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Topic: Article: It's only rock and roll, but we like what's left of them Return to archive
02-16-03 01:14 PM
VoodooChileInWOnderl It's only rock and roll, but we like what's left of them

By Richard Jinman
February 17 2003


As hysterical teenage girls flung themselves at a wire fence separating them from their idols, the Rolling Stones smoked and chatted with journalists. Mick Jagger dominated, drummer Charlie Watts appeared utterly bored and guitarist Brian Jones was quiet, but erudite.


Memories ... Paul Sleeman with a picture of him interviewing the Rolling Stones in 1966, and a framed record given to him by the band. Photo: Ben Rushton


When the Rolling Stones held a news conference at Sydney Airport in February 1966 to publicise their second Australian tour, two intrepid university students were among the reporters.

"I interviewed Mick and showed him the new $1 bill, because decimal currency had just come out," recalled Paul Sleeman, then a 19-year-old student at the University of NSW. "Prince Charles was at school in Victoria and we talked about that too."

"They were delightful, just delightful," agreed Andrew Strauss, a fellow student who accompanied Mr Sleeman and took photographs for the UNSW newspaper Tharunka. "We chatted about instruments and music; they weren't so big back then."

Almost 40 years later, the ageing rockers are again performing in Sydney. Jones is long dead, bass player Bill Wyman quit in 1993 and the remaining members are far less accessible to fans and the media.

But tomorrow Jagger, Watts and Keith Richards will play their first indoor concert in Australia since 1966, an intimate show at Enmore Theatre for 2200 ticket holders.

The Enmore concert is an attempt to recapture the atmosphere of the band's early years. It is a radical downsizing for a group whose other Sydney gigs will take place at the SuperDome in Homebush Bay.

The events manager for Enmore Theatre, Dioni Meliss, said members of the Stones' entourage had already visited the venue and expressed, er, satisfaction at the unpretentious nature of its backstage area. "There's a shared bathroom and tea and coffee facilities. It's a traditional rock 'n' roll dressing room."

Ms Meliss said the Stones were expected to take the stage at 9pm tomorrow and play for at least an hour and a half. Large crowds are expected to gather outside the theatre, hoping to catch the free strains of an act still routinely dubbed the world's greatest rock and roll band.

Mr Strauss is not going to the Sydney concerts, but Mr Sleeman, 56, has spent almost $800 on two "Diamond" tickets to the second SuperDome concert on Saturday.

"I was up the front at their Sydney concert seven years ago and they looked pretty rugged then; they'll probably look worse this time," he said. "But they've still got it. The atmosphere that's created when they come on stage is incredible, and they hold that right until the end."
[Edited by VoodooChileInWOnderl]
02-16-03 03:29 PM
fmk438j Would it be fair to say the enmore will be the most modest venue they play this tour?
02-16-03 09:15 PM
Gazza I think the London Astoria is the smallest (1,600) closely followed by the Joint in Vegas (1,700) according to the capacity figures on IORR's tour itinerary pages.
02-16-03 11:03 PM
MP "Rugged"? Don't you know that its RUDE to stare??????

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