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A rolling rip-off

In a few days, the city of Boston will ruin its esteemed reputation in the arts community.

If you havenít heard the news: a British rock-and-roll band called the Rolling Stones will play American rock-and-roll music at venerable Fenway Park, an American baseball field, on Sunday, August 21. Itís as if the Boston Tea Party happened for nothing.

But letís forget the rivalry of nations for a second. Like most Americans my age ó 15, but I read CNN.com every morning, and I help out with my younger siblings so my parents can go out on the weekends ó I grew up with rock and roll, and was totally there when it started way back in 1993. More important, and unlike the Rolling Stones, I have respect for rock and rollís greats. None of those old guys wants to admit it, but Green Day invented rock music two years before "the Stones" got their big "start" on the Microsoft Windows 95 commercial. Green Day didnít call that album Dookie for nothing ó everything else after it, by comparison, sounded exactly like it. Whatís my point? Why get the Rolling Stones when we can get the Strokes or Jet or the guys from Louis XIV, all bands that the Stones shamelessly rip off? This is not rocket science ó this is "rock science."

This is not kids ripping off kids. The Rolling Stones are old guys with hefty pensions, using their retirement money to buy lessons and guitar equipment while the real rock and rollers, such as the kids in my band, Gravityís Lovechild, are stuck in Ms. Mannionís math class cheating on algebra tests. Keith Richards? More like a poor manís Toby Keith, or a tall manís Little Richard. Charlie Watts? More like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a movie for old people. Mick Jagger and Brian Jones? More like Mick Jones, a dead guy, and Jagger Brian, a man who doesnít exist.

Sure, people make a big deal of Jaggerís attending the London School of Economics. So what? Once I got high outside Harvard Square with the guy who plays the twig with the string attached. Do you see me bragging? Am I bragging that Iím not bragging? Who are you, Mick Jagger? Donít be a smart-ass. All Iím saying is Boston owes itself better ó and smarter. Why the city council didnít invite MITís MC R.O.N., a rapping robot learning computer with a positive message, is beyond me. Sounds like somebodyís "fingers" are "sticky." Or just dirty. Or dangerously resistant to low-level antibiotic hand cream. Listen: just donít get me started about how this bandís named after a goddamn magazine.

Hey. Despite how much I hate their lack of creativity, I do give the Stones credit. Since 1995, they have managed to write nearly 40 albumsí worth of material, play thousands of gigs (all bootlegged), and invent an elaborate back-story that involves a vicious rivalry with the Beatles, another band they invented.

But by the time this piece hits, thereís no way those fat cats in City Hall will want to hear the truth, and thatís a shame. This is the worst moment in our cityís history ó unforgivable and irreversible. But we, the people ó the kids ó will get our revenge come the elections of 2008, when I and all my friends who know a thing or two about music vote MC R.O.N. for mayor ó mayor of rock.

Issue Date: August 19 - 25, 2005
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