Happily, the band is helping to plug any gaps in memory, or history, with a new CD called "Stripped," which includes more than a dozen acoustic performances and whose video version debuts Sunday at 7 p.m. on MTV.
In spite of the fact it's acoustic and being shown on MTV, this is not officially an "Unplugged," though for all practical purposes it is musically the same thing.
The difference is that by not having MTV produce it, the Stones retained control and were also able to turn it into a mini-documentary, using additional nonmusical footage from their current tour and interspersing brief interview-type comments by band members between songs.
The Stones love to do that sort of thing, and they're also very good at it. The focus of the hour-long show, however, remains the music, which was clearly conceived to keep both the Stones and their fans from feeling their mammoth ''Voodoo Lounge" tour, which began in 1994, had lapsed into a greatest- hits show.
Some of the acoustic tunes, most notably "Street Fighting Man," are played so ferociously they might as well be electric. Others, however, particularly songs shot at a rehearsal in Tokyo - "Love in Vain" and "Wild Horses" stand out - are strikingly intimate and give the band a chance to prove fine musicianship still lies at the core of the Stones' appeal.
"Like a Rolling Stone," the band's infinitely amusing choice for a new single, is the only tune here the Stones had not recorded previously. Alas, it ultimately pales in comparison to Bob Dylan's original, but the Stones more than redeem themselves with a beautiful "Angie" and a strong shot of classic Stones' wickedness in their underappreciated "Spider and the Fly."
Call it a show for the young and old. The Rolling Stones for the family.