The Rolling Stones are giving it away for free! Well, almost. A private sponsor is underwriting the Stones performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, February 6, 2003. The 40 year British musical institution is championing the cause of global warming by agreeing to appear in concert.

    Steve Bing has consented to pick up the tab on the show in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a partisan environmental lobby group. It is unclear as to how the British Invasion rock'n'roll band came to be involved in promoting the international concern of global warming.

    6,000 pairs of tickets are being given away free via online and snail mail registration. Ticket winners, selected at random, are expected to be announced during the week of January 13. 12,000 lucky Stones fans will get to hear their musical heroes free of charge, considering Stones tickets now go on sale at $350 face value.

    "The Rolling Stones' commitment will help build unprecedented support for NRDC efforts to fight global warming," NRDC president John H. Adams said. "The Rolling Stones deserve a standing ovation for putting the environment on center stage." NRDC strives to promote environmental concerns and protect the wilderness.

    The Stones have given a few "free" performances during their career. Some they planned, some where they weren't paid, and some by order of the court. When the infamous Stones ventured behind the Iron Curtain in April 1967 to perform in Warsaw, Poland, their bill at the Communist hotel came to exactly what they earned at the Palace of Culture.

    Following Brian Jones' unexpected death, the Stones went ahead with a free concert on July 5, 1969, in Hyde Park. Since that London appearance went off well, the Stones decided to schedule a free concert on the heels of their successful Fall 1969 U.S. Tour. Their interrupted performance at Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969, resulted in tragedy captured on film.

    After a massive earthquake rocked Nicaragua in 1972, the Rolling Stones staged a benefit concert to aide the Nicaraguan people in January 1973. Mick Jagger and his first wife, Bianca Jagger, a Nicaraguan, were both moved by the devastation they saw during their visit in the aftermath of the natural catastrophe.

    When the Rolling Stones flew into Toronto in February 1977 to record live material at the El Macombe Club, Keith Richards was caught with enough heroine to result in a serious trafficking charge. Richards got cleaned up, recorded and toured behind Some Girls, and then faced the music before a Canadian court.

    By all accounts a legal miracle, Richards was sentenced to perform two concerts on behalf of the Canadian School for the Blind. In April 1979, Keith appeared with both the New Barbarians and the Rolling Stones for two sets at two back-to-back concerts at the Oshawa Civic Center in Toronto to fulfill his criminal penance.

RockonTour   Issue #16
Mitt Namlitt - the Single Source for the Concertphile © 2003 RoT
                  the Single Source for the Concertphile

Their Environmental Charitable Request
Stones aide global warming cause

by Timothy Tilghman