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Topic: Our love won't fade away Return to archive
09-10-02 09:26 AM
Our love won't fade away

September 10, 2002


Sure, they hail from Britain, but without the gritty Chicago blues sound they fell in love with in the '60s, there would be no Rolling Stones as we know them. And the Stones have repaid the favor, choosing (or, at least accidentally being in) Chicago for a good number of their career highlights. Here's a scrapbook of 40 years of Stones memories in Chicago:

June 1964

The Stones embark on a riotous tour of America, but claim the high point is a stop at the Chess Records studio, which resulted in meetings with a number of their blues idols and the "5 X 5" EP. The followup to that album, the full-length "12 X 5," includes the instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue," named for Chess' address. Less notable was a run-in with The Man. According to a Chicago Daily News story, the Stones, "a form of British blight related to the Beatles, tried to hold a news conference in the middle of Michigan Avenue Thursday and ran into a square cop. 'Get out of here or I'll arrest the bunch of you,' thundered the cop."

November 1965

The Stones play two raucous, sold-out shows at the Arie Crown Theatre. The Chicago Daily News review says, "Beyond the Rolling Stones, one simply cannot go and still maintain civilization."

November 1969

Another two-night sellout, this time at the International Amphitheatre. Crowds are estimated at 40,000 for both.

May 1975

Tickets for a three-show stand at the Chicago Stadium aren't selling as briskly as expected, "perhaps," offers the Daily News, "because of the tab ... $9.50."

July 1975

A minor controversy erupts when Howlin' Wolf, the Chicago bluesman widely recognized as one of the Stones' strongest influences, can't get a ticket to the Stadium shows. (In an extended PR runaround in the press, Stones' managers claim they sent the tickets, while Wolf claims he never got them). The situation gets resolved--Wolf attends the show--and as an extra gesture, the band promises to drop by his house for a homecooked meal. But dinnertime comes and goes, the Stones are nowhere to be found, and a dejected Wolf leaves for a blues club. The story has a happy ending, though. Eventually Bill Wyman shows up--albeit 2-1/2 hours late. Mrs. Wolf locates her husband and brings him home, and the two rockers stay up till 5 a.m. playing records.

July 1978

The Stones play an uncharacteristically tepid Soldier Field show on a quadruple bill with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Peter Tosh and Journey, the latter of which impresses the crowd so much that fans demand an encore. Shortly afterward, Journey begins running radio promos inexplicably dubbing itself "the band that stole the show from the Stones in Chicago."

November 1981

During their stay in town for a three-night stand at the Rosemont Horizon, the Stones pop in at the Checkerboard Lounge for a set that includes what turned out to be their last jam with Muddy Waters. Muddy and Mick share vocals on "Hoochie Coochie Man," and the atmosphere was one of a Delta Saturday night fish fry, says Waters biographer Robert Gordon. The performance lives on through the magic of bootlegging--both audio and video versions exist.

June 1986

Keith Richards joins Chuck Berry as the opening-night headliners for the Chicago Blues Festival. The next night the duo pops in on Dr. John's gig at Biddy Mulligan's, with Richards jamming and Berry recording the proceedings.

December 1987

Guitarist Ron Wood opens an exhibit of paintings at Samuel Stein Fine Arts Gallery, then appears with Bo Diddley at the Riviera, a show opened by sometimes Stones' harpist and Chicago resident Sugar Blue.

September 1989

A trio of Alpine Valley dates in support of "Steel Wheels" includes a 10-minute "Satisfaction" and another cameo by Sugar Blue, who joins the band for "Miss You." (The harp player appears on the studio version from "Some Girls" as well). That show takes place on Sept. 11.

September 1994

Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" kicks off a "Voodoo Lounge" tour stop at Soldier Field.

September 1997

Prior to kicking off the "Bridges to Babylon" tour at Soldier Field, the Stones crash the Double Door for a semisecret warmup gig, played (at $7 a pop) for about 500 diehard fans and VIPs. A degree of rock-related chaos grips the city as rumors of subsequent club appearances run rampant.

May 2002

Tickets for three "Licks" tour shows go on sale, with prices topping out at $350.

Contributing: Jeff Johnson and Jeff Wisser

Rush Street, blues bars best bet to spot a Stone


Tickets are so pricey that most of us won't be able to spend any night together with the Rolling Stones. But if you keep your eyes peeled, you may be just a stone's throw from one of the band members. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts love Chicago and have a history of exploring the best it has to offer.

Chicago filmmaker Stephen Andrzejewski, who shot a behind-the-scenes commercial with them the last time they were in Chicago, had a bird's-eye view of the band in action.

"I've seen all of their tours since 1978 and had a wonderful time spending some time with them," he says. "Mick was a little untouchable, but all the other guys were as friendly as could be."

* The Stones won't be feasting on fare from their usual local caterer, Debra Sharpe's Eat Your Heart Out. They've gone with a Canadian firm. Thanks to the exchange rate, it'll cost them half as much as hiring the Chicagoans.

* On their last tour, the band eschewed limousines for vans. Expect them to do the same this time around. Jagger and his bodyguard have one van to themselves. "There were four vans total last time," says Andrzejewski. "Keith, Ron and Charlie piled into one van and were almost sitting on each other's laps. Mick went into his own. They put a little stool for him to step on, threw a blanket on him and then off he went."

* The Stones like to hear the blues when they're in town. Sugar Blue, who has performed with them many times, is playing Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Rosa's. It's likely at least some band members will check him out. Jagger likes Kingston Mines.

* When it comes to restaurants, Rush Street is always promising. Tavern on Rush, Gibson's and Le Colonial are all band favorites.
09-10-02 10:02 AM
parmeda Thanks CS for posting these stories...
read them first thing this morning in the SunTimes. I especially loved the photo of Keith with Chuck Berry at The Chicago BluesFest in 1986..ah, the memories!

I'll have more memories to stock pile this evening.
The Stones will rock the roof off of The United Center...and I'll be there to watch it come tumblin' down!
09-10-02 10:18 AM
Riffhard July 1978

The Stones play an uncharacteristically tepid Soldier Field show on a quadruple bill with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Peter Tosh and Journey, the latter of which impresses the crowd so much that fans demand an encore. Shortly afterward, Journey begins running radio promos inexplicably dubbing itself "the band that stole the show from the Stones in Chicago."


I don't think that there is a statute of limitations on shit like that.These guys should be lined up and shot for such blatent bullshit!This is heresy.It's an outrage I say!The day that Journey steals the show from The Sones is the same day that hell does the proverbial freeze over.Rubbish!

09-10-02 10:22 AM
nankerphelge Well, you'll be happy to hear that in Buffalo '81, some Einstein wedged Journey and their pretty red pants between Lonesome George T and the Stones. By my watch, they lasted about 15 minutes. Once Who's Cryin' Now started, the bottles were flyin'!! Then Steve Perry came out and said in his very manly voice (not) "we just wanna rock for you" -- that did it -- more bottles, jeers, fingers, sheep -- pure mayhem. They left the stage to ponder how to spin that one!
09-10-02 10:29 AM
parmeda Riff...Nank....

lol...I was at that concert, and I can tell you that it was more of an outburst from the crowd as to, "Thank you get the fuck off of the stage!!!"

Chicago LOVES The Stones...they never take the back seat to ANYONE when they're here...

09-10-02 10:31 AM
Riffhard Thanks for that Nanky!That is more like it.I thought I had heard that they got lots of boos on the '81 tour.It's nice to hear it from a wittness.
Although I still think they should be shot just because of their audacity.You would think that of all cities Chicago,home of Chess Records, would have seen thru these puff ball bunch of posers.Oh well,at least Buffalo got it right!

09-10-02 10:34 AM
nankerphelge Yeah and where are they now??? Long for-fucking-gotten, that's where. And where are the boys?? Yeah, Chicago! Have fun Pammy -- don't do anything I wouldn't do....
09-10-02 10:41 AM
parmeda Thank you Nanky!

...and like I always say, 'If you can't be good, at least be good at it!'

09-10-02 10:52 AM
jb We still have lots of tickets left for Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, although they appear to be upper level. I still don't know why they chose to play 2 concerts in such a lame market..I think they just love South Beach and Mick can shagg a 18 yr old model hopefully.