No option but to cancel
Waiting: Trucks that carried the Rolling Stones gear waiting in Kewdale. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

The Rolling Stones cancelling tonight's Perth concert was not just the right thing to do, it was the only thing to do.

Mick Jagger is no longer first and foremost the lead singer of the greatest rock'n'roll band of all-time, rather he is a grief-stricken man dealing with the death of his girlfriend of 13 years, American fashion designer L'Wren Scott.

The band had no choice but to cancel the first show of their Australian tour, due to take place at Perth Arena tonight, and then assess whether or not to play the other dates.

In tragic circumstances such as these, personal affairs become all-consuming and work is off the agenda, the same as if you or I lose a wife, boyfriend, sibling, child or parent.

The Rolling Stones' first Perth gig in nearly 20 years was one of the most anticipated in our concert history.

Tickets commanded high prices but were snapped up in minutes when they went on sale in December. Babysitters, hotel rooms and interstate flights were booked. Fans counted down the months, weeks and days until the mighty Stones were due to roll into town. All that is now irrelevant.

True fans will support Jagger during this time, which must be unfeasibly sad, confusing and difficult.

Thousands of Australian music lovers have flooded social media with messages of sympathy and goodwill for Jagger, his family, the band and the family of Scott.

The vast majority totally accept the Stones' decision to cancel Perth and perhaps the entire national tour.

Many have said they would rather not see their hero perform through his grief - a view to which I subscribe.

The Rolling Stones famously played a gig at London's Hyde Park on July 5, 1969, only two days after the death of founding member Brian Jones.

That was a different situation and these are different times.

Rather than speculate about when or whether the Australian dates might happen at all, we should simply accept that more important matters take precedence.

In the end, it's only rock'n'roll.

The West Australian

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