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Stones Play Surprise Intimate Set In Connecticut

Their first show in years, for a crowd of 700, cost $3

Ron Wood and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones perform on stage during the band's 'Steel Wheels' tour in late 1989.
Paul Natkin/Getty
September 21, 1989

It was real good fun," says Rolling Stone Ron Wood – a noted authority on the topic of fun – talking about the band's surprise gig at Toad's Place, a club with a capacity of 700, in New Haven, Connecticut. Tickets were three dollars for the show, which Wood describes as "like a dress rehearsal. We were just getting used to being onstage again after seven years. We ironed out a lot of potential mistakes and little pitfalls." The ten-song set, which began with "Start Me Up," included two songs – "Sad Sad Sad" and "Mixed Emotions" – from the band's new album, Steel Wheels. Wood says the band may do another club gig.

So how did it feel to perform together for the first time in so many years? "It's a lot more comfortable now," says Wood. "There's a lot more of the old spirit back in there. Maybe time is a healer or something."

This story is from the September 21st, 1989 issue of Rolling Stone.


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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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