James’ Brand New Blog

Archive for April 17th, 2012

Crowd superb at #lpl Rolling Stones 1965 ‘riot’ talk

- April 17th, 2012

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Mick Jagger, about to hit the stage at Treasure Island Gardens, April 26, 1965. Courtesy of John Cassidy

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Fans push up against the fabled snow fence at the Rolling Stones concert (April 26, 1965 at the old Treasure Island Gardens). That may be “Eva” looking so beautiful between the Frontiersmen security officers. Courtesy of Western Archives

JBNblog’s talk at LPL Central library on Monday on the Stones riot surpassed  my fondest hopes . . . almost immediately, there were vivid memories & anecdotes from people in the audience who had been there & been waiting for a forum to share. It was a bit like a high school reunion. Amazing.

John Cassidy, then a member of St. Thomas folk group the Nottingham Three was on the bill & shared his memories as well as well as bringing along the photo of a young Mick Jagger ascendant while a security guard (uniform doesn’t look to be OPP, anybody know?)  looks on impassively.

My former LFP colleague Susan Bradnam, ace photographer, led us all off with her tale of grabbing drumsticks as a souvenir in frustration . . . & then being tapped on the shoulder  by a London police officer (hired to work the security, the OPP was handling the show) who returned the sticks & partied late into the night with the Stones. He was among those charged with escorting the rock stars to & from the old Holiday Inn and then told his tale on Monday night from just behind Susan, who had become a longtime friend. It stayed like that for more than an hour of London collective memory.

My hope had been for something mildly similar  . . . & wow . . . among the many stellar moments was when Eva (working on remembering last name) talked about it likely being her in the photo here. Jeanne Graham, LFP ace photographer, took many iconic shots that night. A Clarke Road student, Eva, then 15, had driven to the show with gal pals — turning down a date with her boyfriend — and thinks she’s in the centre of the photo here . . . because she was focussed on the show, not so much the screaming.

Her boyfriend, who was a Brit apparently, was able to get into the Stones room & party with them. He brought her a cigarette package with all the Stones autographs . . . which her mother eventually tossed out as part of a general cleanup  . . . Cue collective sigh from the audience. There was a Bill Wyman autograph on a pizza box that night & the Stones bassist then asked (it was likely the police officer) if he would like the other “blokes” to sign too …. Thanks to everyone who was really in the spirit — it was a treat to stand back & enjoy it all  . . . & thanks to LPL’s John Scott & Mark Richardson for all the technical help & best wishes to the real historians who follow in the Forgotten Stories series on four more Mondays.

JBNBlog will admit to being pleased at the friendly booing after my admission to never really liking the Stones that much & being a DC5 and Hermans Hermits fan at the time . . . the crowd listened with more understanding when I said prepping for the talk had included listening with awe & respect & true rawkjoy to The Rolling Stones, Now! A recorded always admired, it is now one I luv . . . built on the incomparable Charlie Watts’s drumming (he looked like a glove salesman at Eaton’s, somebody said on Monday night),  the guitars find the groove & edge & the perhaps underappreciated Bill Wyman adds Duck Dunn-worthy bass. In a spare, essentials only approach, it all combines behind & around Mick Jagger’s vocals, which have the softest, wryest, shout to them –yep, that’s rawk & roll. It is No. 180 on the Rolling Stone special issue The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The entry praises its “charming exuberance” while noting Heart of Stone adds “a crucial Stones element into the mix: menace.”

PS: Because there are no degrees of separation in #ldnont, Mark Richardson’s family lived in England when he was a lad & the house had formerly been home to sixth Stone and piano ace Ian Stewart, who plays on two Now! tracks.