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The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park After 44 Years

Band recreates atmosphere of famed 1969 shows in stage set

Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones perform at Hyde Park in London, England.
Simone Joyner/Getty Images
July 8, 2013 8:55 AM ET

The Rolling Stones returned to Hyde Park on Saturday, 44 years after their celebrated performances at the central London location, to a crowd of 65,000. The Sun reports that the band wanted to recreate the experience of the 1969 performance by installing two 70-foot tall model oak trees onstage, to mimic the woodlands the band played in decades ago. A video montage played footage from the 1969 performance on big screens just before the band took the stage.

"When Mick and the band looked out from the stage back in the Sixties, all they could see was a sea of people and a load of trees," a source told The Sun.

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"It's like a cross between Wimbledon and a pantomime forest," Mick Jagger said from the stage.

The Rolling Stones' 1969 shows at the park were their first with Mick Taylor in the lineup; Brian Jones had died just two days earlier and had been out of the band for about a month.

The Rolling Stones were joined by Gary Clark Jr. for the bluesy crooner "Bitch," and later by the Voice Chamber and London Youth Choir for the choral introduction to "You Can't Always Get What You Want," followed by "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

The performance was part of London's Barclaycard British Summer Time celebration, a new two-week festival that opened on Friday with Jon Bon Jovi. Other performers included Tribes, Palma Violets and the Vaccines.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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