- The First Time -
(First Stones Concert)

My First Stones Show- MSG 9/13/05
by Jack Flash

Well Gassers, my time had finally come. The Rolling Stones were coming to my town, the world's GREATEST city. And I- one who had not even been alive for the release of Steel Wheels- would be there to witness. My friends at my new high school were really excited for me, one of them was going, though unfortunately I wouldn't meet up with him that night (I'll tell ya- my new freinds are so much cooler than my old friends... I hope the old ones ain't reading this!).

It was my mom's birthday, so after getting home from school, I did my homework and put on my distressed jeans and polo shirt and packed my "Do I Look Like A Fucking People Person?" tee. for the show. My dad and I met my mom at a restaurant for her birthday dinner. I didn't know how I'd feel at this show- but I was pumped, I knew that! After dinner was over, my mom and I bid farewell to my dad (only two tix!) and hopped on the subway to Penn Station. We got there around 8:30 or so. I presume Alanis Morisette was on at the time but instead of going to our seats, we tried to track down a Tour T-shirt and missed her whole set. On the way we encoutered many loud, drunk Stones junkies a few of which yelled at me. But it was the Stones spirit and I loved it. We waited about 20 minutes for a shirt, I ended up getting a black one with exploding lips and the cities visited on the the back.

We finally made our way to our seats. They were in the second tier, box 302 facing the stage diagonally from Ronnie's side. The B-stage (or where it would be) was very close.

They were supposed to come on around 9:30. I didn't check the exact time, but I think they were 20-30 minutes late. But it was worthit- the lights went down and my excitement shot up a few notches- I was gonna see the World's Greatest Rock N' Roll band! The crowd seemed very knowledgeable and excited. All was dark... we had a nice Big Bang themed video... and then out of the shadows wandered Keith- Keith Richards! After a few steps he launched into the opening chords of Start Me Up. Ronnie ran out right after him, and Charlie Watts got in a few smacks- Charlie fucking Watts was playing the drums!- it happened: MICK FUCKING JAGGER ran out onto the stage in a gold jacket- holy shit!!!!!!!! This was it!!!!!!! I lost the urge to get up and dance and sing by the first "you made a grown man cry..." and didn't stop all night. My legs were shaking- seriously. Only a few seconds and it was already one of the most envigorating experiences of my life. But enough, here's the setlist:

1. Start Me Up- I'm really not sure if it was good or not; I couldn't get over that the Stones were RIGHT THERE! The guitars were cranked up and blowing out my ears already. Ronnie playing a kickass solo. I sure as hell knew who I was seeing by the time it was over!

2. She's So Cold- Mick introduced it and Keith's opening riff rang clear- and Ronnie took it from there. Not to fear, Ronnie was prominent throught the show and playing brilliantly! Mick grooved his way through it the guitars really kicked. All right!

In between songs did a nice little monologue, first about New York City and saying was the twentieth time they'd played the Garden. Then he talked about how the people that saw them back in the day are now taking their kids! Shit, does this guy read my mind or what?!?! He is a god. Go Mick! Go Mick! Go Mick! But on with the show...

3. You Got Me Rocking- Everyone complains about this one and it needs to stop- NOW. Loses it's energy live? Bullshit! This one killed, Mick really did it well. It's a modern day Stones classic.

4. Tumbling Dice- Believe it or not, this may have been the highpoint of the whole show. UNBELIEVABLE. Now, out of the warhorses, TD is not my favorite, I love it, but it's not my favorite of them. But after this performance, I will never look at it the same again. Keith's playing was loud and clear and flawless, riffing and jamming like it was 1972, while Ronnie wailed away brilliantly- who is this man you call Mick Taylor? Mick really strutted it out and got into it- you got to ROLL me... brilliance. Keith is a god too.

5. Rough Justice- This is a serious Stones classic. It works great live, Mick seems to love it. Ronnie's slide was much cleaner than on the NFL kickoff show. Keith only seemed to be going through the motions- I hope they tour a few more times so he can think of something cool to do with it.

6. Back Of My Hand- If TD wasn't the highlight, this was. It started out like the studio version, with Mick up front with his slide and Keith sitting down on the drum stand picking killer blues riffs. Then Ronnie comes in, playing like I've never heard him before, and it becomes a feverish jam. You could feel the ghosts of the lod bluesmen in the arena. It was haunting AND it rocked. Perfect.

7. 19th Nervous Breakdown- Surprise, surprise! I'm know you guys were happy to see this on the setlist! And it was coooooool. It started out as a kind of slinky blues and became almost Beatlish. I liked it. The studio version will always be the best though.

8. Bitch- Rocked with a nice Keith solo. I could really hear Ronnie playing the riff right up with the horns. Great!

9. All Down The Line- Smoked. Rediculously so. Keith was real hot. Ronnie did his patented Mick Taylor ripoff, very well I might add, I loved his solo.

10. Get Up, Stand Up- Very groovy. I'm glad they did it. Though I was hoping for Rainy Day Women!

Band Intros- "Ronnie we've got Wood!" Lol.

Then Keith did his intro and I still have absolutely no fucking idea what he said at all- and that's just what I was hoping for! Some trademark Keith gobbledegook! But then he went and picked up the acoustic...

11. The Worst- Boy this was pretty. I wish it would have been longer. I didn't hear Ronnie's pedal steel that much, but when I did it was great. I liked it when Keef and Bernard Fowler shared the mic.

12. Infamy- I was really excited to hear this because I loved the studio version so much. Unfortunately Keith totally forgot the lyrics, I think he even made up some stuff. But that's OK- he's Keith! I was a LITTLE dissapointed- maybe only because there was no Mick playing harp on it! But the heavy guitar riff was awsome, and at one point I saw Keith mouth to Ronnie on the video screen, "take one" and Woody proceded to play a nice solo! Too cool! I love this song!

13. Miss You- There had been a definite drop in crowd energy during Keith's set (none too surprising), but when Mick strutted out looking so cool with a guitar and a wireless mic, they got right back in it! During the middle of the song they got on a platform and floated out into the crowd to create the B-stage! So cool! As for the song itself, it was probably the biggest surprise of the night for me. I really didn't want to hear it, in fact I didn't think they should play it at all on the tour, but it was really good. The guitars were way out front and jamming, it wasn't cheesy at all. It was like Miss You meets the rest of the Some Girls album.

14. Oh No, Not You Again- Rocked with rediculous force! You could literally feel the energy level in the arena. Keith's lead lines burned my ears off, I really doubt he's played any better in his life. Ronnie's rhythm ripped my head in half. The highlight if TD and BOMH didn't do it for ya. And from here on in Keith would play like it was 1971. Amazing.

15. Satisfaction- Gotta here Satisfaction your first Stones show! And it was GREAT. Played with a renewed energy and force. It was even a highlight for my mom, you said she was sick of it by 1967- but it was one of her highlights! Keith kicked more ass. Several bras were thrown towards Mick. THIS was the Stones, thru and thru!

16. Honky Tonk Woman- Keith got really into it, Ronnie was great, terrific singalong. Starting here the crowd got into and sang everything. They floated back to the main stage- I love that floating thing!

17. Sympathy For The Devil- After a few seconds of wicked anticipation while Mick was getting changed, he emerged from the shadows in a hat and coat. Charlie really smacked the drums and then the song started. It was ORGASMIC!!!!! Mick really played with it, and Keith and Ronnie's guitar lines descended into the heavens. AMAZING. The crowd was screaming "WHOO WHOO!" before Mick even started singing! I'm SO HAPPY they did it.

18. Paint It Black- Very dramatic, and the crowd favorite. The crowd noise was defeaning. It was fantastic!!!!! HUGE!!!

19. It's Only Rock N' Roll- Very, very high energy and very Chuck Berry. I actually thought it was Rocks Off at first. And we had it accompanied by some nice clips of IORR era Stones. And the best thing... it rocked like FUCK!!! I'm not exactly sure how hard Fuck rocks but it can't be much harder than this. This does DEFINITELY not need to be dropped!

20. Jumpin' Jack Flash- Ahhhh... thank the rock n' roll gods for the GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME!!!!!! Oh man, this song is the SHIT!!!!! Keith nailed the riff, and Ronnie didn't play that stupid sitar guitar (save it for PIB only!). This is the song I needed to hear. Not the best of the night, but it's essential... cuz it's a gas gas gas!!!!!!


After about a minute and a half, Keith wandered out alone looking real happy... even from far away you could just tell... and hit the opening of YCAGWYW.

21. You Can't Always Get What You Want- Very mellow very trippy, and it really, really hit the spot. Really good guitar playing from Keith and Ronnie. Mick got a gospel thing going at the end. Man, does this guy do everything or what?!?!?!?

22. Brown Sugar- Just when I thought they couldn't give any more, they blow my ears off. Keith's playing rings clear as a bell, and he really busts up the house with his playing!!!!!! It's his best job any version of Brown Sugar I've yet heard- REALLY!!!!! Ronnie noodles really well, Bobby Keys plays a brilliant sax solo that souds EXACTLY like the record! Mick works the crowd one final time as every one screams, "YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, WHOOOOOOO!!!!" Confetti explodes along with the band!!!!!

After the band takes their bows I keep my eyes fixed on Mick for as long as I can before he disappears- I leave my seating area at 12:02 am on September 14. They've played 22 brilliant songs for over 2 hours. My ears still are actually still ringing when I get in bed about quarter to one, ready to wake up for school at 6:30. I asked the Stones for a favor and, like they always have before, they delivered, and more. The sound was a little muddy, but it didn't really bother me that much. There's no way I can complain- I saw the ROLLING FUCKING STONES!!!!!! And how can I ever forget it? Well, Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie till the next goodbye... I hope to see you boys again soon! And I'll never forget the experience... how can I? I mean, you are the world's greatest rock n' roll band... always were, and still are! LET IT ROCK!!!!

First Show (at Hershey)
by The K Man (Oct 2 , 2005) 

Yesterday was a damn near perfect day for my first Stones show. Weather was great, traffic wasn't heavy and my dad and I got to Hershey Stadium with plenty of time to spare. When I arrived at Hershey Stadium I could barely believe that I was going to see my favorite band of all time live and in person. My legs couldn't stop shaking with excitement as we walked towards the stadium.

We got there and I had to wait about a half an hour for a shirt because the guy who was handling our side of the stand was only picking on people in the corners and he didn't even seem to notice that we were there. Well, eventually I got my black shirt with the exploding tongue on the front, but by that time the opening act, Beck, had already started. My dad and I raced over to get me a poster with a pic of the band on it and we rushed into the stadium to get to our seats.

The seats could have been better, definitley, but they were still pretty good. We could still make out who was who and such. Anyway, we sat through the opening act which to tell you the truth I wasn't very impressed with. Maybe it's cuz I've never heard any of Beck's stuff before, but I just didn't get into it. The guy did do some of No Expectations, but then they went into their own song from there, so it's not like he did the whole song.

After Beck we waited for about an hour until the lights went down and the opening movie came on the big screen. After the movie was done I heard the opening riff to Start Me Up and I promptly pissed my pants as the show began.

I guess I'll use a song by song review from here since that's easiest...

Start Me Up: Well the opening riff for this began, my legs knees began to buckle and I realized I was in the presence of the Stones, the greatest rock 'n roll band in the world. Mick came out donned in an emerald green jacket and started to sing and I was amazed by how well his voice sounded. The whole band was tight on this song, as I expected. A great freaking opener, definitley.

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: I was expecting the opening chords of You Got Me Rocking next, but they thrust themselves into an awesome version of IORR. Again, the band was tight on this and Mick's vocals really handled the song well. Far better than the version on Four Flicks.

She’s So Cold: This was one of the highlights of the show for me, if not the highlight. I was skeptical of how Mick was gonna handle this song when I first found out they were doing She's So Cold this tour. I thought he was gonna do lots of ad libbing and botch the lyrics somewhere, but man his vocals were amazing on this song. Keith and Ronnie were on fire together on this one (as they were all night) and Charlie's drumming was top knotch, as usual. I was completely floored by this performance. Mick was incredible on it as he was on all the songs that night (I can't stress that enough).

Tumbling Dice: I was still in awe from the amazing version of She's So Cold, so when Keith erupted into the opening riff of my 5th favorite Stones song of all time, talk about a one-two punch. This was a GREAT version of an already great song. Again, I was thrown off my feet by them. Ronnie and Keith were both tight on this song!

Rough Justice: Loud and dirty, just the way it should be. Keith was great on this tune, and Ronnie's slide solo was on fire. Only complaint is Ronnie's slide was heard much beside on the solo and in the beginning of the tune.

Back of My Hand: Even better then the studio version on ABB. Amazing slide work by Mick. He's one hell of a slide guitar player. Keith was lounging around on Charlie's drum, playing some soft blues licks while Mick sang this awesomely. The song sped up a bit and Ronnie came in, and it turned into an excellent blues jam. Mick even added a verse to the song. All in all, amazingly done and better then the studio version IMO.

Midnight Rambler: Keefer's hunch in his post Off To Hershey was right as they did play this song and excellently I might add. A rock 'n' roll rampage with a wailing harp by Mick. What was really funny though was when I looked at the screen and they had a close up of Chuck Leavell and his piano and I saw him furiously pressing down on the piano keys, but I didn't hear a single note from his piano. It was lost in the muck of Keith and Ronnie's flaming riffery. Amazing!

All Down the Line: Was smoking hot with a great, visceral slide from Ronnie. Mick was excellent and the back up vocals were even great on this, I must admit. Everybody was tight.

(The Night Time is) The Right Time: I've never heard this song before, so I didn't know what to expect. Wasn't bad, but I couldn't really get into it that much. Amazing job by Lisa Fischer, though. Once again I saw Keith lounging around lazily by Charlie's drums.

Introductions (Mick says Charlie "Slasher" Watts)

The Worst: I always loved this Keith song and he did a fine job on it. He shares the mic with Bernard Fowler through most of it, I would have preferred Mick to be out there with him of course.

Infamy: Mick's harp was missing,but that didn't stop this from being a great performance. Keith's voice was great on it and I loved his guitar on it. Very catchy.

Miss You: I wasn't really sure of how I was gonna like this song, but I was surprised by how good it was. Mick came out with a guitar and a headset mic and he sounded great on it. A bit more uptempo then the studio version and Mick's falsetto was great. I also loved when the stage started to move towards the B-stage. Great job on this one, I think.


Oh No Not You Again: I was really excited to hear this one, and it didn't disappoint. Everybody in the band was on fire and even though Chuck was with them, I didn't hear any piano. Great version, although Keith's rhythm didn't come out as much as I hoped.

Get Off Of My Cloud: Brilliantly done. Keith and Ronnie are sharing some great licks and Charlie's playing like a lion. The stage lights got real bright when they got to chorus, of which the whole crowd sang along to.

Honky Tonk Women: Great version and Mick's vocals were awesome, and the whole crowd was singing along with him. Although Chuck Leavell just HAD to have a piano solo in it, which is where the entire crowd got noticeably quieter. Horns came in at the end as the stage got its way back to the main stage and the floral design tongue was a neat gimmick.

Back on the Main Stage:

Sympathy for the Devil: The whole stage was covered in red during the whole song and Keith's guitar was as biting as it is on the studio version, if not more so. His guitar strums during the chorus along with the flames erupting was really something. During the solo, I even think i saw him slide on the ground on his knees at one point. He was on fire on this number.

Paint It, Black: YES. This was the one song I wanted to hear and it didn't disappoint, that's for damn sure. I loved Keith's ominous lead guitar and Mick handled the song well. Charlie was also awesome.

Brown Sugar: Great and rocking. Not much else to say. Sax solo was wonderful.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash: Another one that really rocked and the whole crowd sang along to. Mick says goodnight at the end of this one, but we know it ain't over. Lots of lighters go up and I'm clapping for so long, I think my palms start to bleed (if that's even possible).

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (encore): Keith comes out alone and plays the intro to his one peacefully. Mick comes out and starts to sing this one. He handles the song beautifully and the crowd helps out with the chorus. Wonderful.

Satisfaction (encore): Keith began with the opening riff to this one with a large smile on his face. Amazing version. The whole band went beserk with this one. Mick was running the whole length of the stage, back and forth screaming "Satisfaction!", Keith was really getting into it with his guitar, Ronnie's playing was incredible and Charlie was out of this world. However, it was bittersweet as I knew it would be the last song for the night. But still, hell of a performance.

So that's it. I had a hell of a time at this show. It was worth every penny. Hell of a show by the best band in the history of time. I cannot express enough how much I love this band. It was amazing. I hope they go on tour again so i can have another chance to see them.

First Show (MSG)
By Rollingzeppelin87 (January 20, 2006) 

Wow! This is so hard for me to put my experience in words but I'll try. The hours leading up to the concert seemed like the longest hours of my life. Right before we left to NY, I turned on the classic rock station on IO our cable service, just when the beginning of Shattered played, talk about synchronicity. I don't really want to get detailed about the hours before the concert finding parking and walking through the city to get to MSG, let's just say alot of people in NY are assholes. The only thing I'll say is I felt like we actually rushed to get to MSG because the opening band was bad, it sounded like they played the same song over and over again. We could of went to the Hard Rock Cafe instead we decided to watch that shitty band. Anyway, in MSG as soon as the lights went down I was so excited to see them, I'm actually going to see living legends! First riff of JJF and then Keith pops out, then Mick runs out and then they get it rocking, wow, what an awsome way to open a concert, I also had a good view of them to, section 203 row A, not bad seats. The 2nd song was either IORR or LSTNT, IORR was really great, guitars are nice and loud, it's funny because when Keith played the riff at first I thought it was Starfucker, right until Mick sang "If I could stick a knife in my heart, spill it right on the stage" then I knew. I'm not really a big fan of LSTNT but it was good last night so I have a new appreciatation of the song. ONNYA was up next, a really great performance, I noticed I kept singing along with it along with some people around my area so this is a good sign it may become a warhorse. Here comes the best part of the concert, SWAY! I was surprised when Mick said they were going to play it, I didn't expect a great version because I remember someone sent it through this board of the first time they played it awhile back, I have to say though they got it nailed down. I don't know if it was just me being there that made it better but I know it was my favorite part of the concert. Ronnie didn't try to copy Taylor's solos, it seemed like he did his own complete take of the song and I think it was just as good what Taylor did with the song. As Tears Go By next, 1000x better than the studio version, this was another highlight for me, it was good that they pulled out atleast one ballad for the concert and this was a very great choice, I'm not sure but was Ronnie playing slide during that song, I forgot because there is no slide in the original. Lets skip a little bit to the other highlights of my show, Gimme Shelter!!! I liked how they played this alot, so much better than the four flicks dvd, really hard guitar driven, as soon as I heard Keith playing the first riff I looked back at my dad because I knew this was his favorite song. I'm surprised this song isn't considered a warhorse, maybe it is but this was like the 2nd time they played it live this tour wasn't it? Now there coming onto the b-stage as there playing Miss You, now I really get to see there faces. Is it me or does Mick look younger on this tour than he did on the last one, I'm just judging that by pictures though because this was the first time I have ever seen them. This guy is around his mid 60's and he's still jumping around non stop like he's in his 20's, you know whats funny, I don't even think I can do what he does for that long and I'm 18! Now that I have the perfect view of them, they put on a scorching version of Get Off My Cloud, I love this song and now I love it even more after hearing this version, loudest song of the concert probably. At the point I was really really into the show, I never wanted this concert to end. The guy in front of me was sitting down about 80% of the concert. WHO THE FUCK SITS DOWN FOR THAT LONG AT A STONES CONCERT!!!?? The only time I sat was during This Place is Empty, I probably would have stood for that, Ronnie played some good slide but everyone was sitting down and I didn't want to feel like a jackass by being the only one standing up. I got right back up for Happy though, I didn't give a shit if no one was getting up this song rocks, too bad is voice can't carry the song anymore, but they made that up with the guitars. Anyway back to the b-stage, we were at the point where we past the obscure songs in the begining and getting into all the warhorses. Start Me Up was really awsome, better than the studio version because I overplayed the studio version. Now as they were moving back to the regular stage they played Honky Tonk Woman, they should never get rid of this song, this song is vintage Rolling Stones, if I had to name one song to define the Stones sound this is it. Sympathy was another highlight for me, hearing the best rock song ever in concert has to be a highlight. Mick actually started yelling out what's my name towards the end of the song like the studio version. All there warhorses I think they played perfect, Brown Sugar, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Satisfaction. Believe it or not I wasn't really looking forward to hearing Satisfaction because I think it's one of there more over rated songs they have done, wow I am such a dumbass, after hearing it live, that song is probably under rated because of the people think of it has an over rated song. Anyway I feel like I'm rambling on and should end this review, I know I missed quite of few songs and I didn't put them in the right order but it's really weird because alot of it seems like a blur to me, it's like something you witnessed that was amazing but you can't remember all the details, I remember someone mentioning that on this board to and there right, it might have been Currie. I feel I've gotten really lucky, I felt like I just saw the best concert of the tour, but then again I haven't seen any other shows, but god damn that show fucking rocked.


RE: You got one hell of show!

Zep, if that is your first... it will be pretty hard to top. I have seen few shows in my career that I am putting before this one... but only 2 and there are many other factors that come into play with that judgement. That show on Friday had everything for me. It was really that great.

To put this in perspective, I thought the biggest difference between Wednesday and Friday was the crowd. I thought the crowd was that much more into the show on Friday. That and I got to stand the entire time unlike Wednesday. But my experience isn't the case for everyone... if you read Keefer's reports he didn't have the same luck on Friday.

One way I knew this show was so good was that my buddy from college (Bill) was so blown away. He is not the huge fan of the Stones we all are here. However, he has seen many of the icons I have at MSG. He has certainly seen more shows there because he grew up just outside NYC. And even he could not believe how alive the Garden was on Friday night. I don't know if he feels the same way, but that was the best MSG concert (including the Who, Clapton & Bowie) I have ever seen there. It was really that good and the energy was that high!

I could rattle off all the great tunes from the night and I should probably be writing so many great things about "Sway" so they will do it again. But no one song, not even "Sway" made this the best show of the tour for me. It was a solid set list, high energy and a great pre-game at Stouts that made this night so special. Now there were a bunch of little things I loved and will mention. To start, I always love hearing a tune I have never heard before... so "Sway" takes that honor! It was also great to hear "ATGB" again. Why this hasn't been played more since they rolled it out in Hollywood is beyond me? This is another tune that would probably do well from the b-stage. I was happy to hear Shelter again for my buddy in from London (his favorite) and Mrs Keefer. "Paint It Black" was another nice tune that I always love to hear and moving "Start Me Up" to the b-stage was a great change up. Finally, I got my cover with a great live version of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg". All in all, one solid set list!

As I have mentioned, I was more please with Friday's show because of my ability to stand. I felt bad for the guys behind me, but everyone in our section in front was standing so there weren't too many options.... but to stand up! The only other uncool thing was the usher jumped right on me when I started to "Gear Up" during JJF. I managed to get a nice buzz, but PayPhone Al wasn't as lucky. It could have been worse, he didn't make a big stink and he didn't say anything to the fact that we had SheRat as a guest in our 4 very full seats. Unfortunately this early event made me go to the bathroom for Keith's set. "This Place is Empty" is a wonderful song, but I heard it on Wednesday and being able to take another hit was more important. It was timed perfectly... I had my choice of stalls as the bathroom was almost empty when I entered and by the time I finished there was a line out the door. I was back in my seat (the only time I sat) for the last minute of the tune and I had a nice buzz for Happy (my favorite Keith tune).

We did managed to get "Geared Up" at the end. It all worked for me and the two Columbian guys were so pleased when PayPhone Al gave them an offering. We all seemed to be in the right mood for one of the best versions of "YCAGWYW". Didn't get all the details, but those young Columbian fans seemed to love their visit to NYC to see the Stones.

The over great thing about Friday's show was that are seats were on the side (Ronnie's) and the speakers they flew off the ceiling blocked part of the screen. This really made us focus on what was happening on the stage. And being just a big closer did make a difference. I will say it one more time... I can not believe Mick is 62! The moves that guy does are amazing. I am sorry I ever expressed any doubts. Watching the energy coming off that stages was unbelievable. And just like Wednesday (when were in the back of the "U") we still had a great view of the entire arena. That place was jumping. And it was over-the-top with the b-stage performance.

Unbelievable performance, but I gotta start doing my own show here at work Ronnie

To read the entire thread, click here: http://www.keno.org/gasland/get.asp?M=182106&P=0&T=182106

30 Years Ago, My first show
by Fleabit Peanut Monkey
(June 30, 2005)

Exactly thirty years ago today I saw the Rolling Stones live for the first time. I was one month shy of my 18th birthday, and had just graduated from high school. I was a curious combination of naivety and hipness – I had grown up in rural PA where nothing ever happened and I had a nagging sense that cool things (like Stones concerts) happened to other people in other places and not to me. I’d been listening to the Stones, seriously studying them, since fifth grade (1968) so my definition of what was cool was ALL about the Stones. I grew my blonde hair to shoulder length, which was really extreme for the time and place; I pierced my ear because Keith did; I took drugs because the Stones did. I played a blue Fender mustang bass with a racing stripe through an Ampeg amp because that’s what Bill played.

That day, June 30, 1975, was absolutely beautiful. Blue sky, puffy clouds, not too hot. I told my mom that my buddy Dan would be picking me up to drive to Philly for the show, but that was a white lie – Dan lived in Camp Hill and I had to hitch-hike the 50 miles from my house to his before that statement would be completely factual. Hitch-hiking wasn’t a completely dead mode of transportation then (as it is now), and in fact a few months later I hitch-hiked 1000 miles from Arkansas to Pennsylvania. But that’s another story. All I took with me was a few dollars and my crappy little camera, a 126 that I “bought” with green stamps. You had to be within ten feet of the subject for it to work at all.

Dan Brown was a life-long mentor of mine, perhaps not always the most wholesome influence; he sold me my first hit of acid, for instance. But he was the coolest, baddest kid in high school, the one you were NOT allowed to hang out – and so of course the guy you needed to hang out with to have any sort of “outlaw” cred. He was a few years older than me and had seen the Stones on the ’72 tour, as well as Dylan’s comeback with the Band in ‘74. So he outranked me by miles, and this trip to Philly was very much in the way of Dan taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes. I’d been to a few “important” concerts myself, notably George Harrison in Philly and CSNY in Atlantic City the year before, but Dan made it clear - there was just no comparison. The Stones have always been head and shoulders above the competition. If you haven’t seen the Stones, you really haven’t seen anything.

After a few easy rides I was on Front Street in Harrisburg. I used a payphone at a rundown motel to call Dan, and he made the short trip across the river to pick me up. Then we stopped at his place – probably to get some dope or a few beers – and said hello to Dan’s room-mate Ben. This is how together Dan was – he played guitar, so he moved his brother, a drummer, and Ben, a bass player, into a house right next to an all-girl Business School. It was party central. But on this particular day the party was in Philadelphia. Soon enough, so were we.

At that point I think I’d only been to the City of Brotherly Love twice before, and I was still somewhat daunted by The Big Dirty City. Very much the country mouse. Now we were in front of the Spectrum watching a display of martial force as the Philadelphia Police Force patrolled the area. Jesus, they were scary. All in black, from head to foot, with riot helmets on. Black leather monsters astride growling motorcycles, atop black horses, and scariest of all once I stopped to think about it, a big black armor-plated police bus with smoked windows. That was scary because you didn’t know if it was empty, or crammed full of Nazis.

I remember that one topic of conversation as we waited for the doors to open was the price of the tickets. I wanted to look at the stub last night, but forgot to, but I think the ticket cost $7.50 – by comparison, my first concert, Ten Years After/Dr. John, had cost $3.50 or $4. So there was a lot of murmurs of “who do they think they are?” in the crowd. Dan dismissed all of that nonsense with a wave of his hand – he had seen the show immortalized in the “Philadelphia Special” boot, one of the rare occasions when they played an encore – “Satisfaction/Uptight Out of Sight” with opening act Stevie Wonder. “You get what you pay for,” said Dan. “You want the best, you pay for it.”

The doors opened and the huge crowd funneled into the Spectrum. When I’d been there before I’d had seats in the stands, but this time we were on the floor in the general crush of humanity. We walked around, Dan being cool, me gawking a bit. The smell of pot quickly became omnipresent and you could see clouds of smoke hanging in the humid air.

After awhile the lights went down and the opening act started. We started working our way to the front, but when we got there we saw that the opening act was the freakin’ Commodores. We saw Lionel Ritchie’s horse face and then split for the rear again. I bought a tour program for $4 or $5 and looked at it while the Commodores finished. The pictures in the program were mostly from the ’72 tour.

It seemed to take forever but finally the lights dimmed and the air became electric with anticipation. We were far to the rear of the floor when we heard the opening chords to “Honky Tonk Women”. We didn’t see the lotus stage unfold, if in fact it did – some shows started with the stage already open. I’m not tall, maybe 5’7, and I couldn’t see much of anything. Dan, ever the mover and shaker, grabbed me by the shirt and started edging his way through the crowd. As we got closer, they finished HTW and charged into “All Down The Line” Every so often I would catch a glimpse of the stage. Mick was wearing what looked like pajamas – green pants and a white jacket with green stripes over a short-sleeved white shirt, and a white sparkly belt. Keith was all in black leather – black leather bell bottoms, a black leather jacket over a blue t-shirt, and was playing his Zemaitis guitar with the knife and skull emblems. Charlie had his hair cut very short, an uncharacteristic look in those days, and there was a giant black man standing behind him – Ollie Brown. I didn’t pay much attention to Bill or the new guy, Ron Wood, although I did think that Woody was really playing some great stuff – the slide in “All Down the Line” was killer.

Of course these calm reflections are the product of thirty years of time having passed. At the time it was like being in the Battle of the Bulge. The floor was boiling hot and people were crushing against each other, the sound was a gigantic metallic roar and not particularly nuanced, and the excitement of realizing that the Rolling Stones were in the same building with me was starting to make me a little crazy. Dan continued to yank me toward the front of the insane crowd. Finally I looked up, and there, right in front of me, was Mick Fucking Jagger. I was stunned. He was beautiful, for one thing.

When Dan and all of his buddies had returned from seeing the Stones in 1972, I had asked them what they thought about Mick as a performer. Jim Kramer, who was the high school’s heavyweight wrestler and as straight as they come, grinned devilishly and said, without hesitation, “I wanted to FUCK Mick Jagger.” Then someone else said “Oh yeah, we ALL did.” Now I saw exactly what they meant. It wasn’t like it made you gay or anything, it was just a fact of life. All of this flashed through my mind in a split second as Mick batted his Tammy Faye’d eyes and exuded an animal magnetism that was beyond anything I’d ever imagined. I pulled my crappy camera up and pushed the button and took the picture which is today’s header. It’s certainly not a GREAT picture, by any standards, and in fact over the intervening thirty years has been through a fire and ravaged by age, scanned and doctored up and scanned again. But it has an incredible amount of significance for me, because it’s a picture of the exact instant that I went beyond being a big fan of the Stones and entered into the lifelong obsession that so many of us share.

The concert was really long and really great, although there were some sections of it I wasn’t crazy about. I didn’t particularly like “Heartbreaker” and though Mick looked dumb playing a guitar in it. “Fingerprint File” has never been a favorite of mine, and it bothered me that they were switching instruments – Bill playing a little keyboard you couldn’t hear at all while Woody played bass in a style I’ve never liked. And then when Billy Preston did his mini-set I was actually pissed off, because he had done the exact same songs the previous year at the George Harrison concert. Dammit, I didn’t pay $7.50 to see Billy Preston! I was really disappointed that he was the keyboard player anyway, because all of my buddies who had seen them in ’72 raved about Nicky Hopkins, and I was a big fan of his work.

But after Billy’s set was over Mick came back out from doing his midshow blow and went nuts. “Midnight Rambler” in particular was just crazy good, Mick whipping the stage with his glittery girly belt, summoning up some insane and improbable mascara-smeared demon. “Rip This Joint” was a blur.

After “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” they were gone, and we cheered ourselves hoarse, but not hoarse enough for them to honor us with an encore. After a few minutes the house lights came up and I stumbled out into the hot night air, changed.


Honky Tonk Women, All Down The Line, If You Can’t Rock Me/Get Off of My Cloud, Starfucker, Gimme Shelter, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, You Gotta Move, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Happy, Tumbling Dice, IORR, Heartbreaker, Fingerprint File, Angie, Wild Horses, That’s Life, Outta Space, Brown Sugar, Midnight Rambler, Rip This Joint, Street Fighting Man, Jumping Jack Flash.


Dan and I remained close friends and played together in a band that is still remembered in our little rural PA community as just about the most fun anyone ever had there – every gig was a party. In a place like this, you have to make your OWN fun, and nobody was better at it than Dan. We played a LOT of Stones songs. After we broke up Dan moved to Denver, but for the first few years he would come back to visit and we would get the old band together and throw another party. Then after awhile that stopped and we lost touch, as people sometimes do. Just the occasional letter or phone call. Amazingly, we ran into each other in Atlanta at the B2B show in ’97, and renewed our friendship. That was a GREAT show, and it was so great to see Dan again. Afterwards we went to a blues club and then stayed up most of the night drinking in the place he was staying.

In ’99 Dan came home for a visit and we got the old band together for our 20th anniversary. After that we stayed in touch through email and were always planning the next gig. We compared notes about shows we saw, and talked about seeing the Licks show in Denver together, but it didn’t happen. I emailed to see how the show was, and his response was uncharacteristically undetailed and flat – just “yeah, they were really great.” But actually Dan didn’t go to the show because he was in a hospice dying of cancer. He didn’t tell me, or any of us back home, I guess because we all looked up to him and he didn’t want us feeling sorry for him.

I couldn’t make it to Denver for the funeral, so I threw a wake for him in the bar where the old band used to play. Everyone told stories about Dan – there were a lot of them - and at the end of the night, after many tall frosty pints of Guinness, all of the old boys gathered around a microphone and everyone in the whole bar sang “You Gotta Move” with tears streaming down our faces.

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This was a reply to a post titled:
RE: Ronnie, Mick T & Bill Together!
by DownHomeGirl
(June 29, 2012)

Steve, I couldn't agree with you more: PROUD STONES FAN FOR LIFE. Well said!!

Here's why: I stood, transfixed, as the opening Bo Diddley chords of "Not Fade Away" rang out on WABC-New York Radio. Then I heard Mick's VOICE: "I'm gonna tell you how it's gonna be - YOU'RE GONNA GIVE YOUR LOVE TO ME." And I did. I was a goner. 12 years old in 1964, and I knew my life had changed irrevocably.

1965: I am thirteen. My bro is a budding rock musician, older than I, who manages to con someone with a car into driving us all into the city from New Jersey. We go to the old Academy of Music on 14th Street in Manhattan -- a very modestly-sized venue. The air is electric, the screaming is going on. Though I am a girl, I do not scream: I listen. And there, right in front of me, are Mick, Keith, Brian Jones, Charlie and Bill Wyman.

Mick rips into their wonderful cover of "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love," Even back then -- he was SO young, in May '65 he was still 21 years old, he's wearing nondescript pants and his old favorite striped sweatshirt -- man, he could work a crowd like no one else. He sings that song and starts to point to girls in the sudience with "I need YOU, YOU, YOU." He points to me. I do not scream, I blow him a kiss.

Brian is playing his famous white guitar (I think it was a Vox), grinning from ear to hair, his amazing blond hair shining in the spotlights. He and Keith are riffing and ripping. Bill stands like a statue and is part of the machine ('scuse me while I kiss the Who, & Hendrix!): the pounding, balls-on-accurate rhythm machine that is Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman, whose bass is always held nearly upright.

The audience goes insane. They play all the early stuff. The snotty New York critics predict that compared with the Beatles, "This scruffy, wild bunch of kids won't last long."

Betcha that asshole critic has been six feet under fertilizing the grass for some time now. HAH! And our boys are still with us, save the always-fragile genius, Brian.

48 years later I am still in love with them. Simply the best.