Rolling with the StonesWoman in the Middle | May 20, 2013
I love the Rolling Stones. I admit that I do not necessarily drive down the road with them blasting away on the car stereo, but I love to see them live. Nobody does a concert like Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ron.
I first saw the Stones when they played the Los Angeles Coliseum on October 11th, 1981. It was an infamous concert because Prince was one of their opening acts. I will get to that in a bit. That particular concert was stadium seating, which means you get a ticket but not a seat. My boyfriend at the time (not Hubby) would have been happy to get out on the field and stand for hours and hours. I made it clear that wasn’t going to happen and we sat in the stands, about 2/3 of the way back. Even though it wasn’t a particularly hot day they kept spraying the crowd on the field because the people were so packed together they had to be cooled off so no one would faint from the heat. Fun times!
At that concert the Stones had three opening acts: J. Geils Band, Prince, and George Throughgood. I have absolutely no idea why those three were picked. but at the time Prince was still fairly unknown, at least to those of us in the Coliseum that day. That was back in the days before giant screens were ubiquitous at concerts so we, of course, had a pair of binoculars with us, standard equipment for large concerts back then.
I still remember when that tiny little man who was Prince came out on stage and started singing. I looked at my boyfriend and asked “Who is that?” But he didn’t know either. After a song or two I finally grabbed the binoculars and looked at the singer. I couldn’t believe what I saw! I told my boyfriend, “He is wearing thigh high black boots, a long black leather coat, and a black leather g-string!” At that point I was done. In these days of Lady Gaga, that outfit may seem tame but in 1981 I (and many others in the audience) were not impressed with the little guy in the g-string! Some people started booing and then the whole audience began booing. Prince eventually ran off the stage and the promoter came on to chastise us, saying something about “What if that was your friend?” I remember telling the boyfriend, “The guy in the g-string would not be my friend!” And that is the story of the time I helped boo Prince off the stage!
Anyway, many hours later after the sun set the Stones finally took the stage. Remember, no screens or jumbotron, just bright lights and our trusty binoculars. And that was when I discovered the magic of Mick in concert. Even back where we were sitting in the Coliseum, you could still see Mick strut and wave his arms and it was so so so Mick! No one knows better than he does how to play to a really big room, or stadium!
If you have been to a concert anytime in the last 10 or 15 years you will laugh at this. But the big moment of the concert was when Mick sang Jumping Jack Flash and went up in a cherry picker. Yep, whoo hoo, a cherry picker! I remember talking about the concert with people the next week, still breathless over Mick in that cherry picker! That was high rock and roll drama back then!
It was at that concert that I fell in love with the Stones. I have seen them a few more times since then but I will tell you about those experiences later.