a Dozen Days of Honky Tonk

Here’s how my brain works sometimes.

While I was getting ready to work today, the radio played the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.” I was grooving out to it like I kinda do because I’m a big Stones fan and all that, when I got to thinking about how old that song is. It turns out a quick Google search says the song is slightly more than 43 years old. Naturally, I then got to wondering exactly how much of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ lives (and Charlie Watts, for that matter) have been spent singing “Honky Tonk Women.”

Once I asked, I just had to estimate it.

Now, the studio version is 3:03, but the live versions are all over the chart, sometimes over 4 minutes, sometimes over 5. I decided to assume that the average rendition of the song would last 4 minutes. I also decided to assume that the Stones played HTW an average of 100 times a year in rehearsal and in concert. I feel pretty good about the estimate of the song’s average run time, but I actually figure that Mick/Keith/Charlie have probably played that song even more than 100 times a year. But I decided to stay with this to be conservative.

I’ll cut to the chase, now.

If you assume 100 plays a year, and 4 minutes a play, the Stones have used up 17,200 minutes of their lives playing “Honky Tonk Women.” This is 286 hours, or just under 12 full days (11.92, to be more exact). Think about that. That’s nearly two full weeks without break.

Now, you may think that two solid weeks of HTW would be a bit of an overkill. You may even boggle at the idea that the Stones are popular enough to have that kind of opportunity. But me, I just smile and see a group of guys lucky enough to do something they love for as long as they wanted to.

Which I think is pretty danged cool.

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