Guest writer: Fan Memories from the First 50 Years of the Rolling Stones
Published on March 26th, 2013 | by Caesar (ENGAGE)
We’d like to welcome Nisha as a guest writer for Kuwait Music! Nisha represents howthestonesroll.com and is putting together an awareness campaign online in celebration of 50 amazing years of the rolling stones- from from their first performance at the Marquee club to the anniversary gigs at the O2 arena. Check out this cool new article she wrote for us depicting some interesting Rolling Stone Fan stories
By Nisha for kuwait-music.com
It wasn’t long after their first gig at the Marquee Club that the band started to attract quite a following in their native England, and in the process inspired a generation of fans to start making their own music. One seventeen-year-old fan who was lucky enough to see them in those early days was Deep Purple’s Ian Gillian.
The future rock star in his own right recalled seeing the Stones perform their cover of Chuck Berry’s Come On (the band’s first single) a few weeks before its June 1963 release at a small venue in Hayes, West Middlesex. Playing on a small corner stage in a packed room for a crowd of no more than 90 (with Bill Wyman holding his bass in a perpendicular position because of the lack of room) the atmosphere was calm but still electric.
The days of screaming, groping fans which in many ways defined “The British Invasion” was not yet upon them. When the Rolling Stones finally broke through in America, the impact shook the entire continent, if not the world. One fan recalls seeming them when they played at a local YMCA in Ottawa during April of 1965, a show that almost resulted in a riot and the destruction of the venue. The band showed up in a three-Cadillac entourage that was soon surrounded by throngs of young women trying to write their phone numbers with soap and lipstick on the windows.
During the show girls screamed while fans swarmed, desperately trying to grab the band as local police roughly tried to maintain order. Soon the stage was sagging and on the verge of collapse from the weight of the commotion. After losing power multiple times and just about inciting a riot, the band fled for their lives—after about only seven highly-charged songs. The December 1969 concert at Altamont Speedway that was captured so vividly in the concert film Gimme Shelter still looms large in the minds of those who were in attendance.
One concertgoer who arrived the night before remembers the campfires that guided people to the venue from afar, and how there were rumors that Keith Richards was wandering amongst them, somewhere out in the darkness. While the opening bands played the next day, members of the Hell’s Angels security team stood atop an old school bus parked towards the front of the crowd, drinking and tossing full beer cans at the crowd below.
The crowd meanwhile went from good-naturedly throwing Frisbees to violently chucking oranges at people, and clashes between members of the Hell’s Angels and the fans were frequent. Soon the Angels were riding their bikes through the crowd, and a more menacing element of pimps and thieves arrived as dusk arrived and the temperature dropped. By the time the Stones took the stage, the giant peace symbol banner above the stage had been torn down and replaced with a “Hell’s Angels Frisco” banner.
It was then that the stage was set for the most infamous performance of the Stone’s career, and the rest is cinematic and musical history.After the 1989 reconciliation between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that resulted in the creation of the Steel Wheels album, the Rolling Stones returned with an energetic vengeance and launched their first tour in seven years, and their biggest to-date.
One fan who was fifteen at the time remembers seeing them perform that October at Shea Stadium, and was particularly struck by the energy of Mick Jagger, who spent the evening running back and forth across the enormous stage as the rest of the band blasted at full volume. The only time the young fan thought that the rockers seemed to mellow at all was when they were joined during Little Red Rooster by none other than Mr. Eric Clapton!
Nisha represents a site called http://www.howthestonesroll.com