So this thread's the context. I'll occasionally post something here, and you can all either read it and say wow! - that's really interesting or funny or cool or preposterous or prescient, or you can go suck eggs.
Oh yeah, feel free to post similar items yourself, if you're so inclined. And comment, of course.
. . .
I expect most of these will be a lot shorter than this first item - but I just read this during lunch today, and I'm too boyishly excited not to post it immediately. It's from a 1966 article on the Rolling Stones, but patient Beatlemaniacs may be rewarded with an unexpected illumination regarding an obscure bit of '67 Fabs trivia...
The August 1966 issue of Hit Parader features a cluster of articles under the header "DO THE ROLLING STONES HATE THEIR FANS?" One of those articles concerned the band's stop at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis on their second U.S. tour, on the 17th of November, 1965 (thanks, Wikipedia!). To paraphrase the first half: the boys wouldn't get off their private plane until it was showtime; refused to do a press conference or any interviews - wouldn't even talk to the DJs from local radio station WMPS, who were promoting the show; didn't allow any non-essential personnel backstage; didn't make themselves available for autographs; played for only 25 minutes; pissed off the officials at the Coliseum ("They're ill-attired," one is quoted, "they surely have no manners"). (Coincidentally or not, this, their first Memphis performance, would also be their last until 1975 [thanks again, Wiki].)
But as writer Ann Hill reports, a couple of attendees managed to see a different side of the Stones:
Ann Hill wrote:Amidst the downfall of criticisms that were thrown at the Stones, there were two fortunate girls who held an entirely different opinion. They are the only two teenagers in Memphis who are known to have received a private audience with the five reclusive singers and this was accomplished through a WMPS art contest.
Mary Scruggs is 17, a Senior at Immaculate Conception High School, and an officer in a local Rolling Stones Fan Club. She won the contest through originality by sewing the words "WMPS Good Guys Welcome The Rolling Stones" on a childs sweatshirt. [note of explanation: a number of US pop radio stations in those days - most famously WMCA in New York - referred to their on-air personalities, and sometimes their devoted listeners, as "The [call letters] Good Guys". It was a thing.] About the Stones, Mary said, "I thought they were very nice and courteous, the very opposite to all the rumors I'd heard because everyone told me they were gonna be real rude and wouldn't want to talk to me. It was just the opposite because I didn't know what to say and they did most of the talking."
Sally Ware is 18, a Freshman majoring in art at Memphis State University, her home is in Mauldin, Mo., and her ambition is to become a professional artist. She won the artistic division of the contest through an original charcoal of the Stones. After meeting the guys, Sally confessed, "They acted like real people and this was kind of amazing to me. I don't usually go wild over these singing groups and it was a thrill to meet Mick Jagger because he's the only famous person I've ever wanted to meet. He seemed like I thought he would, sophisticated and rather intelligent."
[...] Mary Scruggs recalled, "I thought Brian Jones was the friendliest, really, because when I got backstage I was very nervous and he started talking to me to help put me at ease. First, he asked me about the contest then I tripped over an amplifier and he sort of helped me up. I had a tape recorder with me which wouldn't work so he bound it with his fists [? - that's what it says. Pounded, maybe?] and started talking into the microphone."
Sally made the statement that he seemed the most friendly to her also. "When the photographer asked us to pose for a picture, Brian put his arm around me and said 'Come on, let's have our picture made.' He was kind of cute and I adored his blonde hair."
Mary made the statement that she thought the others were probably more shy but Sally said their behavior might be classified as sophistication.
During the brief picture taking session, the girls did notice one isolated instance of Stones hostility or sarcastic humor when the photographers asked Keith Richard if he might snap several pictures. Keith looked up slowly from the guitar which he had been strumming and said, "What do you mean man. Can't you see I'm tuning my guitar."
Where Mick Jagger was concerned, both girls were terrifically delighted. When Mary showed him the little boys shirt that had been her entry in the contest, Mick held it up to himself and said, "Well, it's gonna be a little small. Do you want me to keep it." Mary told him if he wanted the shirt, he could have it so Mick said with a quick wink, "Okay, I'll keep it."
By that time the coliseum men were asking the girls to leave but before they left, Mick Jagger took Sally by the hand and said "I sure am glad I got to meet you." [...]
Sally Ware and Mary Scruggs are perhaps the only two people in Memphis who have been left with a favorable, almost ecstatic impression of Rolling Stones hospitality. It could well be that they were the only two persons to see the Stones in the light of their true personalities. Perhaps the defensive armor of rudeness, sarcasm and hostility that has been built around the Stones is an excess weight that they'd actually like to shed but somehow find themselves caught in the web of a prefabricated image that is now difficult to discard.
Sadly Hit Parader didn't get (or didn't print) a photo of Mary's prize-winning sweatshirt. But I think it probably looked something like this: