The Rolling Stones, Happiness, and ‘Satisfaction’

By Greg Schwem | June 28th, 2024

The group’s 2024 Hackney Diamonds Tour is really the ‘Happy Tour’

Mick Jagger, image by Wirestock, used with article on The Rolling Stones, happiness and satisfaction

When comedian and humorist Greg Schwem caught The Rolling Stones on tour, he suspects he may have discovered their secret to happiness and “satisfaction.”

In Atlanta last week to visit relatives, I was fortunate to witness rock-and-roll immortality, courtesy of the Rolling Stones.

Just a typical night hanging out with 80-year-old men.

OK, two 80-year-old men in particular: Mick Jagger, the Stones’ ageless frontman, and lead guitarist Keith Richards, his bandmate since the Stones formed in 1962. At 77, guitarist Ronnie Wood, who joined the band in 1975, is still considered “the kid.”

Ironically, when the show ended and the band took a collective center-stage bow, Wood appeared the most winded, at least from my vantage point. Drummer Steve Jordan also looked like he could use a little oxygen boost, although he was probably too embarrassed to admit it in front of Mick and Keith. After all, Jordan is ONLY 67. Suck it up, young lad!

While entering the cavernous Mercedes-Benz stadium, and sitting among veteran Stones fans, I overheard many jokes and humorous comments related to the band members’ ages.

“What’s the over-under on whether they all make it through the show?”

“Who’s the most important band member on this tour? The doctor!”

“Mick has a 7-year-old son. Couldn’t they at least start the show before his bedtime?”

“Maybe that’s why the Stones are still touring. That kid is going to need braces. Those aren’t cheap.”

The last one was mine. Not sure it’s funny, but I’m a professional comedian. I couldn’t help myself.

Then the Stones took the stage and snarkiness gave way to adoration. Not that the Stones weren’t always worshiped by this collection of gray-haired fans, some leaning on canes for support and others who probably made at least three bathroom visits during the band’s two-hour set.

Halfway through, Jagger disappeared, ceding the stage to Richards who performed three songs. The last tune perfectly summed up the crowd’s mood and, most likely, the band’s reason for continuing to hit the road when nobody would fault them if they decided to spend their remaining years playing pickleball in retirement communities worldwide.

The song, written by Richards in 1972, is simply titled, “Happy.”

“Well, I never kept a dollar past sunset
It always burned a hole in my pants
Never made a school mama happy
Never had a second chance, oh no
I need a love to keep me happy…”

Richards grinned throughout his solo set. So did Jordan, keeping pace behind him. Heck, so did the roadie who handed Richards the guitars he needed to play each song.

Pure bliss all around.

Yes, the lyrics aren’t 100% accurate; Richards has plenty of dollars to tide him over for many sunsets. But isn’t doing what you love, for as long as you feel like doing it, a major happiness component? I believe so, despite what you may hear on TikTok.

Head to your favorite social media channel of choice, search “How to be happy,” and you could spend the rest of your day contemplating the various solutions. When I’m feeling blue, I’ve done just that. In return, I’ve heard I should alter my breathing, journal, take up kayaking (for real), declutter my condo, start a low-protein diet, start a high-protein diet, or make an impulse purchase.

I could plant herbs, volunteer, increase my daily step count, rekindle a dormant friendship, or, ironically, cancel all my social media accounts.

Instead, I will look to the Rolling Stones and hope that, when I hit 80 I am still in front of audiences, making them laugh for 20, 30, 40 minutes or however long they can sit through a set before having to use the restroom or gobble some ibuprofen to ease their aches and pains.

That’s my definition of happiness. And “satisfaction.”

Why The Beatles Endure

Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of two books: Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad and the recently released The Road To Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS From a Corporate Comedian, available at Visit Greg on the web at

© 2024 Greg Schwem. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Like laughing? Check out more Schwem, Boomer articles on laughter or the baby boomer humor of Randy Fitzgerald.

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