JJ Rocks Article # 49:
I remember back in high school that there were two trains of musical thought that my schoolmates believed in. One was The Beatles and the other was the Rolling Stones. Now it seemed like most of the kids that were doing well in school and were members of clubs or athletic teams were Beatles fans. And when ever a new Beatles song would come over the school bus radio all the girls would giggle with joy. What a turn off. As a matter of fact if it wasn’t for that I may have become a Beatles fan much earlier than I did.
Now since I hooked school a lot and hung out on the street corners with other people hooking school and drinking cheep wine, I wound up being a Rolling Stones fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they were a bad influence but everybody in that crowd was a Stones fan so I guess nature just took its course. As a matter of fact the only thing that I ever tried to steal in my life was a Rolling Stones album from the local drug store. Fortunately I was caught by the pharmacist on the way out and I learned my lesson. I guess that trying to hide an album under my tee shirt wasn’t the smartest thing to do.
Rolling Stones songs were also among the first songs that I ever played in a band. But my whole Stones experience was toped off when my friends and I sneaked into a Rolling Stones concert in 1969. We were standing outside of the Baltimore Civic Center peeking through the cracks between the exit doors waiting for some friendly hippies to open one and let us in. Then all of the sudden a truck pulls up and one of those big garage types of doors started to rise. So everybody rushed through and wound up face to face with a bunch of concert cops. But since I was the last in line I had time to turn to my right and make an escape behind some amps.
So I found myself having to make a choice between giving myself up to the mayhem that was to my left, of crawling along the floor through the amps and taking my chances. Unfortunately, a drug that was a popular stupidity at the time was just starting to kick in. So with my teeth starting to grind and my vision becoming a little too pastel, I started to inch my way to the right. And as I was trying to perform this miraculous feat, the music was getting louder.
Now I remember hearing Terry Reed finish his set from out on the street, and I could now hear BB King singing. And as I kept crawling I remember thinking “I must be heading for the concert!” So after I couldn’t go any farther and the music was very loud, I saw a curtain. And when I peeked through I realized that I was on stage with BB king and thousands of people were watching him perform. Boy, am I glad that I didn’t just open that curtain and walk through!
Well, I had three choices. I could go back and give myself up, walk through the curtains and make local history (and hopefully bail), or I could try to walk through this very narrow space between the curtain and this wall with pipes and other obstructions in the way towards a light where this guy sitting at a table working some kind of controls. So I thought “hey, he’s in music, I probably have a better chance if I just tell him my situation”. Besides, all I wanted to do was get out of there. The thought of actually seeing the Stones was out of the question by that time.
So as I made way through the narrow opening while trying to not move the curtain, I kept banging into dirty pipes along the wall. And as I was half way through BB King finished a song and started to talk. Well, the whole place was quiet while listening to him talk and I was frozen in one spot half way to my destination. Man, he talked for a long time! But then he started another song and I continued my journey into the unknown while just reaching my peak of an acid washout.
I finally reached the light and I was looking at this guy who was running some kind of mixing board. You can only imagine the look on his face when this 15 year old kid full of dirt and eyes like saucers came popping from behind the curtain. The music was pumping and I could only see his lips moving so I walked up to him and tried to yell in his ear about my predicament. He couldn’t hear me and he was very busy so he just pointed to a spot next to him and motioned with his hand for me to stay right where I was.
Well that turned out to be like all the holidays wrapped at once because after BB king finished and I tried to tell this sound dude again about why I was there, he just said “listen kid, I’m very busy because The Rolling Stones are coming through here in a few minutes so just shut up and stay out of the way. In fact, stand right there so I know where you are and don’t bother me!”
Now in those days there wasn’t a lot of time in between acts so a few minutes later there they were standing right next to me wandering who in the world I was, but to busy to ask. Most of the band went out on stage first and started to play and then Mick Jagger walked past me in an “Uncle Sam” suit with a tall hat. I’ll never forget that moment! He took one look at me and turned to the sound guy who just shrugged his shoulders. Then Mick turned back to me and said something that I couldn’t hear, but I’m guessing it wasn’t “how are you?” But that’s ok because it’s probably better for my memory of that occasion if I never knew.
Well you probably guessed by now that I got to watch The Rolling Stones from the side of the stage for the rest of the show. I don’t remember what happened after that because by that time dreams and realities were all running together. All I know is that when I woke up the next morning I wasn’t in jail. Thank God for The Rolling Stones!
JJ Rocks - The Spotlight Zone
JJ Rocks first experience with the Rolling Stones
JJ Rocks Article # 49: