who would try to fill Richard's rock and roll shoes,
With Keith, their future is pretty well assured for as long as they want to carry on. The best comparison, and one that's already been made, is the Stones as the Muhammad Ali of rock and roll-the reigning champs not at the peak of their power recently but still capable of mustering enough of the old flash to retain their crown. As certified rock and roll legends, they can release whatever they like these days and be confident it will sell on the strength of their name alone. But they haven't made a truly satisfying album in five years now and it's usually proven to be very difficult for a band to regain their musical momentum once they've lost it.
Yet there are indications that the Stones are becoming irritated by the new wavers' constant criticism of them as boring old farts and perhaps that challenge will provide the impetus for them to regain their intensity and begin creating memorable music again. The alternative is a situation that can only fill the hearts of those who've lived and died with the band with fear and loathing--the fact that, in 1977 and beyond, the Rolling Stones just might not matter any more.