Nobody -- especially the Rolling Stones themselves -- would have believed let alone predicted that most of them would survive long enough to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary. For years at a time, making it to next week seemed like an improbability. Yet here they are, still among us, and from I'm told they proved this week at Bobby Dodd Stadium that they remain the Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band on the Planet.
But as amazing as they are in their current incarnation, it's even more amazing to see them back in the early days, when you can appreciate just how revolutionary they were, and how threatening they must have been to the staid establishment of the day. If you read Keith Richards' highly entertaining autobiography or watch the HBO documentary "Crossfire Hurricane," you get a real sense of how reviled they were by the authorities.
And in fact, a lot of the attention that they drew was thoroughly deserved. That was kind of the point. They weren't Justin Bieber bad boys, they were bad boys on a completely different level, and it was a miracle that none of them did hard time.
So ... enough of the blah blah blah. Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones!