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Tour Ends: Stones Down Under With Flowers and Beer Can Showers

The band hit Australia for the first time in seven years

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Honolulu, Hawaii, pacific, australia, 1973

Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs onstage in Honolulu, Hawaii before going to Australia during their Pacific Tour in 1973.

David Redfern/Redferns/Getty

Adelaide, AustraliaThe Rolling Stones finished up their abbreviated Pacific Tour (Hawaii . . . long pause . . . then New Zealand and Australia) with a small riot.

At Memorial Drive Stadium in Adelaide, 9000 persons packed the stadium for the concert February 20th. That left about 4000 outside. The crowd, police said, tore up barbed wire fences, threw beer cans and fought about 100 cops. Four policemen were reported injured, 40 kids were arrested, and Mick Jagger, the next day, said he knew nothing about the riot. “We were playing and everybody in the audience was beautiful,” he said.

On the first leg of the down-under swing, at an outdoor concert at Western Springs Raceway in Auckland, New Zealand, beer cans also had been heaved by members of the audience. The hot afternoon crowd of 30,000 had been holding good spots for hours, only to lose their view to a last-minute throng. It was the latecomers who got the shower of cans.

Otherwise, it was a quiet little tour, the Stones doing quick sets, Jagger looking more incongruous than ever with his satin and velvet, responding to the beer cans with kissed carnations. He faced the traditionally-inhibited working-man audience, with a dramatic “I want to thank you all for being so sweet.” The crowd shouted for oldies, but the Stones came only as close as a half-hour hard-rock medley: no oldies.

The press duly reported the belt-whipping, the costumery, the carnations . . . it had been seven years since the last time, and there had been some changes . . . and yet, in Auckland, days after the Rolling Stones had departed, the local Rotary Club was holding a charity auction of the linen the band had used at the Hotel Intercontinental. “Sixteen cotton sheets and 16 pillow cases,” the Daily Times reported on Page One, “went under the auctioneer’s hammer outside the hotel. Bidding was furious, and the prices soon went past the range of average Rolling Stones fans.” One man paid $459 for 12 sheets, which he will cut up into handkerchiefs for sale, to benefit Boys Town. The four remaining sheets were the ones that had encased Mick Jagger. Those went for $200 each.

This is a story from the March 29, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone.


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