Just His 19th Nervous Breakdown

The Reanimated Corpse of Keith Richards has demanded an apology for a bad review of a recent Reanimated Corpses of the Rolling Stones concert in Sweden.

This explains a lot, and actually makes me feel a bit better about the Stones. Maybe they haven't sold out, after all. Maybe they're not just in it for the money. Is it possible that Keith, Mick and the boys actually think they're still a credible rock-n-roll band? That they think they're going out there and "sticking it to the man" every night? That they truly don't see what a bad joke they've become for basically the entire rock music world outside of their namesake magazine?

"Write the truth," Keith demands in his letter. "It was a good show." Oh, well, if Keith says it was a good show, it must have been a good show, right?

Look, Keith..."Beggars' Banquet," "Let it Bleed" and "Sticky Fingers" will remain undeniable classics, absolute essentials of any rock aficionado's collection for as long as there is rock music, whether on vinyl, 8-Track tape, CD or iPod. Nothing you can do today will change that or threaten the Stones' status as one of the best, most significant and important rock bands in history. Your cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was by far the best thing about that movie, and you were far cooler in a five-minute appearance than Mick was through the entirety of Freejack.

But Keith, you're both an old man and a millionaire many times over. It's pretty stupid for you to be griping about a bad review in Sweden. And don't kid yourself - there's just no way your fingers are as nimble on the ol' axe as once they were. Don't try to convince anyone that the Stones can put on a show in 2007 that's anywhere near what you did in 1967 - because, c'mon, you and I both know that just ain't so. You're the same age as my Dad, Keith, but you look like you're the same age as Bob Dole. Hard living catches up with you. My Dad, at your age, likes golf, fine wine, Sunday afternoon naps, vacations where he can do a little SCUBA diving and a lot of sitting by the pool. He does not, as a general rule, ever try to convince anyone that he's still 23 years old, or even capable of all the things he was at that age.

Hey, go ahead and keep playing. No one's saying you can't. Feel free to put yourself out there to be the butt of jokes on late night talk shows - and seriously, you're old enough that the jokes about how old you are are twenty years old themselves. Go ahead, keep playing, keep making albums of ever-diminishing quality, keep selling tickets to rich and nostalgic Baby Boomers at $200 a pop. But don't get your Depends in a wad when someone points out that maybe you're not what you used to be.