So that’s it. Right through the sixties you were on one side or the other. There was no middle ground. The Beatles fans generally viewed the Stones as rough and uncouth whilst the followers of the Stones saw the Beatles as middle of the road and commercial. The Beatles were the darlings of the Press and high society whilst the Stones were dealers in demonics. My sister was a Stones fan through and through. She loved the scruffy long-haired upstarts which left me fawning over the Fab Four and their Cuban heels. As the decade progressed I grew to love the Stones too as the unhinged sway of their drilled down R&B grabbed hold of my adolescent longings. Stick Fingers came out and along with Exile on Main St it remains one of my all time favourites. Listening to the London singles recently released I’m struck by how good the early records still sound. Brilliantly recorded and performed this band was, and is something very special. Jagger’s supreme rock/blues vocals, the rhythm section powered by Charlie Watts and the coruscating grinding uumph provided by Keith Richards. Others have added to the sound too of course. The loping bass of Bill Wyman, the tasteful meanderings of Brian Jones, the muscular blues style keyboard playing of Ian Stewart, Ronnie Wood’s immaculate timing etc. But the heart is the heart and the three constant members are the ones. As they mark their fiftieth year in business I’m in doubt that the Rolling Stones are the greatest rock band of all. Bless their little cotton socks.