When I first became interested in music -- listening to, not playing -- Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones had already established themselves as pop culture deity.
That was back in 1966. More than a half century later, the Stones are still going strong.
Mick, at age 75, continues to prance around the stage with the best of them, drummer Charlie Watt is stoic as ever, Ronnie Wood is forever the quiet one, and Keith Richard is ... well, Keith.
For the baby boomer generation, the Stones are the band that we have always thought would be around forever. The frailty of human life, however, eventually surfaces.
Recent headlines informed us Mick needed heart surgery, and thankfully, the procedure was a success. The group is expected to resume touring in the summer.
I've made it a point to kind of monitor Mick's progress the past few weeks, and while doing so found it fitting also to delve into some old Stones tunes. At one point, wife Kathy stuck her head into the mancave and sounded the warning, "Kind of loud, isn't it?"
Yes, it was. And I was enjoying every minute of it.
There have always been two Rolling Stones songs I have enjoyed more than most others, and depending on how I feel on a specific day, I may change my mind about which is my all-time No. 1 favorite from Mick and the boys.
On this particular day, this is how I rank my Stones favorites:
1. "Mixed Emotions" (1994): Arguably, this song has the best first four lines of any song in the rock era:
"Button your lip, baby,
Button your coat.
Let's go out dancin',
Go for the throat."
2. "She's A Rainbow" (1967): For years, this was my favorite Stones song -- until "Mixed Emotions" came along. Few know that John Paul Jones, who later went on to stardom with Led Zeppelin, played a major role in the song's arrangement.
3. "Honky Tonk Women" (1969): If ever there was a song to characterize the Rolling Stones, this is probably it.
4. "Brown Sugar" (1971): This is one of five songs from the band to reach No. 1 in both the United States and Great Britain.
5. "Emotional Rescue" (1980): This is one of the band's most subdued hits but also one of its best.
Some have never cared for the Rolling Stones, not so much for their music but because of their bad-boy image. Jagger, in particular, has always rubbed many the wrong way. Others adore the Stones and have for decades.
Me? I'm just glad the band is still around. Prance on, Mick. Prance on.