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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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“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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