They became the biggest – and longest-running – band in the world and their appearance in Huddersfield will never be forgotten by the people who were there.
The Rolling Stones played the ABC cinema in Huddersfield on March 10, 1965 and this concert along with many others are featured in a new book called You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 – 69.
The book, written by Richard Houghton and published by Gottahavebooks, is just out and gives a front row perspective on the group’s early live shows and includes memories of their performance in Huddersfield – including one Stones fan who even took his gran to the gig.
It contains more than 500 eyewitness accounts of the band’s very first performances, beginning with pubs and clubs in and around London and culminating in their 1969 Hyde Park show. It also contains previously unreleased photos.
Included in the book are the memories of former Examiner music writer Laurie Stead who interviewed the band that night.
He was working for hospital radio and managed to get backstage to get an interview for a programme they did at the time called Pop Scene.
“I remember it was absolute chaos,” he said. “You could hardly hear the music and we could only make out the odd tune. It was quite a coup to get to speak to them and it was certainly nerve-racking for me and the photographer, Brian Lawton.”
Another memory comes from Jenifer Taylor.
She said: “I was still at school during this period of pop history and because tickets went on sale early on a given day I remember the queues starting the day before, certainly for the Stones and The Beatles.
“So to make sure we had a place in the queue for the Rolling Stones tickets we set up a rota system from our school, Huddersfield High School at Salendine Nook, whereby those of us who had free periods in classes would go into town on the bus and hold the place in the queue and then they would be replaced at regular intervals by other girls when they had to be back at school.
“It worked fine and all this long before we had mobile phones.”
Graham Nasey added: “I attended the evening concert with my 65-year-old grandma. I attended several other concerts with my gran and this was the best. At the very least we heard some of the music – at The Beatles it was drowned out by the screaming.
“I had Stones records and the way they belted them out was great stuff. We had a great night and returned home on the number 60 bus to Crosland Moor where we both lived and had fish and chips in the paper from Gibson’s shop at Park Rad.”
The book coincides with the recent announcement of a major Rolling Stones exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London next year.
The group has been performing live for more than 50 years and interest in the group’s early days is stronger than ever.
Author Richard Houghton said: “I got the idea for the book last year when I went to see the Rolling Stones perform in Stockholm. Mick Jagger was about to turn 71 and it occurred to me that many of the people who saw the Stones when they were starting out would be of a similar vintage.
“Fifty years ago they were teenagers and I thought it would be good to capture those memories of the early Stones shows before they fade.
“This book is not just about the Rolling Stones. It’s also a window on the past, a look at what it was like to grow up in 1960s Britain.
“Teenagers hadn’t really been invented until the Rolling Stones came along and they played a part in opening many people’s eyes to what was possible. The Stones helped to make the 60s swing.”
He added: “I’ve been lucky enough to capture some great anecdotes of people who saw the Stones on their journey to stardom.
“They started out as a group of rhythm and blues aficionados sometimes playing to a handful of people in a pub and became the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.”
Richard did not see the Rolling Stones live in the 1960s himself, although his mum did take him to see The Beatles. He was four-years-old and the Fab Four are the subject of his next book called You Had To Be There: The Beatles.
Richard added: “I’d love to hear the memories of anyone who saw The Beatles in the 1960s because they set the entertainment world alight when they came along and there will be lots of people out there who heard them or saw them and just thought ‘wow’.”
You can share your Beatles memories with Richard via email@example.com
You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 – 69 can be ordered from gottahavebooks.co.uk/stones and Amazon. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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