Sunday, April 07, 2013

They’ve come a long way

The last time that the Rolling Stones played Hyde Park was on July 6th 1969, two days after the death of the guitarist Brian Jones. Mick Taylor was introduced as the replacement for Jones. That free concert was apparently attended by over 500,000 fans.

This year, the Stones will play again at the same venue as part of the British Summer Time concerts. The difference is that fans have had to pay to see the Stones this time round. Tier one tickets cost £299 and supposedly will give access to an area close to the stage. Tier 2 tickets cost £199 and general admission tickets, £95.

In spite of the prices, the 65,000 tickets sold out within five minutes of being released. The only way to get one now is to go to an unofficial website and pay up to £12,000.

The Stones are also named as headline act at Glastonbury on June 29th but don’t expect to get a ticket for that because they too are sold out. 

The first time I saw the Stones was in a theatre at Bradford in 1964. From the balcony seats we could see the band but did not hear any of the music which was drowned out by the screaming girls at the front. As we came out of the theatre, the Stones walked right past us – sadly we did not have the presence of mind to ask for autographs.

Pamela and I have seen the band three times since then, first at Don Valley, Sheffield and then again at Wembley Stadium and finally at Twickenham Rugby Ground. The acoustics at Don Valley and Wembley were much better than those at Twickenham.

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