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The Rolling Stones were almost robbed at famous old Birmingham music venue (Read 285 times)
Edith Grove
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The Rolling Stones were almost robbed at famous old Birmingham music venue
Aug 21st, 2017 at 3:41pm
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The Rolling Stones were almost robbed at famous old Birmingham music venue


Mick Jagger and Keith Richards could be forgiven for having bittersweet memories of The Ritz.



BY MIKE LOCKLEY 20 AUG 2017



...
The Ritz ballroom in Kings Heath



A day to celebrate one of the most memorable gigs at a legendary rock venue takes place next month.

The event, on September 24, marks the 54th anniversary of The Rolling Stones appearance at Kings Heath’s Ritz Ballroom.

The gesture comes courtesy of local music historians Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker.

From 3pm to 6pm, a string of groups will play classic Stones tracks.

Fans watching the tribute gigs could be forgiven for asking: “Is this a Jagger I see before me?”



...
The Rolling Stones in 1963 (Image: Daily Mirror)


When the Stones performed for the only time at The Ritz – razed to the ground by a 2013 blaze – worldwide fame still beckoned.

They had only just released their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s Come On, when they hit the stage on September 14, 1963.

Next time the band played in Birmingham, just a year later, they were big enough to command top billing at The Hippodrome.

But Mick Jagger and Keith Richards could be forgiven for having bittersweet memories of The Ritz.

Because they were victims of an attempted robbery.



...



And they owe a debt of gratitude to James Hurst, the former Birmingham mod now living a more sedate life in Weston-super-Mare.

It was James, a friend of the fledgling group that would go on to become rock gods, who burst in as petty criminals rifled Jagger and Co’s clothes and equipment.

Then aged 19, James walked in on the dressing room crime scene as the Stones strutted their stuff on stage.

“The door was open,” he recalled, “and I could see someone going through Charlie Watts’ jacket.

“The bloke looked up, hid the jacket behind a mirror, then breezed past me.

“When Charlie came in, he noticed straight away that his jacket was missing. I said ‘Charlie, I don’t think it’s gone’. I showed him where it was.”



...
Friend of the Stones James Hurst (Image: Marcus Queensborough <marcus.queenborough@trinitymirror.com>)



James, now a grandfather, had foiled a Rolling Stones robbery.

“I take credit for that,” nodded the Irishman who moved to Cannon Hill in 1960. “I was well-known around the town and the thieves would’ve been aware of me.”

Memories of the sell-out gig – it was the Stones’ first in Birmingham – remain vivid.

James, befriended by the band a year earlier and an ever-present backstage for three glorious, rollercoaster years, remembers the set, the clothes, and the crowd.

He forged bonds with Brian Jones and Bill Wyman, but found Jagger “aloof”.

In all he was there for 30 Stones gigs, including the 1969 Hyde Park tribute to his friend Brian Jones, a talent who eventually succumbed to the rock and roll lifestyle.

“At the time of the Ritz gig, they were probably the best covers band there was,” said James.

“They only stole the best. They stole covers of Chess and Stax records – Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and some of the New Orleans stuff. But there was no screaming at The Ritz – you didn’t tend to get that at dance halls.”

James first met The Stones in July 1963, when he visited Birmingham’s Alpha TV studios to see the band record for pop show, Thank Your Lucky Stars.

“They were in tune with the mood of the moment,” explained James. “You’re talking about a very anodyne scene at the time, antiseptic even.

“It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

“I remember they were a bit beatnik looking – heavy jackets and tab collars.!

Unlike Jones and Wyman, however Jagger kept James at arm’s length. He never warmed to the likeable Irishman.



...
The Rolling Stones pictured in 1963 (Image: Mirrorpix)



“In Wigan in 1965 I split the a**e out of my trousers and went backstage to change,” says James.

“I was sitting on the floor and Jagger was just staring at me. There was very little communication. It was almost as if he was sizing me up.

“But he tolerated me,” James added quickly. “The secret was not to outstay your welcome, to leave when you felt it was prudent and cool.”

Next month’s anniversary concert takes place at Fletchers Bar and Eatery. Bands taking part include Acoustica, Goodall, The Eggmen, Nanker Phelge, Ant’s Cover Up,The Mighty Crawdaddys and Harmonica Bob and Oz. Tickets cost £4 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Café, £4.40 from www.wegottickets.com/event/411886 .


http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/rolling-stones-were-almost-ro...




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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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mojoman
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Re: The Rolling Stones were almost robbed at famous old Birmingham music venue
Reply #1 - Aug 23rd, 2017 at 9:23pm
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almost robbed

new song?
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the doctor wants to give me more injections
 
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The Stones are back you
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Re: The Rolling Stones were almost robbed at famous old Birmingham music venue
Reply #2 - Aug 24th, 2017 at 9:15pm
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Cool
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I only get my rocks off while I'm sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeping with your girlfriend!!
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Re: The Rolling Stones were almost robbed at famous old Birmingham music venue
Reply #3 - Aug 31st, 2017 at 8:38pm
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They plundered his coat.
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That guy that punched Mick at Altamont...and all the Hell's Angels...all that bad acid let them hear A Bigger Bang!!
 
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