In 1972, The Rolling Stones were the biggest band in the world; their U.S. tour that year became the stuff of legend. Now, it’s become the stuff of a podcast.
The podcast, Stones Touring Party, is based on the book S.T.P.: A Journey Through America with the Rolling Stones by Rolling Stone magazine’s Robert Greenfield, who did more than 60 hours of interviews with the band on that tour. He and another entourage member, Gary Stromberg, are sharing those tapes on the podcast.
Stones Touring Party is described as “an all-access pass to the sights, sounds, riots, bombings, drug busts, death threats and other assorted mayhem” of the 1972 tour. But the first episode details what happened before that tour: the Stones’ ill-fated 1969 Altamont concert, during which 18-year-old fan Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by members of Hell’s Angels, who had been hired as “security.”
“I think it affected all of us very profoundly. The only thing we were very upset about was being accused and held responsible for what happened,” then-Stones guitarist Mick Taylor says on the tapes. “And you can’t really blame anybody in that kind of mass hysteria.”
The episode sets the stage for the Stones’ return to America in 1972 and their concern that every time they stepped onstage, they might be a target for more violence.
“Either I stopped touring or I didn’t. It was as simple as that. A few people said don’t go — friends of mine … I said, ‘Well, it’s more or less what I do, so I gotta do it,’” Mick Jagger says on the tapes. “There was a few places that it did get scary and there was a lot of guns confiscated and stuff like that … I was scared s***less.”
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