Bob Garfield Wrong About 'Rolling Stones' Half Time Show

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While we've been in the ad biz since before Loyd Dobler held that radio over his head in Say Anything, we don't pretend to have the knowledge or insight Ad Age Editor Hoag Levins or black-turtlenecked Ad Age Man-At-Large Bob Garfield possess, except, perhaps when it comes to Garfield's commentary on why the Rolling Stones are bad choice as a Half Time Super Bowl act. Calling the Stones "114 year olds" who have "been around since the early Jurassic period," Garfield can't seem to understand why the Stones are still relevant cavalierly claiming they "have one foot in the grave," their appearance in the Super Bowl is a "last surrender to commercialism" and they're on their way to "Hollywood Squares." Calling them a "commercialized pop act," Garfield is so out of touch with culture, he, in perhaps an apparent attempt to appear hip, can't seem to grasp that fact the Stones still are "hip."

In discussing the rampantly proliferating advertising orgasm that surrounds the Super Bowl and just about everything else in our society, Garfield can't grasp that this is both a very smart thing for the Stones to do from, yes, their own self-promotional perspective but also for the fans watching the game who, for once in a long while, will be presented with actual music rather than the over produced blather we're so often shoveled during Half Time. Certainly not everyone loves the Stones and sure, there are people who, perhaps, have never heard of them, but, a lot more people like them and have heard of them then, say, whoever that collection of rappers where a few years ago.

Choosing the Rolling Stones for Super Bowl Half Time was a very smart decision for the NFL, ABC and fans the world over who will be watching the game, looking forward to seeing a bit less controversy and a lot more entertainment that Janet Jackson could ever deliver.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (31)     File: Celebrity, Opinion, Super Bowl 2006, Television     Feb- 3-06  
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Comments

You are so right about the stones being a great choice.

But I'm counting on Mick to be controversial. I'm sure he won't let us down! The Stones have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being outrageous.

Posted by: B.L. Ochman on February 3, 2006 01:50 PM

It is a great move for the Stones and the Stones only. The choice to have them was purely based on finding a band that won't rock the boat. Controversial - maybe they were a new band. The Stones are now seen as pioneers of rock - they can't do anything wrong - hence they are not controversial.
Personally the only people that get to enjoy the halftime music - are those at home and standing by the stage. Hell - how many actually watch the halftime show anyway - about as many people who watch the full 4-hour pre-game show.

Posted by: M. Johnson on February 3, 2006 02:02 PM

Having seen the Stones in concert this fall, I can tell Bob Garfield that they are still a great rock and roll band. Should great performers stop what they do just because they're no longer in their 20's. The late Ray Charles did these types of shows with dignity, should we tell performers like Willie Nelson, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan etc. to stop taking advantage of their talents due to their age or that because they are "selling out".
Garfield is a blowhard.

Posted by: Barry S on February 3, 2006 02:02 PM

Barry..., ummmm, Muddy Waters is dead. But you're right on bro.

Posted by: Bernie on February 3, 2006 02:06 PM

Sorry-as a 27yo african american male--the Rolling Stones will not be on my TV set during halftime. I'll use that time to run and get more liquor.
And to writter of this article, to say that Janet Jackson can't deliver a good show is like saying ketchup is purple..absolutely crazy. Her Halftime performance was the most watched in the history of the game. Obviously there are several people out there who love to see Janet perform. This is a woman who is known to be very successful for her tours..probably the most successful female entertainer next to Cher and Madonna. She's ranked as the 9th most successsful artist of all time according to Billboard. So next time--give Janet Jackson some respect -- especially when you speak of her performing capabilities.

Posted by: Robert J. on February 3, 2006 02:12 PM

Barry..., ummmm, Muddy Waters is dead. But you're right on bro.

Posted by: Bernie on February 3, 2006 02:12 PM

The Stones are still great. My teenage kids and their friends love the Stones. Tell Bob to get his head out of his ass! Old fart!

Posted by: Tom on February 3, 2006 02:15 PM

Bob G misses the point: this is a battle of the brands. The Rolling Stones and the NFL - both pros at filling stadiums with and moving merchandise to millions of (ahem) satisfied customers. They were bound to come together at some point.

As for the band themselves, the Stones still deliver - and after the cheesefest halftime shows of Super Bowls past, what's so wrong with a rock and roll band tearing up the joint for a few numbers? Stevie Wonder's gonna be there too - and if anyone ever sang about economic injustice and inequity, it's him...not the Rolling Stones.

"Last surrender to commercialism"? The Stones have been defining rock commercialsm for as long as they've been around.
They were counter culture...but were also unapologetically across-the-counter culture too.

Posted by: Scottright on February 3, 2006 02:21 PM

Bob should have done a little research - the Bigger Bang album/tour is the best work since Tattoo You and demostrates how relevant the Stones really are. I guess Yanni was his first choice or he is concerned we might end up seeing Mick's breast.

Posted by: JC on February 3, 2006 02:21 PM

Funny how a grey haired goat face like Garfield would claim to know what is hip. Janet Jackson was one nipple in the grave away from irrelevancy and Hollywood Squares before her brother's CourtTV mini-series momentarily brought her back to the spot light. Stones are every bit as relevant as Budweiser and Pepsi...a couple of other 'old-timers'.

Posted by: Jack on February 3, 2006 02:21 PM

Bob G misses the point: this is a battle of the brands. The Rolling Stones and the NFL - both pros at filling stadiums with and moving merchandise to millions of (ahem) satisfied customers. They were bound to come together at some point.

As for the band themselves, the Stones still deliver - and after the cheesefest halftime shows of Super Bowls past, what's so wrong with a rock and roll band tearing up the joint for a few numbers? Stevie Wonder's gonna be there too - and if anyone ever sang about economic injustice and inequity, it's him...not the Rolling Stones.

"Last surrender to commercialism"? The Stones have been defining rock commercialsm for as long as they've been around.
They were counter culture...but were also unapologetically across-the-counter culture too.

Posted by: Scottright on February 3, 2006 02:22 PM

While Bob was a little extreme in his analysis, I would have to agree to a certain extent. Personally, I think it is pretty sad that, in an age when networks are trying to be more conservative, the Stones are now seen as a safe choice. These guys used to be cutting edge - they were the edge - revolutionary even.

Yes, this an improvement over the standard pabulum thrown out for these shows, but it's still not the main event. I thought the days were long gone that the Stones played second guitar to any act.

Posted by: Steve on February 3, 2006 02:31 PM

Dear old Bob is out of touch yet again. Remember his famous "Chaos Theory" article in Ad Age last year? So "it's already happened, Bob!" He is obviously not paying attention to the real world.

Posted by: Cait [TypeKey Profile Page] on February 3, 2006 02:36 PM

Here, here. Musically, the Stones still turn me on, Culturally, they're an icon. Physically, I'd like to be as active as Mick at his age! They're all pretty amazing to watch...Maybe one day we'll see a heart attack live on stage...come on, laugh, it's meant to be funny!

Posted by: Susan on February 3, 2006 02:43 PM

While we're at it then, lets get Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann to head out onto the field.
Bob is bang on - Its time the Stones realized their time is long long gone and should start fishing or something more befitting of their age.
Its great that the youth of today can enjoy thier amazing collection of music but that can be done without having their wrinkles projected onto millions of screens this weekend. Yuck.

Posted by: Toby on February 3, 2006 02:54 PM

Susan you're right about keeping a sense of humor about the whole thing. It's just that Bob Garfield and his "holier than thou" attitude piss me off. What the hell has he ever done anyway to come off as some know it all of creativity and the business?

Posted by: barry s on February 3, 2006 02:58 PM

I think it's a horrible decision. I think they should have celebrated Detroit in their choice a bit more. Who cares about some old ugly band from the UK with crap music. There is a stong musical history in Detroit. From Motown to Techno. The halftime show could have been an awesome representation of the roots of that music. I won't be tuning into watch, as I haven't in the past few years. Who will be there next year? Duran Duran? I mean why not support yet another British group?

The Super Bowl is an American tradition, it should celebrate American artists. Especially when it's hosted in a city with such a strong musical background.

Posted by: Michelle Johnson on February 3, 2006 03:14 PM

No doubt Detroit's got a great musical history. Not the issue. There are many fine bands that would be well suited for Half Time. While the Rolling Stones may com from Britain, that was 40 years ago and they have certainly since then earned their right as an American institution.

Posted by: Steve Hall on February 3, 2006 03:29 PM

Having the Rolling Stones perform at half time is a great way to allow people to run to the bathroom without feeling like they are missing a great half time show! Who actually looks forward to watching them perform....older people! they should have thought this one through a little more.

Posted by: Sha'Netta Judge on February 3, 2006 07:54 PM

what exactly the fuck is wrong with old people? It's "old people" who, in fact, have the money advertisers want but, unfortunately, most advertisers are to too stupid and too busy trying to be "hip" targeting their products only to 18-34. The fact the Rolling Stones are playing might actually help deliver a demographic that actually has the money to spend on the shit advertisers will be selling during the game.

Posted by: Steve Hall on February 3, 2006 08:06 PM

Bob Garfield is a total hack. You can pretty much just go with the opposite of what he says to find out what's good. For example, he loved the Coke Zero "Chilltop" ad, and said that the Truth campaign would fail because teenagers won't get it. He also wrote that the "Bababababaaaa" Super Bowl spot was one of the best ever. He's totally washed up.

Posted by: Thomas on February 4, 2006 01:28 PM

the rolling stones are crap. this choice for the superbowl halftime show was a blatant attempt by uncool marketing folks at the top to appear cool by appealing to the aging baby-boomer audience. right now the haftime show is on, and the rolling stones truly suck. let them go people. they had their run, but they're way past their prime. matter of fact, times like this make me favor euthanasia. i watch mick jagger limp around on geriatric stick legs. i mean, he's practically leaking botox onto the stage.

and way to pick an english band for the biggest american pastime. morons. you're in detroit. i'm no genius, but i'm pretty sure that detroit has some pretty good talent. boo. capital lame.

Posted by: bishops robes on February 5, 2006 08:20 PM

Just watched the Stones at half-time. GREAT.......as ever!!!!!!!!
FU BG!

Posted by: Michael on February 5, 2006 08:36 PM

It would have been helpful if Mick could have been able to sing on key. That was one of the worst halftime shows ever.

Posted by: Kristen on February 5, 2006 08:43 PM

Watching Mr. Uk Geriatric and his buddies pseudo belly dance while monotone chanting the same line over and over...is not a half time show.

I love football. 'Can't wait for Sueprbowl and this year with the Steelers..pristine. Then halftime. Normally, I like a little diversion and good entertainment. I was grateful that it was only three songs long. Just enough time to nuke more dip and grab the extra bag of tortillas...

Posted by: Jeni on February 5, 2006 10:51 PM

There were two sell-outs in Detroit yesterday.

The game. And the Rolling Stones.

In allowing ABC to censor two of their songs, the Stones added further proof that real rock 'n' roll is dead and gone.

How dead?

So dead that even Bill Frist would pull the plug.

Posted by: ZakAttack on February 6, 2006 10:10 AM

Somehow I don't think Mick gives a damn what Mr. Garfield thinks. 40 years and still earning large audiences on tour: The Stones were a great choice.

BTW - the reason Mick may have sounded off key is because he wasn't lip synching and I'm sure vocal monitors weren't primo on such a quick stage set.

I've never been a HUGE fan but you have to respect what they do even if you aren't.

Posted by: Bruce DeBoer on February 6, 2006 12:25 PM

Where has everybody been? The Stones aren't really the rebels that everyone seems to think they are - this was the same band that sang "Let's Spend Some TIME Together" on the Ed Sullivan show way back in '65. The Stones reputation for rebellion comes from their tumultuous personal lives.

As for the Halftime show itself, perhaps next year we should go back to schmaltz and have Wayne Newton sing the songs of America, surrounded by the giant floats and dancers? Maybe that will make you peek up from the beer and the cheese dip that the Super Bowl is really selling.

Bottom line - the Stones were solid and certainly better than the commercials or the entire first half.

Posted by: Scottright on February 6, 2006 12:27 PM

I am a Stones fan and watched with interest. There were technical glitches (Ron Wood's guitar lead wasn't turned on until about 30 seconds into the first song and Mick (a/k/a "the chicken on acid") outran the cameras) and they often played off-key. Keith Richards was little seen, probably because he looks like he's been dead since Superbowl I. But it was real rock n' roll, it was totally live, and if you were to ask up-and-coming rock groups to name the best rock front man and best rhythm guitarist alive today, the hands-down winners would be the chicken on acid and the dead guy. These guys are the Bachs of rock and deserve respect.

Posted by: Drake on February 6, 2006 11:07 PM

Well...I have been to many live shows and perform as well. Quick stage or not, Mick sounded ghastly. Speaking of respect for the band, and I do respect what they are, they need to respect themselves. To perform at such an event and deliver sub-par, they will most likely kick themselves when watching the performance. I am not a Stones fan BUT do not hate them either. Now John Madden out on stage with his midriff showing, that would be entertainment. Just don't let him sing, enough is enough.

Posted by: Jimbo on February 8, 2006 08:54 AM

Hey, It's Only Rock and Roll, but I like it! I think they rocked the joint. I also think ZZ Top rocked, I dont remember the year? The Stones are The Greatest Rock and Roll band in world, and have been since 1962. Thats alot of experience.
not to mention all the beer you can drink and the girls up front, I'm just glad they are still at it, Like Keith says Nurture it.
Jbirdou

Posted by: Jay Ritter on February 27, 2006 06:58 PM

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