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Well, heck, since I'm the guy who weighed in with the Rolling Stones=Microsoft
comment, I might as well comment. 

  (1) I stick to the comment that the Stones are mostly about Money - I'll 
      dig up the Keith Richards quote to the same effect (it's about one month 
      old) if you'd like. 

  (2) As a decaying 43-year-old, I vividly remember Beggar's Banquet, 
      Their Satanic Majesties, etc. IN fact, I think the best Stones' 
      album is 12x5 - their version of "Round and Round" is wonderful - 
      Richards has got that "sound" down perfectly. However, I pretty 
      solidly think that once Brian Jones got so into drugs that he
      couldn't hack it, and Mick engineered him out of the band, things 
      started to collapse. I still think so. 

  (3) As for the comment that 
       "...This guy has obviously missed out on the 60's and 70's chapter of 
        the History of Rock 'n Roll."...You're right; I never read about it. 
        For better or worse, my parents timed things poorly (at least from 
        their point of view) and I lived through them as they were happening.

  (4) I said that the Stones post-Miss You is always six months behind. 
      Still stick with it: don't forget "Can't You Hear me Knocking" is 
      The Stones do Santana

  (5) "...Does this guy actually believe that the Stones had a marketing
       plan drawn up for their career and image since day one?"
       Nope, I think it started around the beginning of 1969. Go watch 
       "Gimme Shelter" *really* carefully, and observe Jagger's obsession 
       with focussing everything on the himself.

  (6) "The Rolling Stones are the Microsoft of Rock.", Round Here (to quote
       someone else), you could get free Stones Tickets if you signed up
       for a particular cellular phone company. 

      It makes the Fleetwood Mac Reunion look downright altruistic. 

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                          J.A. Sethian
                          Dept. of Mathematics
                          University of California, Berkeley

                          Head, Mathematics Department 
                          Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory