle: Supergroups of the ’60s should stop while they’re ahead.

  27. Hey! This is Detroit Rock City! Why not bring out Kiss, or Iggy Pop, or some other Detroit legend? If the league needs to exhibit some lumbering corpses at halftime, how about the Temps and the Tops? Levi Stubbs is still somewhat ambulatory.

    And that Novak rant is comedy gold. I’m sure he doesn’t see the disconnect of a NR conservative calling for a communist agitprop-style pageant during the Superbowl halftime. How about an ode to Dear Leader?

  28. Hey! This is Detroit Rock City! Why not bring out Kiss, or Iggy Pop, or some other Detroit legend?

    You’re right. Shoulda been Nugent.

  29. Shoulda been Nugent.

    I giggle at the thought of the nipple and dead-man-comeing hating censors dealing with “Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang.”

  30. A ten-year sequence of halftime shows based on the founding of our nation? How awful would that be?

    Maybe could they bring out the animatrons from Disney’s Hall of Presidents or better(worse) yet, live action with the studio teams of the host network. “Remember to tune in next year to see Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long as Generals Grant and Lee at Appomatox courthouse, only on FOX.”

    Actually, if they really wanted to stay in keeping with the NFL’s values, a live QVC halftime hawking sports memorabilia would be much closer than historical re-enactment.

  31. Geez, Nugent and Kiss are so boring. May as well go with Seger then.

    Now the Ig, THAT would have been awesome. Lust For Life, TV Eye, and Search And Destroy woulda been awesome. And no one moves more than Jagger on stage except Iggy.

  32. Have you all not heard A Bigger Bang? For me, it’s the best since Sticky Fingers.

  33. Hey! This is Detroit Rock City! Why not bring out Kiss, or Iggy Pop, or some other Detroit legend?

    Yeah! If we’re going to have halftime concerts by geriatric has-beens, KISS in full makeup would have been much, much better.

    I giggle at the thought of the nipple and dead-man-comeing hating censors dealing with “Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang.”

    Imagine their reaction if Nugent brought his machine guns….

  34. No nipple flash from jagger? That’s a shame.

  35. “Some Girls” is the last decent and original album they made. Everything since is either self-derivative or just plain bad.
    Just think: the Stones have sucked for longer than any of my students have been alive. They have sucked for 28 years, which is almost exactly twice as long as their period of not sucking. Maybe batting 0.333 will get you into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it’s disgraceful for a rock band.
    And about the song “Waiting for a Friend”: yes, it is a great song. Which was written and recorded in 1973, during their days of greatness. It just wasn’t released until their early sucking years.
    I’m sometimes dumbstruck by how and why a band can go from being great to sucking in such a short period.

  36. Obviously if you compare the Stones music from the mid-70s on to Beggars Banquet or Exile on Main street you’ll have bad things to say about them. But compared to the crap that has dominated the charts we’ve had since, especially from the 80s on, the Stones don’t look so bad. Undercover,Dirty Work and Voodoo Lounge all had quite a few good numbers. A greatest hits collection of their post-Some girls period would be a damn good album.

    The problem is not the music they are still putting out but the way Jagger acts on stage. Jagger became more and more active on stage from 1969 on and it worked through to the 1981 tour – possibly even the Steel Wheels tour, though that may be stretching it. After that he just got too hyper. It’s as if he’s trying to prove something: “See, I’m not that old. Look how fast I can move!”

  37. It seems to me that once a rock act gets a few years into their 30s the quality of their music almost always deteriorates. I can’t think of any exception soff the top of my head.

  38. I just want to know what ever happened to Up With People…

    I meet them wherever I go.

  39. I’m sometimes dumbstruck by how and why a band can go from being great to sucking in such a short period.

    It’s called growing up and adapting your taste in music accordingly.

    BTW, the best line I’ve heard on the Stones is: “They’re so old that even jokes about their age seem dated”.

  40. Sorry guys, but “Waiting on a Friend” is a brilliant song. They still had a bit left then…in 84 that is.

    Budgie, that song came out in ’81, but it was written and/or recorded much earlier–no later than 1976 for the Goats Head Soup album. The _Tattoo You_ album was made up almost entirely of outtakes from previous album sessions and was released in a hurry so the band would have something to promote on their big ’81 tour. Here’s more info:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/tattoo-you

  41. By the way, I ALWAYS thought that the Stones were mediocre and overrated. Even when they didn’t look grandparents attending a Halloween party, as they did last night.

  42. What’s more tired: the Rolling Stones’ act, or Nick Gillespe letting us all know how he’s too hip for them (and precisely how long he’s been too hip for them) every time they make headlines?

    It is utterly disingenuous, of course, to suggest that “Start Me Up” has been “foisted” on audiences. Audience reactions and its chart performance indicate otherwise. That’s not to say it’s a particularly good song, of course; it’s just to observe that Mr. Gillespe completely loses his grip on reality amid the seething resentment and tiresome hipsterism he displays whenever an opportunity to discuss the Rolling Stones arises.

    To the individual who said “Slipping Away” was the last good Stones track — I’m not sure how you don’t also admit the worthiness of later Richards tracks, especially “Thru and Thru” and “Thief in the Night.”

  43. ChrisO…Thanks for the link. I guess that explains the occasional flashes of brilliance on Tattoo You. The funny thing about those songs originally recorded for Goats Head Soup that ended up on Tattoo You is that GHS could have really used a couple more decent songs. I thought it was little thin after the run of Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., Let It Bleed etc.

  44. At one point, Mick picked up something that someone threw on the stage. Sure looked like a Depends undergarment to me. My TV was too small to tell, but I like to think it was a Depends.

  45. Drubbing!?!?
    What game were you watching?
    The game I watched saw Seattle beating Pittsburg 60% of the time, Seattle beating themselves 10% of the time, Pittsburg beating Seattle 25%, and the Refs deciding the game the remaining 5%.

  46. You know, I think maybe I’m actually impressed that the Stones can still perform at some level at their age. Jumping around on stage at 63 is no joke, I’m sure.

    I don’t count Keith Richards, incidentally. Although he, too, would be 63 if he were still alive, his death twenty years ago means that we had to stop counting then. However, he is 20 in undead years.

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