Through @ 2: Seattle's Rolling Stones on Playing Like Keith, Partying With Keith, and Flying in Keith's Learjet

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The Situation It's Friday night and I'm at Capitol Hill's Redwood having drinks with Seattle's own Rolling Stones--Justin Deary, Devin Welch, Tyler Swan, sole female Stone Chava Mirel, and the band's Mick Jagger, Jordan Blilie. (Fifth member Nat Sahlstrom is absent). Blilie's explaining how the group came together--to him, it essentially just seemed like a good way to spend the summer.

"I just made a shortlist of who my rawest dogs were," he says, grinning widely at said raw dogs now surrounding him. (Most of the Stones--comprising members of Flexions, Whalebones, Truckasaurus, and the former Blood Brothers--have known each other since junior high).

How They Got Here Playing in a cover band in addition to their "real" bands, jobs, and personal lives involves a certain balancing act. Mirel, for example, is a solo reggae musician, and just moved back to Seattle from New York City. I ask if she moved just to be in this cover band. "Yes!" cuts in Blilie, answering for her.

"We were all born to be in this band," says Swan, who's got the oldest Stones pedigree in the group--his parents raised him on the band's music, and he's seen them in concert twice.

Shop Talk Of the band's origin, Deary tells me, "We never get invited to any parties, so we decided to make big parties that everyone would want to come to." Which is exactly what they did--the Stones have played exactly one show, back in March in the Rendezvous' Grotto, at which they paid homage to the Stones' "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)" music video by dressing in sailor suits purchased from the Army/Navy surplus store (Deary: "If a Navy boat came in, we could just slip right on that thing.") The success of that one event garnered them enough attention to book more shows, including the upcoming Capitol Hill Block Party. (The hype hasn't been all favorable, though--one Stones fan site, apparently missing the reference, took a photo from the show and disdainfully pasted an image of Cracker Jack over Blilie). There will be more Stones-related outfits, although they won't divulge any further details.

What you need to know about the music: There won't ever be any recordings. ("I don't think that's even crossed our minds," says Welch. "There's no point.") Their collective favorite Stones era is '68-'73; they try to represent all of the Stones' history and styles in their setlist, although they skip the "too cover band-y" "Satisfaction." ("If we got offered to play a party, and they really wanted to hear it, and they offered us, like, $10,000, then we might think about it," says Deary.)

"The Stones are just the height of what's possible," says Mirel, of the band's wide appeal. "The Stones are more for grown-ups. It's sexy."

"When you want to sing some nursery rhymes or some shit, you put on the Beatles," says Blile, agreeing. "When you want to get down, you put on the Stones."

BTW Blilie says they never considered naming the band anything else other than the Rolling Stones--and that they don't even like seeing quotation marks around it. "If me and my friends go out and play basketball, we're not trying to think of a corny new name for it," he says, shaking his head. "We don't call it 'hoop-a-loop.'"

As to whether they'll ever get in trouble over the name, Blilie says, "The only thing I could imagine happening is, Keith finds out about it, sends up his Learjet to grab us, and makes sure we bring a six-pack, and then we're in his living room in Jamaica and we're just hanging out and jamming, and he's got the band together. It just seems like how it'd go down. I can't imagine any other way it'd go down."

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