TINA WAS DYNAMITE
The Forum in Los Angeles began to fill. Down on the floor, where the promoters had the $12.50 seats (at least twenty rows of them), the audience sparkled in sequined gowns, leather patchwork suits, velvet capes and celebrities.
Except to say B. B. was as brilliant in his guitar work as might be expected of a man who had influenced nearly every guitar player extant in rock, there's no need to describe the set. Making sure he got everyone in the audience, though, he said he had a song about love and he wanted the audience to sing it with him. "All I want/Is a little bit of love." Over and over and over again.
The audience hollered for more, but there wasn't time. Ike and Tina Turner, the Ikettes and a six-piece band were backstage ready to go on.
They opened with a song they'd just learned, Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart." Tina was wearing a dress that looked like she'd wrapped a piece of colored gauze around her middle, the idea being you thought you could see everything, but there was enough left to the imagination to really turn you on. With the Ikettes, similarly dressed, she watusi'd through "Shake a Tail Feather" and pony'd through "Higher." Then she sang Joe South's hit, "Games People Play" and the great Phil Spector song, "River Deep, Mountain High."
In "Loving You," Ike, playing guitar, sang the lines ahead of Tina and she repeated them. "You got what I want," said Ike. "You got what I want," said Tina. "You got what I need. I want you to give it to me. Make me say: oh oh bay ... oh ... ohhhhh ... unnnhhhhh ... unnnhhhhhh ... oh baby ... ohhhnnn! Oh baby ... uhh hhhhhhhhhhh nnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnn!"
The audience burst loose with an absolute roar.
The set finished with Tina singing Otis Redding's "Respect" (which included a long rap about how women want respect, too), the Beatles' "Come Together" and "Na Na Na," a non – song made popular a few years ago by Cannibal and the Headhunters. Tina and the Ikettes went off in a blaze of strobe lights and smoke.
It was two-thirty when the second Forum show started, four when the Stones went on, five-fifteen when they unplugged and dashed backstage for the limousines for a hasty get-away . . . back to the Los Angeles mountain-top homes where they were staying for a few hours sleep before getting up to go to Oakland for the next night's two concerts.
The promoters of the Los Angeles concerts, Jim Rissmiller and Steve Wolf of Concert Associates, said they grossed $260,000, with the Stones getting sixty – five per cent of that – $169,000 for the two hours and fifteen minutes they were on-stage. Wolf and Rissmiller said they expected to net about $39,000.
IT WOULD BE ANTI-CLIMAX
Four days later there was an ad in the Los Angeles Times: "Due to difficulties beyond our control the two performances of the Rolling Stones Concert on Saturday, November 8th was delayed. We wish to apologize to the Rolling Stones' fans and their parents for any inconvenience." It was signed the Stones, the producers, KRLA (co – producing with Concert Associates) and the Forum. And the producers were talking about getting hit with between four and five thousand dollars in refunds for people whose view had been blocked by the mountainous pile of loudspeakers on the stage.
(They had been promised tickets for the November 20th concert, but that was cancelled after the Stones decided they didn't want to do another concert in L.A. "What if something went wrong?" Charlie Watts asked. "It would be an anti-climax. Fuck it.")
Oakland was one of the faceless cities for the Stones; they arrived when it was nearly dark (five-thirty Sunday afternoon) and left ten hours later when it was still dark, seeing only the 15,000-seat Oakland Coliseum and the nearby Edgewater Inn, where the Stones freshened up following the fight, ate supper and held an informal press conference prior to the first of the evening's two shows.
HE MOVED LIKE HAYLEY MILLS
It was at the Edgewater that the security arranged by the Stones showed its strength and efficiency. The press conference, for example, was (oddly) by invitation only and no one was allowed to take photographs except for the Stones' official photographer. Several reporters were kept in the lobby, nowhere near the room where the conference was held, while others were kept outside the room's closed door. And a huge guard stood there, arms crossed over his forty-eight-inch chest.
At the concerts there was an even more complicated system in practice. Photographers were permitted to shoot the performance, but had to have a photographer's pass, a three-inch lapel button showing a red horizontal bar in a red circle against a white background – the European highway symbol for, peculiarly, Do Not Enter.
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