"Two seventh graders from the North Brookfield junior high school. One's
twelve, the other thirteen. Both girls. All Mick's idea."
"It's astonishing, Gil. We were just talking about this with Mick last
night, just before rehearsal, and he agrees that it's different this
time that we've tapped into a whole new market almost in
addition to the old one."
Alan and I were "working the chain" down at the bottom of the drive. It
was a warm and pleasant summer's afternoon, and there were cars coming
by on Stoddard Road. That means it was a weekday; because on the
weekends we had the road blocked off at the bottom and the top by
sawhorses and police cars.
"How so, Alan?"
"The young ones mostly. Three years ago, in 1978, when we were using
your illustrious competitor studio in Woodstock to rehearse in, it
wasn't anything like this. Wasn't anything like this at all. Mainly in
respect of the younger demographics we're getting the bubble gum
set now. The preteens. That never happened before, even in the best of
times. Thirteen year olds, Gil. Can you imagine!
"Some of it I can understand," Alan continued. "Young people in
twenties they've got to acknowledge that the Stones exist, and to
buy their records. They're obliged to, almost, because it's the last
genuine rock 'n' roll band on the face of the earth quite apart
from their opinions about the music. So it doesn't surprise me that we
have this group. We always have.
"Next group up those in their thirties and forties. I can
understand them, too. They were young, most of them, when the Stones
first hit all your dyed-in-wool Stones fans, Chubby Checker fans,
Buddy Holly fans, and so forth they're all in this group. So, fair
enough, I can see that we would continue to draw them, too. These
people remember the beginnings. There are considerations of nostalgia
"Even those older still late-middle age sorts. That makes some
sense, too. These were the people who went out and bought and paid for
the television sets which their kids used to see the Stones on the Ed
Sullivan Show in '64, and so they're still there as a friendly
presence, even if not as a market although it's difficult to say
just where one ends and the other begins.
"But what I
understand, Gil, and what Mick can't understand
either, is the teenage demographics all ten years of it. These kids
don't owe us anything. You'd expect them to be against the band as
they're generally against a lot of things, just out of the joy of
being 'con,' if you know what I mean."
"I know what you mean, Alan," I assured him.
"Well, we've got them
Not again, no. We've got them for
the first time. The Beatles had them, but we never really did. We do
now. These kids are buying the album like crazy, we understand. An
important element in advance ticket sales to date, also. Just the fact
about us is amazing. Can't figure it out. Mick
"Critical mass, I think," Alan continued. "Makes a critical mass. Add
on those extra millions on the top end Stones fans aren't exactly
dying yet by and large and add on those unexplained millions in the
bubble gum set, and you've got a phenomenon that's horizontal across
all major age brackets. Bigger than the sum of the parts. 'Pressure
Cooker Theory,' Wasserman calls it. And that's what you're seeing here,
Gil the cars, the low-flying helicopters, the Stones watchers
sneaking in across the mud at night, just trying to get close. We're at
the critical mass you add one more Stones watcher, and it's as
though you added ten."
"Think of what it means for tee-shirts, Alan," I laughed.
"I can assure you we have, Gil. That's what that meeting was all about
yesterday, upstairs in Studio B. Only one part of that meeting, I
should add. We're discussing other ancillary products as well."
Later that week I learned from Kathleen that Mick had agreed to do an
exclusive interview, and would receive the two reporters in the library
of the Farmhouse, at teatime, although it was expected that the
interview might go longer.
"That's incredible, Kathleen. Hadn't heard anything about this from
Wasserman. Let me guess, though. I'm spending half my life talking with
these guys on the phone now, it seems. It's Steve Morse, from the
"Nope," Kathleen said.
magazine duo. Wasserman caved in and gave it to
"Way off," Kathleen said.
"All right, who then?"
"Two seventh graders from the North Brookfield junior high school.
One's twelve, the other thirteen. Both girls. All Mick's idea."
Cf., Appendix C:
INTERVIEWING A LEGEND: THRILL OF A LIFETIME.