Image: Jim Pietryga via Wikipedia
Salut! Live limps back into life with another entry in the Cover Story series comparing and contrasting different versions of the same song.
Many years ago in Paris, maybe 2006, I paid a fortune for tickets to see the Rolling Stones at the Stade de France. I can enjoy stadium rock - Coldplay in Nice and Lyon were superb and I've seen impressive clips of other bands in other places - and the Stones' concert was excellent.
I have not seen them live since but a review in my local paper when I'm in France, the Var-Matin (ahead of a Marseille gig, but based on a London show attended by the writer), noted that Ronnie Wood was getting better and better with the passing of years, while Keith Richards was not.
See the entire Cover Story series at this link
There was much in the Stade de France performance to be appteciated. Jagger was super-fit, charging around the stage and its offshoots as nimbly as an athlete of 20. He took care to speak French between songs - always appreciated when Anglo-Saxons play to audiences in France - and a generous selections of hits kept the crowd enthused and engaged.
But the musical highlight of the evening for me came after the show had ended and we were making our way our of the stadium.
At an unofficial merchandise stall, a ghetto blaster was playing the Stones' version of the Bob Dylan song Like a Rolling Stone.
This had not been on the concert playlist - much to my regret since it is perhaps the Stones, for me, at their best.
It is always risky to challenge Dylan and suggest anyone else can make a better job of any of his songs. But I have always believed that to be the case, much as I still enjoy his originals of probably most of his work.
And I have no problem with his version of Like a Rolling Stone, one of the songs that marked his departure from folk and even folk-rock and immersion in rock and one of two examples of that transition, the other being Positively 4th Street, that I most admire in later Dylan. I can listen to both with great pleasure - hence the absence of a question mark in the headline - but simply prefer it by the Stones. And now I expect to be shot down in flames.