On these stone, she founded a rock band


Handmann,_Euterpe

Euterpe, goddess of music


November 1960. If the British government had not announced the end of compulsory conscription, the history of rock music would have had a different path.

Many could not know it at that time, nothing had happened yet, but that announcement simultaneously united thousands of teenagers: each would have had a two years more in addition to the norm to cultivate their recklessness before society would step in with its solid arms, generating practical men. If we consider that lives of many people would have certainly been different without rock music for its propulsion to youth culture, we can say that the decision of the British government represents the cornerstone of the British revolution. Moreover, even Elvis, forerunner of the star-spangled rock and roll, finished his fuel when he left to serve in Friedberg, a US base in Germany, where American troops remained for twenty years after the end of the Second World War. The Pelvis certainly became more reassuring. 

To reflect better, maybe a real youth culture did not exist. Before that time, there were the tufts, the hair wax and the college time, macho symbolisms of those who had emerged victorious from a distant war, and strived to impose their status on the rest of the Western world, including what seemed to arouse indignation in the moralists and conformists at home. However, more than a youth culture, I would refer to that as a period of preparation for the adult world, an age and a state of mind that inexorably, before or after, they would abandon.

Those two gift years from Fate (or whoever for it), young Keith did not know what to do with, after all. Life in Dartford (Kent, twenty-five kilometres from London), did not fostered particularly fascinating perspectives. 

Yet in Roman times, Dartford had been fundamental for the intersection of two roads: the London-Dover and the one that from London led to East Anglia, in other words to the continent. At the end of 1961, instead - a few centuries later - history passes through Dartford station, on a commuters train. It is blues as background, outlining the dream of two eighteens. There is the emphasis and a halo of mythology surrounding the events of life. In reality, they happen by chance and escape previsions. The meeting between Michael Philip Jagger and Keith Richards takes place right at the station on an ordinary day of British life and seems to be come out of a Joyce novel: Dartford… ers.  

Jagger with a stack of records from Chess Records and Richards with his guitar. Chess Records, the label who launched Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Barry, Little Walter and company. Muddy Waters, author of Rolling Stone. Mick and Keith meet again because, in reality, they were friends from elementary school. 

Jagger spends every Saturday morning at the Carousel with friends. It was a place with the jukebox. One January morning, Keith goes to visit him. Great shindig and invitations to every party. And then, there were the records and the blues, the days spent listening and disassembling tracks looking for the right sound. Until the arrival of Brian, Bill, Charlie, Ian Stuart. And the mutual friend, Dick Taylor. On these stones Euterpe, Greek goddess of music, founded a rock band. Later, there was the Marquee Club in London, before the afternoon at Jermyn Street, when Lennon and McCartney moved to Studio 51 and gave them I wanna be your man, whose composition ended up in the next room. And even before (I can’t get no) Satisfaction or anything else, first of all and maybe even of themselves, there was unconditional love for the blues.


  

© ENRICO MATTIOLI 2018 




© Enrico Mattioli 2017