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Performing "Rock me baby" with Buddy Guy
Orpheum Theatre, Boston September 8, 2002
Scanned from IORR No. 45, photo by Kevin Mazur

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Topic: In 1981, did Stones lose many loyal fans? Return to archive
09-30-02 08:38 PM
Boomhauer I saw VH1's Behind the Music:1981 and the Stones were mentioned and showed on the program.

VH1 and some of those people interviewed claim that the Stones lost many loyal fans because they had Jovan as a sponsor for their huge tour.

Is this true? Does anybody remember people getting mad at the Stones when they said they were going to have a sponsor for their tour? Did anybody know people that were huge fans up to that point and then just said "that's it!"?

.......Or, is it all just bull...........
09-30-02 08:57 PM
Rescued The Jovan Musk sponsorship was definitely talked about a lot that fall of 81. I wasn't bothered by it as a young 16 year-old who was in love with the Stones. The Jovan logo was actually pretty unobtrusive compared to today's logo-fucking-crazy society (in the USA, anyway). I was much more offended by the Shlitz beer video that cut the Clash set short during the Who's 82 tour of the US.

That 81 tour was huge. It was definitely the event of that season. At Pontiac Silverdome we got both Iggy Pop and Santana as openers - with Santana doing damn near a 1.5 to 2 hour set. Just look at the Stones setlist for that year to see what they delivered. It was fresh too! Lots of Tattoo You and Some Girls with a couple from Emotional Rescue and two covers they'd never done. It rocked! Frickin blazing guitars! I don't think they lost as many fans as they gained that year with the Tattoo You album. It was fashionable in those New Wave days to slag the Stones as dinosaurs and old farts if you can believe it. Almost all of em were still in their thirties and relatively young bucks.
09-30-02 09:02 PM
MidnightRambler Geez, I wish I was there to see an '81 show.

....but I wasn't born yet...
09-30-02 09:08 PM
MidnightRambler wrote:
Geez, I wish I was there to see an '81 show.

....but I wasn't born yet...

Screw '81, gimme '75!

-tSYX --- Would it help to ease the pain?
09-30-02 09:47 PM
Maxlugar Yes that did cause the Stones some grief as I remember it. I distinctly remember two DJ's going on and on about it. They even went as far as to say Mick and Keith smell so bad they need it. I swear this happened.

Some Girls was a big deal too with the kids where I lived. We look back now and say how great it was but at the time they lost tons of fans. Everyone went around saying the Stones went disco. In my school it was instantly uncool to like them. Everyone went to The Dead at that time.

Not Maxy though.

And now I'm being rewarded.

09-30-02 10:49 PM
Boomhauer Well, I can't believe that "Hi Infidelity" was #1 for 1981.......

Mind boggling!

Better than "Tattoo You"? I think not!

Maxy, I'm glad you didn't follow that crowd. Let them have their dead-head stuff.
09-30-02 11:23 PM
JaggaRichards I know people who still claim the Stones lost 'it' when Brian Jones died.

BTW, I have two original Stones/Jovan posters from the '81 tour. One is framed and hanging on a wall; the other is still sealed up.
I saw 4 shows on that tour too. Fun abounded!
[Edited by JaggaRichards]
10-01-02 09:13 AM
dkmonroe It's more bull than anything else.

The Jovan Musk "scandal" was entirely in the press, as I remember. I never met a single person who expressed any real outrage over the Stones seeking sponsorship, let alone "abandoning" their liking of the Stones. "Tattoo You" and the tour that followed it was a great success for the Stones, and brought them back into the forefront after the comparitive disaster of "Emotional Rescue." I think that album, plus the perceived disco of "Miss You" in '78, were more damaging to the Stones' reputation than Jovan (Even though "Miss You" was a great song, I remember some people being pissed at the Stones' exploitation of disco).

Frankly, I thought at the time that the Stones' selection of Jovan Musk was entirely in keeping with their image, anyway. I'm not at all familiar with that product, so I don't know if it's what you would find at Saks 5th Avenue or Safeway, but I thought that their being sponsored by a cologne was at least more classy than, say, being sponsored by Schlitz.
10-01-02 09:45 AM
nankerphelge Yeah the Jovan thing was relatively minor. Max is right that the 1-2 punch of Some Girls leading with Miss You and ER leading with the title track gave everyone a "Stones went disco" feel and many hard-cores were bummed. BUt they probably picked up a ton of mainstream FM types with Miss You (which you could not avoid in the summer of '78) and Beast and then ER and She's So Cold.

Tattoo You was, if anything, a rebirth of the Stones -- especially with Start Me Up -- the original I-can-name-that-tune-in-one-note song!! And the '81 tour was the event of the year -- it helped them shed the disco image that hounded them a bit.

That's how I recall it all.
10-01-02 11:00 AM
patioaintdry I remember Rod Stewart attempting to defend "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by saying something like "The Stones made a song you can dance to -- why can't I?"
10-01-02 11:02 AM
jb They made more fans than they lost..just look at how many of you first experienced the Stones in 1981. They had already succumbed to the likes of hideous groups like Zepplin, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, and other horrors by the 81 tour...This tour expanded their base and forever alienated juvenilles who listened to Jouney, Styx, REO, Lover Boy and the like. Thank god these people never became fans!!!
[Edited by jb]
10-01-02 12:41 PM
Mother baby "lose many loyal fans"

Well if they lost them I guess they weren't too loyal were they?
10-01-02 12:42 PM
Moonisup They did not lose me with that tour, the got me hooked that tour, my first stonesmemory was when I was a kid and I head Start me up from Still life on Tv!

10-01-02 03:58 PM
stonesmik "Tattoo you" was the first album I ever bought - before I even had a record player! I that lady devil foot inside was just amazing. And of course all that shit on the LP: "Start me up", "Hang fire", "Neighbors" (it took some time until I started to like the slow ones). As far as I remember the time over here 1980/81 was the time when hard rock and hardrock and heavy metal all started. First the guys of my age listened to lots of Status Quo, then around they discovered AC/DC and Krokus (they heavily copied AC/DC and not even bad) and finally fuckin' Motörhead without sleep at Hammersmith, it was about my third album and it rocked so hard I couldn't even hear the music at first. So I remember these times as a quite "hard rockin time" with the Stones being just somehow at the top, being oldies and still have a hit with "Start me up" and finally disco was over and dead, it had become a sick joke. But suddenly the Stones were there, and the year after, in 1982, they even came to Europe, big time, all hell was breakin' loose, they had a Stonesday on the national radio with 24 hours of Stones music, just about all I had ever wanted, every day! Except I didn't have the money to go see my first Stones concert.
10-01-02 07:34 PM
stonedintheozarks didn't bother me that jovan was a sponsor, hell i wore the smelly stuff back then. the 81' tour was my first time to see the stones. it was at the superdome in new orleans,paid only $20 for the ticket and had no problem getting on the floor up close to the stage. maybe people were getting out of my way because i smelled so bad.