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Landmark Day in Stones History #2 (Read 104 times)
KMC
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Landmark Day in Stones History #2
Nov 8th, 2017 at 10:21am
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Part 2

(This is a more of a setup to seeing the Stones in 1969.)

First big report on the tour was a Rolling Stones article about the L.A. shows. Apparently the Stones made the crowd wait for two hours before going on. RS said something about they were afraid to come on right after Ike and Tina Turner blew the crowd away, but I think one of the books on the tour said there were technical problems.

Me, I was still worried about getting tickets for the New York shows. But I had an ace in the hole with my best friend Jimmy, a kid I had met in freshman year of high school – all boys, Jesuit teachers that frowned upon long hair and modern fashion. I had shown up at his house for our first get together with “12x5” under my arm and made a convert shortly thereafter. He dabbled in the guitar after accordion lessons and in sophomore year he formed a band called The Sequents. Played the hits of the day, used a microphone that they took out of a junked police car, and their claim to fame was playing in a Lipton Tea Competition at Palisades Amusement Park. Group was supposed to write an original tea jingle, but they just added new words to a Chuck Berry riff. (BTW. I had no musical talent except I could transcribe Mick Jagger’s words for them as they learned Stones’ songs.)

Anyway, my friend was soon bounced out of school by the good Jesuit fathers, but we stayed in close touch. We had a pact to share tickets when they became available. By mid-November it was announced tickets were going on sale for Madison Square Garden soon. Time to get serious. We also decided to try for Philadelphia as a backup. Jimmy went down to Philly with some people and came back with a seat for me. At least I wasn’t going to get shut out. NY tickets were set to go on sale mid-morning. Jimmy had gone over at midnight the night before and camped out with a group. I had to go to school. But my buddy came up with tickets for both nights for us and the possibility of an extra one for me for the morning “Breakfast Show” on Friday.
Talk about being pumped! I was a fan since first hearing “Not Fade Away.” I had ordered records from Decca in London that weren’t released in America. I had painted “The Rolling Stones” on t-shirts before the sale of such items was commonplace.

I should mention that my father was not a fan of long hair nor rock music. When I put on the record player when he was home, even when I was locked in upstairs, I could count on hearing “Turn it down!” Also, I hadn’t broken the news to him yet that I was going to Philadelphia with my friend who, having escaped to public school, was now one of the “long haired weirdos” he disapproved of. But NY shows were okay. I guess since I came home alive after going to Yankees games with friends I would be safe.

Radio stations had now finally started playing “Let It Bleed” tracks with “Midnight Rambler” and “Gimme Shelter” getting the most airplay. The numbers sounded even better than those on “Beggar’s Banquet”! They were in heavy rotation Lots of discussion about the new tracks. When could we get our hands on the new album?!!!

A week to go. Stones make an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. What stood out to me besides how good they sounded was how cool Keith Richards looked. He was rock and roll personified. Long hair with the earring, graceful moves, and a clear plastic guitar!  Sad to say, Mick Taylor was nondescript. Added nothing visually. I was disappointed. The charisma of Brian Jones was sorely missed. One could only imagine what the band would have been like if he had been able to pull it together and stay with the group. Visually they would have been stunning.

Crossing off my notebook calendar, the Philadelphia show was days away. Jimmy had actually managed to sneak into the press reception they had in NYC at the Rainbow Room. When I asked him for details, he just would shake his head and say, “They were right there. I was standing this close.” Kept repeating that. It was like he witnessed something out of the Bible. Just mumbled things like “I saw Mick Jagger.” (I had actually seen the Stones from a distance in 1966 at JFK airport and getting out a car at the Ed Sullivan Theatre – plus one up close. But that’s another story.)

Anyway, I got up the nerve and finally hinted to my father that my friend might have an extra concert ticket for Philadelphia and could I possibly …..”NO. Absolutely not.” My ironworker father very quickly put the kibosh on that nonsense. And in his household there was no further discussion or argument when he made a decision.  If you even tried, there would be worse repercussions.

So would could a poor boy do?
I had a ticket to see the Rolling Stones in Philadelphia.
And I was going no matter what. But I was also risking tickets to the NY shows.

Next chapter – Philadelphia here we come!

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