Rolling Stones No Fans of ″Angie″ | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 22.08.2005

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Rolling Stones No Fans of "Angie"

How rock n' roll is Angela Merkel? Not rock n' roll enough to be allowed to use a Rolling Stones' song following her campaign speeches.

You're beautiful, but ain't it time to say goodbye?

"You're beautiful, but ain't it time to say goodbye?"

In the days before stylists fussed over her hair and clothing and before public relations advisors taught her how to smile more, Angela Merkel was no one's idea of the perfect chancellor candidate.

Now, the woman from the eastern German fishing village of Templin is a vision in colorful button-down suits, and her face tries its very best to exude a politician's false warmth.

All that's missing is a little rock n' roll -- and who better to provide that than the granddaddies of the genre themselves?

Recently, Angela -- or Angie, as her campaign staff would like Germans to think of her -- has been leaving the stage following her stump speeches to the strains of the Rolling Stones' eponymous song.

The soulful wail of Mick Jagger over a mournful melody of piano and guitar is, apparently, supposed to let Germans know that this woman feels their pain. But did anyone in her coterie think to pay a little bit more to what Mick and Co. were singing? And did anyone ask the kings of rock n' roll if a conservative chancellor candidate in Germany could even use the hit from 1973?

The Stones say no.

Rolling Stones wieder auf Welttournee Frontmann Mick Jagger

Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger sings at Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday, where the Rolling Stones opened their "A Bigger Bang" world tour.

"We didn't grant permission," said a spokesman for the band over the weekend in Great Britain's Observer. "We are surprised that permission was not requested. If it had been, we would have said no."

A Merkel spokesman, on the other hand, said the campaign consulted with Germany's music distribution rights agency, which told them they didn't need permission. The row won't likely end up in court, but the candidate's campaign team won't win any points for packaging.

Merkel, for all her newfound charm and style, still couldn't be less rock n' roll, something the song's lyrics weirdly seem to acknowledge.

"Angie, you're beautiful, but ain't it time we said goodbye?"

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