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Landmark Day - Stones in Philadelphia 1969 (Read 152 times)
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Landmark Day - Stones in Philadelphia 1969
Nov 9th, 2017 at 9:07am
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Landmark Day in Stones History #3

I was going to Philadelphia to see the Stones without my father’s permission. If I got caught, it probably meant I couldn’t go to the NY shows and I would probably get a good ass kicking. It was worth the risk.
I had told my mom, I was hanging out at my friend’s house late since there was no school tomorrow. Then I would sneak in when I got back from the show about one a.m.

Took the train down with my friend Jimmy. The ride, if I remember right was under two hours and the station was a few blocks away from The Spectrum, Philly’s concert arena.  Walking through the terminal we passed a big cop holding beautiful German Shepard dog tightly on a leash. As we passed the dog growled loudly and lunged at us. The cop yanked him back with a tight grip and we almost crapped our pants. We exited in daylight and entered the arena, one of those hatbox shaped sites popular at that time. Turns out we weren’t in the greatest neighborhood, but there was lots of people rushing in and police everywhere.

Our seats were on the floor, about 50 rows back from the stage. Sat through BB King and Ike and Tina Turner, good sets, but the crowd was on edge for the main attraction. There was a long wait for the Stones. Close to an hour going by. The plan we came up with was when the Stones came on we would rush down the center aisle and get closer to the stage.

Then the lights dimmed, don’t remember if we got the Sam Cutler intro, prepared to charge, when people started flying down the aisle before us. Fuck! We took off too, got about halfway down and hit a wall. People were just mashed together and we got knocked into an aisle. The stage lights were on, MicK Jagger was wearing his black omega t-shirt with the Uncle Sam hat and the band was playing “Jumping Jack Flash.” Oh my God. It’s really happening. The greatest moment of my life up that point!

Of course, if you’ve seen “Gimme Shelter” and listened to “Ya Ya’s” you get the full flavor of the show. The setlist didn’t change over the last part of the tour. I spent a good part of the show trying to see what guitar parts and leads were taken by Keith and Mick Taylor. Keith was much more active, seemed to do more background singing than on the Ya Ya's record, and Taylor was a statue. Jagger controlled the show. I loved the Chuck Berry numbers, especially Little Queenie which was new to the tour. The acoustic break was different and the crowd did listen. You didn’t want the show to end, but you knew it was over with “Street Fighting Man.” A big bummer was no encore. The crowd waited and cheered and clapped, but nothing was bringing them back. After 15 minutes, people slowly filtered out.

Now to deal with the reality of getting home without being caught by mom and dad. Talk about a horror show. The show ran later than we thought so we got to the train station after one a.m. The doors were locked. We had missed the 12:30 a.m. train and a cab driver told us the next nearest station was a half mile away. Walking down a dark street, a police car pulled up slowly. A cop got out, told us to put our hands on the car, patted us down, (my friend Jimmy had long hair and might have looked a bit shady). We explained where we were going and he looked at us like we were nuts. He said do you know where you are? (Translation – Do you have a death wish walking in this neighborhood?) Anyway, he let us go and we arrived safely to find out the next train to Jersey City didn’t leave until after three. At that point I figured I was done. We arrived home after five, said our goodbyes, and I looked for a bus or cab at the PATH Station to try to still sneak in the house. Not a one in sight. No choice but to walk the mile and a half. I bought a paper at a sidewalk newsstand and started hoofing it in the darkness. Six a.m. Up the front porch. Key in the door. Into the front hallway looking to tiptoe upstairs, when the downstairs door open and my father comes out.

The showdown. I now figure I’m done. My father is dressed for work. This was his usual time of departure. He takes a few steps and stares at me heading for the stairs. I did the only thing I could. I held up the paper and said, “I just went out and bought the paper” and then continued up the stairs waiting to hear the voice of doom and gloom. . . But nothing. My father walked out the door. And said nothing when he came that evening. All I can think of was that he was still half asleep and it didn’t really register. Plus, I was an early riser and would occasionally go out to the bakery and get the papers early.

Bottom line – Seeing the Stones at Madison Square Garden in the next two days was still on! And I was alive.

(Last episode of the NYC shows upcoming. The above really did happen. I still consider it a miracle.)


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mojoman
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Re: Landmark Day - Stones in Philadelphia 1969
Reply #1 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 9:34am
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thanks for sharing!!
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the doctor wants to give me more injections
 
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