"I don't think they were better in '69 or '72...I think they are playing as well now as they have ever played. The thing really is that when they started out they were rebels and non-conformists and obviously you can't be like that all your life. But when you go out and do a tour with union guys, basically, you've gone back to the type of legit-theatre situation.They are getting to be part of sort of show-biz which I don't think was ever the idea in the first place, but this is the way Mick wants it.
He wants to have a theatre production. I don't know if it's worth it...the stages in NYC and LA...it was very funny and great to see it all happen, but I don't really know why. I suppose that one can be very proud of it all. They spent a million dollars and it opened up and the kids loved it and at the end the Stones were on stage and it closed again and it's the best rock and roll prop, but so what?
The 1975 tour was probably the best rock and roll production ever. I'm not knocking it and I'm certainly not knocking the skill and application of the crew that made it possible, but if I went to a Stones concert, or a Count Basie concert for that matter, I would want to enjoy the Stones or the Basie band without distraction. And afterwards I would be knocked out by Keith Richards or Al Grey, as the case may be, and if the stage went up and down at the corners, that would be interesting at best, but a distraction at worst.
I just wonder if it's really worth it. Mick believes that it is and that people want to see a total production. Maybe they do. I am propably completely in the minority".
You can read the full (and rare!) 1976 interview with Stu right down here. And if you read it, you'll understand this post's topic in full.
Adapted from the following source:
Lisa Robinson, Interview with Ian Stewart, Creem Magazine, June 1976.