One of my
favorite concert memories...
1982 or 83, not sure, but the Stones came through
St. Louis and played at the Arena (RIP, old barn!).
A friend got us tickets on the floor, but way
in the back. EVERYONE was standing on their chairs.
Despite this mass rulebreaking, security was
We couldn't hear a damn thing coherently.
Even the Stones, as recently as that year, did
not have the sound systems or computers to run them perfectly;
sound quality never seemed to be as good as it
is today, in certain parts of a room as large as that.
Of course, the sound is ALWAYS perfect in the
vicinity of the SOUND MAN...anyway:
There were two extensive wings that protruded
out into the audience from the stage.
Mick stayed on the stage, singing and dancing.
At one point (which I missed, way in the back)
he came out on to the wing on the left side and
picked up a cheap metal bucket.
The fans ten feet below just went wild, he was
so close yet so far. He held the bucket as if threatening
to toss its contents into the crowd. He gestured
towards them, once, twice, and then he shoved it into
the air above them. EVERYBODY drew back in surprise.
It was confetti.
It glittered and shone as it drifted down, and
everyone beneath it first gasped, then laughed in silly relief.
Meanwhile, I saw a chance to make a break for
the stage area. I'd had enough of not being able to listen to
the concert I'd spent $18
to see AND hear. I rushed the stage, and made my way to the end of the
RIGHT side wing.
Pretty soon Mick made his way down to the end
of the wing.
Just like the last time, he picked up a cheap
metal bucket waiting for him there. Again, he threatened to toss it
on to the crowd at the end of the wing, which
now included me. I had no idea what he was doing, and was more
or less trapped by the rush of bodies trying
to get close to the Mickness in an animal fury.
Finally, he threw the contents of the bucket,
but this time it was WATER.
Most of that water HIT ME, in my best black dress
It was cold, and, actually, it felt pretty good!
I laughed my ass off and enjoyed the rest of
the show from the very front.
When I regale folks, especially younger folks,
with this story,
I always gleefully claim that I was baptized
by the DEVIL, baby!
More concert stories later, like the FIRST time
I saw the Stones in (?) '70 or 71, when I was a tender young 13 years old.
All I remember from that concert was how bad
the music sounded in Kiel Auditorium, and how the first row lost their
when Mick jumped off the stage and ran in front
of them, trailing a long maroon scarf. I thought for sure somebody would
grab the end of that scarf, and he'd get hung
for his daring. I was wrong, of course; it was pretty hard to grab Mick
when he was shakin' all over, in concert.
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