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50th ANNIVERSARY YEAR

Issue 1286
May 4, 2017
$6.99

SPECIAL ISSUE
The

GREATEST
CONCERTS
of the Last

50 YEARS
THE
UNHEARD
‘SGT. PEPPER’
TAPES

The
Boy-Band
Superstar
Comes
of Age

Harry
Styles
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RS1286
“All the
News
That Fits”

Mourners
honor Chuck
Berry at his
April 9th
funeral in
St. Louis.

SPECI AL I SSUE F E AT UR E RO CK & ROL L


20 9
THE 50 GREATEST Harry Styles’ 2017 Rock and Roll
New Direction Hall of Fame
CONCERTS OF THE A year in the life of the young At the induction ceremony,
LAST 50 YEARS singer as he leaves his boy- Yes and Journey put their
WHITNEY CURTIS/“THE NEW YORK TIMES”/REDUX

band past behind, heads into grudges aside, Joan Baez


From the Rolling Stones’ hedonistic 1972 U.S. tour to the studio to record his first called for tolerance in the
the art-rock spectacle of Radiohead’s Glastonbury show, solo album and comes of age. age of Trump, and Pearl Jam
the performances that have defined rock & roll. By Cameron Crowe proved their place in history.
30
14
P LU S ON THE COVER
Harry Styles photographed in The Galaxy’s
THE 10 GREATEST FESTIVALS London on February 24th, 2017, Hottest Mixtape
by Theo Wenner.
OF THE LAST 50 YEARS Grooming by Lou Teasdale Krystal
Inside the Seventies classics
76 at the Book Agency. Styling by Harry
Lambert at Bryant Artists. T-shirt from
of the Guardians of the
Breuer and Dawson Vintage. Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack.

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 3
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4 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Correspondence Love Letters
& Advice

adolescent testosterone, im-


mature brain-control centers,
The Beatles Rock On booze, drugs and now loaded
guns?
R OLLING STONE contributor Rob Sheffield’s new book, Helen Hill Updike
Dreaming the Beatles, will be on sale on April 25th. In this New York
issue, he reports from London on the outtakes of the up-
coming reissue of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. i n ge orgi a , l aw m a k e r s
have passed a campus-carry
rob sheffield doesn’t With such insight seem- bill. We are waiting for the gov-
know how many Beatles ingly on every page, the ernor’s reaction. The public is
books he’s read, but it’s in book delights in dissecting against it, but lawmakers are
the triple digits. “I love them little-known moments, like relying on fake news to garner
all, even when I don’t George Harrison’s support. Let’s hope the governor
believe a word in disastrous attempts vetoes this dangerous bill before
them,” he says. In his to sing “In My Life” someone gets killed.
new book, Dream- on a 1974 solo tour, Dave Fedack
Trump Up Front ing the Beatles, the his voice ravaged by Douglasville, GA
RS contributor ex- brandy, cocaine and
it ’s of ten sa id on e plores why “there the sorrow of los- Misty’s Long Trip
shouldn’t judge a book by its never seems to be a in his wife to Eric
cover, but Matt Taibbi’s Trump point where the B pton. (“In public if parents want to warn
story is as brilliant as the issue’s tles belong to th oesn’t cover it,” their children away from LSD,
cover art [“Trump the Destroy- past.” How else Sheffield writes. they should read your inter-
er,” RS 1284]. I was hooked from to explain that “There’s public view with Father John Misty
the get-go, especially with the the band’s leg- and then there’s [Q&A, RS 1284]. About half-
line “He looks pleased and sat- end, as detailed ‘Layla .’ ”) But way through his self-indulgent
isfied, like a Roman emperor i n one c h ap - there are myster- babble, he describes himself
Sheffield
who has just moved his bowels.” ter, reached a ne s Sheffield can’t perfectly: “If it’s vague enough,
Ashley Paskill pinnacle whe er st a nd e ven narcissists can project.”
Hatfield, PA Cobain called Meet the Bea- after a lifetime obsessing Jim Tuttle
tles his favorite album. “The over the Beatles. “When you Monterey, CA
i always go to taibbi first. experts slowly realized you listen to outtakes from Re-
“Trump the Destroyer” is a new didn’t need to live through volver and Rubber Soul, you Hunter’s Legacy
level even for him. Between re- the Sixties to participate in hear how much fun they had
search and observation, this ar- the Beatles,” Sheffield writes, being the Beatles,” he says. y ou r p i e c e o n h u n t e r
ticle shows the bar has been set “just as you didn’t need to “It’s amazing that it turned Thompson lef t me feeling
at a new high. Insightful, inter- witness the French Revolu- so suddenly. That’s still grateful that I can claim my
esting and provocative. tion to love Wordsworth.” shocking to me.” own version of such an ex-
Frank Salvaggio pansive writer in Matt Taibbi
Lenox, MA [“Dr. Hunter S. Thompson,” RS
Werner’s World acter study set in an authen- 1284]. Oh, maybe without the
the story is a chronicle tically grimy mid-Seventies drugs and suicide, but biting
of butt-hurt. Donald Trump i was excited, a nd then mise-en-scène. In what other and blessedly irreverent. And
was elected president because disappointed, reading Erik film can you see a chicken in this dreadful era of journal-
it’s time for some fundamental Hedegaard’s article on Wer- dance so metaphorically? istic nothingness, it’s easier to
change in our country. Taibbi ner Herzog [“The Peculiar Mr. Tom Caufield see who is the best.
can bitch and complain all he Herzog,” RS 1284]. He couldn’t Los Angeles Jim Corbin
wants, but things are going to seem to get much out of Herzog Portland, ME
change here. Enjoy the ride. except brief statements. Hede- Armed Students
Otis R. Needleman gaard noted his subject’s con-
Via the Internet tradictions as a person, while he g ood n ews: the tedious Contact Us
should have been writing about and time-consuming college LETTERS to ROLLING STONE , 1290 Avenue
i a m c om f ort e d t o se e Herzog’s work. search is getting a lot easier of the Americas, New York, NY
10104-0298. Letters become the
this sentence below the arti- Matthew Snope [“Inside the Fight Over Guns property of ROLLING STONE and may
cle: “Matt Taibbi will be cover- Decatur, GA on Campus,” RS 1284]. Two be edited for publication.
ing the Trump administration hundred colleges can be struck E-MAIL letters@rollingstone.com
GRIFFIN LOTZ

every month in the magazine.” a n y l ist of “e s se n t i a l” off the list. Who will want to SUBSCRIBER SERVICES Go to
RollingStone.com/customerservice
Rondi Lund-Zeiger Herzog films must include the consign their daughter or son •Subscribe •Renew •Cancel •Missing Issues
Huntington Beach, CA stunning Stroszek, a great char- to a campus awash with late- •Give a Gift •Pay Bill •Change of Address

6 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
OR STREAM IT ON
SEASON PREMIERE
APRIL 23 10PM
FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS MIKE JUDGE AND ALEC BERG

CHANGING THE WAY THINGS CHANGE.


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ARCHIVES INSIDE ‘SGT. PEPPER’ SESSIONS P. 16 | Q&A JOHN MELLENCAMP P. 18

Rock&Roll

(1) Vedder closing with


“Rockin’ in the Free
World.” (2) Journey’s
Schon (left) and Perry.
(3) Jackson Browne
inducting Baez. “Her
voice led me into the
world of folk and 3
FROM LEFT: JAMIE MCCARTHY/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME; KEVIN

blues,” he said.
1
KANE/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME; JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC

Rock Hall’s Epic Night


Steve Perry, to appear with his old band
t he 2017 rock a n d rol l h a l l of
Fame ceremony was full of moments fans Journey and Yes put onstage for the first time in 26 years. The
thought they’d never see, from the clas- old grudges aside, group got its wish, with Perry showing up
sic lineup of Yes putting aside years of bad and embracing his bandmates as they col-
blood to play one last time, to the first and Pearl Jam bring lected their statues. Backstage, Perry made
performance since 1991 from Pearl Jam’s down the house at plans with guitarist Neal Schon to meet
original lineup. But nothing was more sur- for a “way-overdue coffee.” “The night was
prising than the reunion of Journey. In the moving ceremony surreal,” says Schon. “I got very emotional.”
days before the show, the band resorted to BY A N DY GR E E N E The April 7th show – which also saw
Twitter to lobby its estranged former singer, the inductions of Joan Baez, Nile Rodgers,

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 9
R&R

2
1

No Sleep Till
Brooklyn
(1) Pharrell
ushered in Nile
Rodgers. (2)
Lenny Kravitz paid
tribute to Prince
with “When Doves
Cry” and “The
Cross.” (3) Yes
keyboardist
Wakeman. “I just
wanted to have a
bit of fun,” he said.
(4) Lynne was
inducted by Dhani
Harrison, who
recalled dad
George taking him
to his first ELO
show when he was
seven years old.
4 3 OF FAME; JAMIE MCCARTHY/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME;
ROLL HALL OF FAME; KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JAMIE MCCARTHY/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND

Electric Light Orchestra and Tupac Shakur came after. Tonight we say farewell to the folk music of the Sixties and the immense
– was the best Hall of Fame ceremony in founding father.” effect it had on popular music, including
THEO WARGO/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

years. It began with a celebration of Chuck With that, inductees ELO kicked into rock & roll. Nor can anyone overlook the
Berry, who died at age 90 on March 18th. Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” which they role I played in that phenomenon.” Baez
“Thirty-two years ago, the very first person had covered in 1973, with frontman Jeff also used her speech to call for tolerance
ever inducted into the Hall of Fame was Lynne breaking out a guitar solo that would and inclusion in the age of Trump. Armed
Chuck Berry,” said Hall of Fame Founda- have made Berry proud. “It’s such a plea- with only an acoustic guitar, she converted
tion chairman Jann S. Wenner to the au- sure to get one of these,” said Lynne onstage an arena full of rabid Pearl Jam fans with
dience at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “No afterward. “Because I’ve watched lots, hun- a spooky “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” (She
one in this room would be here tonight dreds, of people getting awards.” altered the lyrics to note that even Donald
but for this man. He’s called the father, the Baez was another inductee who had Trump can be saved.) She then previewed
inventor of rock & roll. He put the poetry been waiting a long time for her statue. Her her upcoming Four Voices Tour by bring-
of the common man to the beat, and then old friend Jackson Browne made a case for ing out Mary Chapin Carpenter and the In-
he laid on that revved-up, motorvatin’, why the honor was long overdue. So did digo Girls for Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee
double-string guitar attack that laid down Baez herself: “Though one cannot say I’m (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” and the Band’s
the law for every rock & roll musician that a rock & roll artist, one cannot overlook the “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

10 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
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R&R
stepped in to induct Pearl Jam after an ill
Neil Young canceled (“He swallowed a har-
monica,” Letterman speculated).
“In 1994, these young men risked their
careers by going after those beady-eyed,
bloodthirsty weasels [at Ticketmaster],”
Letterman said of Pearl Jam. “And be-
cause they stood up to the corporations, I’m
happy to say, today every concert ticket in
the United States of America is free.” Let-
terman also proved to be a knowledgeable
Pearl Jam fan, heaping praise on their 1992
B side “Yellow Ledbetter.” At one point, he
showed off a guitar that Eddie Vedder gave
to his son, Harry, at one of Letterman’s
final broadcasts, in 2015.
Vedder was undoubtedly the crowd fa-
1 vorite of the night: His brief cameos on the
2
overhead screens through-
out the show elicited deaf-
ening chants from the
Pearl Jam army in the au-
dience. During the group’s
a c c ept a nc e sp e e c he s ,
bassist Jeff Ament staged
a quiet protest with a T-
shirt displaying the names
of 100 acts that have yet to
be inducted into the Hall
of Fame, from Hüsker Dü
to Bon Jovi. Vedder gave
moving testimony, touch-
4
ing on climate change and
his mother’s early support.
Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World
He also shouted out all five
(1) Vedder and daughters Olivia (top) and Harper. (2) Snoop: of Pearl Jam’s past drum-
“[Tupac] saw more potential in me than I saw in myself.” (3) mers (Letterman joked
Letterman with a guitar Vedder gave his son. (4) Yes’ Trevor that the entire balcony was
Rabin, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Ament, Lee (from left). 3 full of former Pearl Jam
drummers). “We have the
Tupac became the first solo rapper to lead singer. The surviving members now great Dave Abbruzzese,” Vedder said, re-
enter the Hall of Fame. His old Death Row tour in two warring camps: Yes and Yes ferring to their mid-Nineties member who
Records labelmate Snoop Dogg gave a hi- Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman. had criticized the band for not lobbying the
larious speech that included a story about But they all put years of animosity aside, Hall of Fame to induct him too. “You are a
a trip they took to South America shortly teaming up for a bombastic “Roundabout” great drummer!”
before Tupac’s death. “Do you know what (joined by Rush bassist Geddy Lee, who Vedder remembered life before fame,
parasailing is?” Snoop asked. “Because inducted the group with bandmate Alex when he worked as a security guard,

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME;
KEVIN KANE/WIREIMAGE FOR ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME; JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC, 2
we damn sure didn’t. . . . The boat pulls Lifeson) and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” watching Letterman’s show to pass the
away and we start floating up in the air. We in which Rick Wakeman ventured into the time. “Dave was my co-pilot,” the frontman
scared as a motherfucker.” Since Tupac had audience with a keytar. “It was a one-off,” said. “To have him up here, it’s an honor. . . .
no children and his mother died in 2016, says Wakeman of reuniting with his former I feel like we’re about halfway to deserv-
Snoop accepted the award, and then par- mates. “Never to happen again.” ing an accolade of this stature. But this is
ticipated in a medley of the rapper’s songs Wakeman gave one of the funniest (not very encouraging.”
with Alicia Keys, YG and others. to mention filthiest) speeches in Hall of The band then blazed through three
Pharrell inducted his “Get Lucky” col- Fame history. He made virtually no men- Nineties classics: a ferocious “Alive,” with
laborator Rodgers, praising the Chic front- tion of the band, instead cracking jokes original drummer Dave Krusen; “Given
man’s willingness to take a back seat while about a prostate exam and an early sexual to Fly”; and an emotional “Better Man.”
working with fellow hitmakers. Rodgers experience. “My father was an Elvis im- Vedder gave a shout-out to Young, before
struck a humble note during his speech personator,” he deadpanned. “But there kicking into “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
too: “This award, which is amazing to me, wasn’t much call for that in 1947.” Back- They were backed by many of the evening’s
is really because of all the people that have stage, Wakeman explained his approach: inductees and guests, including Schon,
allowed me to come into their lives and just “I thought, ‘Do I go on and thank all the who was still processing the heavy emo-
join their band. Be it Mick Jagger, be it Ma- different guys in the band that I’ve played tions of the night. “I had tears in my eyes,”
donna, Duran Duran, Pharrell Williams, with?’ Everyone is going to say that. So I he said later. “I know I’ve said in the past
Diana Ross, Sister Sledge. Thank you all.” thought I’d just have a bit of fun.” that I didn’t really care about the Hall of
Like Journey, Yes have spent the past Wakeman, it turned out, was the per- Fame, since we were never up for induc-
several years touring without their original fect opening act for David Letterman, who tion. But I do now that we’re in.”

12 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
R&R
SOUNDTRACK

The Galaxy’s Hottest Mixtape


Inside the oddball Seventies classics of ‘Guardians of the
Galaxy Vol. 2,’ the most anticipated soundtrack in years
BY BR I A N H I AT T
2

W
hil e dir ec t or ja mes 1
Gunn was finishing the 2014
sci-fi film Guardians of the
Galaxy, he kept hearing one
bit of feedback from some Marvel Studios
employees. “Nobody,” he recalls them say-
ing, “is going to want to hear this music.”
Gunn had laced the movie with eight- 3
track-era gems – Redbone’s “Come and
Get Your Love,” Blue Swede’s “Hooked on
a Feeling” – but the skeptics insisted that
using, say, Nineties Britney jams would be
a smarter move.
From the moment he got the job,
though, Gunn was intent on lending some
grounded humanity to his oddball space
SPACE JAMS
opera – where an acerbic space raccoon, (1) Pratt,
voiced by Bradley Cooper, is among the Karen Gillan
leads – by setting key scenes against dusty, (left) and Zoe
incongruous pop songs. The conceit is that Saldana. (2)
the tunes come from an ancient Walkman Soundtrack
toted around by Chris Pratt’s Earth-bred stars
character, who owns just one cassette, Fleetwood
given to him by his mom on her death- Mac and (3)
ELO’s Jeff
bed: the homemade “Awesome Mix Vol. 1.”
Lynne.
“They were songs that people had probably
heard but probably didn’t know the name
of,” says Gunn. lowed him to include familiar songs from Bit Closer” – not to mention a true obscuri-
The awesomeness of that mixtape is superstar acts: George Harrison’s “My ty like 1976’s “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang,”
no longer in doubt. Guardians got criti- Sweet Lord,” Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” by one-hit-wonder Silver – to the Marvel-
cal raves for its wit and inventiveness, (every band member watched the scene loving masses. “One of the most exciting
and it grossed $773 million worldwide; that features the song before giving approv- things,” he says, “was knowing I would be
the soundtrack album hit Number One, al) and ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” – which scores making bands that may have been forgot-
going platinum, with iTunes reviews full of what Gunn calls “the most hugely insane ten suddenly be a topic of conversation.”
teens singing the glories of Seventies soft shot I’ve ever done,” early in the film. “It’s Along the way, he’s listened to the movie’s

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: © MARVEL STUDIOS; RICHARD CREAMER/MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/
rock. And, conveniently enough, the movie the perfect song to start the movie,” says songs over and over – but he doesn’t mind.
ended with Pratt’s character, Peter Quill, Gunn, “because it’s really joyous, but there’s “The weird thing is, I’ve never gotten sick of
discovering that his late mom had left him a really dark underpinning to it.” a Guardians song,” says Gunn, fresh from GETTY IMAGES; © MOGANE/DALLE/CACHE AGENCY; GREG DOHERTY/GETTY IMAGES
one more tape, “Awesome Mix Vol. 2.” There are, again, plenty of deep cuts on hearing “Mr. Blue Sky” yet again while su-
So music will be just as central to Guard- hand, and Gunn (who once played in a band pervising the film’s sound mix. “Chris Pratt
ians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, due May 5th, with of his own, the Icons) relished the chance to listened to the first album hundreds of
its soundtrack album out April 21st. This expose the likes of Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” times. He said the only song he got sick of
time, Gunn had a bigger budget, which al- and Jay and the Americans’ “Come a Little was ‘The Piña Colada Song.’”

Five Highlights From ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 2’

‘Guardians ‘Surrender’ ‘Southern ‘Brandy (You’re ‘Father and


Inferno’ By including this Nights’ a Fine Girl)’ Son’
This comedic origi- 1978 Cheap Trick Glen Campbell’s Gunn has long Gunn was inspired
nal, co-written by classic, Gunn repays groovy 1977 version adored Looking to use this 1970 Cat
Gunn and sung a favor to the band, of Allen Toussaint’s Glass’ cheeseball Stevens ballad after
by David Hasselhoff, which let him use song was a child- 1972 smash, which hearing Howard
is meant as a sort “If You Want My hood favorite of plays a key emo- Stern attempt
of Guardians take Love” in his 2011 Gunn’s: “It’s a little tional role in the new to perform it on
on Meco’s disco Hasselhoff indie film Super bit of a different fla- movie, appearing in acoustic guitar on
Star Wars theme. for nearly nothing. vor for the movie.” the very first scene. his show.

14 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
R&R

Beatles Open ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Vault


Inside the legendary album’s new 50th-anniversary box set,
featuring dozens of unreleased outtakes
BY ROB SH EF F IELD

T
he beatles have been noto-
riously cautious about digging
through their vaults – 1995’s
Anthology documentary project
took more than 25 years for the group to
approve and release, while films like Let
It Be remain under wraps, even though
they would be guaranteed moneymak-
ers. Which is why it’s so surprising that,
50 years after the release of the band’s
most famous album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lone-
ly Hearts Club Band, the Beatles are issu-
ing a new box set featuring 34 never-heard
tracks from the sessions – the first time
they have released unheard studio mate-
rial since Anthology.
Today, Giles Martin, the producer and
son of the late George Martin, sits at the
control board at Abbey Road’s Studio Two
PEPPERLAND
in London, playing back some of the lost
At Abbey
treasures. The studio looks the same as it Road, 1967
did when the Beatles made the album here
in 1967 – even the same baffles hang on
the wall. “Abbey Road is a bit like a salad involvement. The remix is full of nuances
bowl or a teapot,” says Martin. “The walls any fan will notice, especially the bottom
absorb music.” While there are no entirely The Fab Four’s end – Starr’s kick drum reveals new dimen-
new songs – not even the mythical lost Buried Treasures sions. “There’s nothing new – this is the
1967 psychedelic jam “Carnival of Light” The biggest revelations from the album they made,” Martin says. “All we do
(“It’s not really part of Pepper,” says Mar- never-heard recording sessions is peel back the layers of compression that
tin) – there are revelatory outtakes of every were necessary to release music in 1967. It’s
song: a rocked-up “Fixing a Hole,” full of their album now. It’s just boys in a room,
‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts
R&B harpsichord; a version of “Within making noise.”
Club Band’
You Without You” in which George Har- The project is a tribute to the band and
The first take of the theme song is a long,
rison gives his instructions to the Indian raw Hendrix-style guitar jam, stretching
George Martin, who passed away in early
musicians (“OK, the main thing is the tim- out at the end as McCartney rants, “I feel 2016 while the work was underway. “It was
ing”). Says Martin, “My dad said record- it, oh, baby, I feel it, I feel freeeee now!” emotional, hearing the old man’s voice in
ing George was like watching someone the playbacks,” Martin says. “I’ve been
make a carpet thread ‘A Day in the Life’ working for my dad since I was 15. As his
by thread, thinking The original ending, with the hearing started to fade, I became his ears.”
about each bit.” Beatles humming that famous Asked if this box will heat up the demand
Martin says that talk final chord, before they decided for similar treatments of other LPs, such as
to do it with pianos instead.
of the project began “Have you got the note?” John
Abbey Road, Martin winces: “Can I have
after he remixed the Lennon asks his bandmates. two weeks off first?”
Beatles’ hits collection “Stop freaking out!” Even Apple Corps insiders seem sur-
1 in 2015. Encouraged prised the release came together so fast.
by those mixes (which ‘Getting Better’ Martin started working on it in late 2015,
didn’t include any Sgt. An aggressive take driven by and McCartney, Starr, Olivia Harrison and
Pepper songs), Paul McCartney’s Wurlitzer keyboard. Yoko Ono had to approve it, right down to
McCartney and Ringo Starr agreed it was Lennon gives him some advice: “Sing the color scheme of the packaging.
it – you know, ‘I gotta admit,’ and all that
time to give the same treatment to their Martin says going back to Pepper was a
– properly.”
psychedelic masterpiece. Fans have always discovery for the band as well. He recalls
complained about the diffuse stereo mix of ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ playing McCartney various outtakes of
the 39-minute original album; the mono “Within You Without You.” “I don’t know
© APPLE CORPS LTD.

A take with Lennon leading on acoustic


version was the one George Martin, en- guitar, while McCartney follows on how long it had been since he’d heard that
gineer Geoff Emerick and the band spent electric keyboard. Lennon’s raw-power song – probably a long time,” he says. “Paul
weeks mixing, while the stereo version was vocal is a world away from the ethereal closed his eyes, listened and said, ‘Hey,
a rushed afterthought, without the group’s dreaminess of the final version. George was really good!’”

16 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
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R&R
couldn’t afford to, you know, take him

J
Q&A
ohn mellencamp spends an
awful lot of time alone, paint- to dinner.
ing. Not long ago, he went 35 days Some think that’s racism at work.
without leaving his Indiana com- Well, I was in New York, and I went
pound, a stretch so lengthy that his on a date with a girl. We went to a
85-year-old dad told him he was wor- movie called – you should go to this
ried. But whether he wants them or movie – Get Out. We walked out and we
not, songs still come to him, as his went, “How come black people hate us?
strong, country-inflected new album, They fuckin’ hate our guts.” And then
Sad Clowns and Hillbillies (made in we both agreed that, you know, they’ve
collaboration with Carlene Carter), got good reason! But it’s really fun to
makes clear. “A voice in my head will go to the movies and be me. I sat down
go, ‘OK, put your brush down and and the guy next to me goes, “Hey,
write these words down,’ ” he says. John, you want some popcorn?” “Sure.”
“And I’ll be like, ‘No, I don’t want to Speaking of dating, your new song “Sad
fucking write a song.’ Then the voice Clowns” basically warns women to stay
will go, ‘You better write this down, away from you.
you idiot.’ Then I forget about it, and I As soon as I wrote that, I looked
find it and go, ‘When did I write this?’ up and said, “Thanks, Ray.” Because
It’s a wonderful way of writing songs.” I know it’s a Ray Davies song, like
“Sunny Afternoon” – a self-deprecat-
How would you define your relationship ing song. I did 130 shows opening for
with the country-music world? the Kinks in the late Seventies, and
Hold it – how do the country people I learned a lot. Though at the time, I
define their relationship with me? I said, “This is fucking horrible.” Ray
was doing this long before they were was rough on everybody. Him and
doing it – Scarecrow, Big Daddy, Lone- his brother spitting on each other.
some Jubilee. So I didn’t go to country. Like, “Are you kidding me?” And then
They caught up with me. I hate to Ray wouldn’t let us eat catering. We
sound like Little Richard, when he always had to go out to McDonald’s or
kept going, “I invented rock & roll!” something.
But if you ask Keith Urban or Kenny You worked extensively with Stephen
Chesney what inspired them, they’ll King on the musical Ghost Brothers of
tell you me. Darkland County. What did you guys
You seemed to enjoy your recent CMT have in common?
Crossroads show with Darius Rucker. I’m a hypochondriac. Steve’s a hy-
He was so excited. When someone is pochondriac. “Steve, I can’t possibly
that ingratiating, it’s hard to be a cur- have sickle cell anemia. But I think
mudgeon, though I tried. He made it I do.” And he’s always got some kind
easy. And I’m hard to work with. of ankle disease or some shit. But he
Why are you hard to work with? explained it to me. He said, “Here’s
My opinion is hard to deal with. I the thing, John. You and I make shit
remember arguing – not arguing, jok- up for a living. When we have idle
ing – with Arlo Guthrie about how time on our hands, we turn it on our-
to play “This Land Is Your Land” at selves and make shit up. You don’t
a Woody event. He kept putting in have sickle cell!”
these passing chords. I said, “Guthrie, Your friend Bob Dylan shouted you out
your old man did not put those fucking in his MusiCares speech a couple of
chords in there.” He goes, “That’s the years back. What did that mean to you?
way I played it forever.” I go, “I don’t That wink and a nod was worth
care.” We ended up playing it my way. more than 50 Grammys. That came

John
You recently said that Woody Guthrie from Bob, that came from his heart.
wouldn’t get any attention today. He didn’t have to fucking say that. The
Well, yeah. He’d just be playing girl I was with started crying. Bob
songs for friends. You think he would doesn’t like very many people.
go somewhere? I just wrote a beauti-
ful fucking [protest] song called “Easy
Target.” And nobody gave a fuck.
Mellencamp What do you make of his standards
albums?
They’re great. Bob is always so far
In that song you mention “Sucker ahead of us. He’s given me a lot of ad-
Town.” Are Trump voters suckers? The singer-songwriter vice: “Go where they’re not.”
I don’t know if it’s just this guy. It’s
been discussed for years – a certain
explains how he invented Are you ever going to quit smoking?
I’m smoking right now. It’s been
element of our country . . . modern country music and great for my voice. My engineer said,
Who vote against their interests? why he’ll never stop smoking “You sound like somebody.” It turned
BRAD BARKET

They voted for Reagan, and in the out to be Louis Armstrong. We A-B’d
town I live in, there would be Bush BY BR I A N H I AT T his voice against mine. And I was like,
signs up in people’s yards. I knew they “Fuck, what’s wrong with that?”

18 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
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Harry
Styles’
By
Cameron
Crowe

A year in the life January 2016. There’s a bench at the top of Primrose Hill,
in London, that looks out over the skyline of the city. If you’d
of the singer as he passed by it one winter night, you might have seen him sitting
leaves behind his there. A lanky guy in a wool hat, overcoat and jogging pants,
hands thrust deep into his pockets. Harry Styles had a lot on
boy-band past, his mind. He had spent five years as the buoyant fan favorite in
heads to Jamaica One Direction; now, an uncertain future stretched out in front
and comes of age of him. The band had announced an indefinite hiatus. The white
noise of adulation was gone, replaced by the
Photographs by hushed sound of the city below. v The fame RIDE WITH ME
Styles in London
THEO WENNER visited upon Harry Styles in his years with in February.

20
R ol l i n g S t o n e
Harry
Styles
One D was a special kind of mania. With a He’s full of stories about the two-month re- As one of the most well-known 23-year-
self-effacing smile, a hint of darkness and cording session last fall at Geejam, a stu- olds in the world, Styles himself is still
the hair invariably described as “tousled,” dio and compound built into a mountain- largely unknown. Behind the effervescent
he became a canvas onto which millions of side near Port Antonio, a remote section of stage persona, there is more lore than fact.
fans pitched their hopes and dreams. Hell, Jamaica. Drake and Rihanna have record- He likes it that way. “With an artist like
when he pulled over to the side of the 101 ed there, and it’s where Styles produced the Prince,” he says, “all you wanted to do was
freeway in L.A. and discreetly threw up, bulk of his new LP, which is due out May know more. And that mystery – it’s why
the spot became a fan shrine. It’s said the 12th. As we weave through traffic today, the those people are so magical! Like, fuck, I
puke was even sold on eBay like pieces of album no one has heard is burning a hole don’t know what Prince eats for breakfast.
the Berlin Wall. Paul McCartney has inter- in his iPhone. That mystery . . . it’s just what I like.”
viewed him. Then there was the unauthor- We arrive at a crowded diner, and Styles Styles pauses, savoring the idea of the
ized fan-fiction series featuring a punky, cuts through the room holding a black unknown. He looks at my digital recorder
sexed-up version of “Harry Styles.” A bil- notebook jammed with papers and arti- like a barely invited guest. “More than ‘do
lion readers followed his virtual exploits. facts from his album, looking like a college you keep a mystery alive?’ – it’s not that. I
(“Didn’t read it,” comments the nonfiction student searching for a quiet place to study. like to separate my personal life and work.
Styles, “but I hope he gets more than me.”) He’s here to do something he hasn’t done It helps, I think, for me to compartmental-
But at the height of One D-mania, Styles much of in his young career: an extended ize. It’s not about trying to make my career
took a step back. For many, 2016 was a one-on-one interview. Often in the past longer, like I’m trying to be this ‘mysteri-
year of lost musical heroes and a toxic new there was another One D member to vec- ous character,’ because I’m not. When I go
world order. For Styles, it was a search for tor questions into a charmingly evasive dis- home, I feel like the same person I was at
a new identity that began on that bench play of band camaraderie. Today, Styles is school. You can’t expect to keep that if you
overlooking London. What would a solo a game but careful custodian of his words, show everything. There’s the work and the
personal stuff, and going between the two is
my favorite shit. It’s amazing to me.”
Soon, we head to the Beachwood Can-
“EVERY DECISION I’VE yon studio of Jeff Bhasker. As we arrive,
Styles bounds up the steps to the studio,

MADE SINCE 16 WAS passing a bored pool cleaner. “How are ya,”
he announces, unpacking a seriously cheer-
ful smile. The pool cleaner looks perplexed,
made in a democracy. I felt it was time to make not quite sharing Styles’ existential joy.
Inside, the band awaits. Styles opens his
a decision - and I shouldn’t rely on others.” notebook and heads for the piano. He wants
to finish a song he’d started earlier that day.
It’s obvious that the band has a well-worn
Harry Styles sound like? A plan came into sometimes silently consulting the table- frat-house dynamic, sort of like the Beatles
focus. A song cycle about women and rela- cloth before answering. But as he recounts in Help!, as directed by Judd Apatow. Styles
tionships. Ten songs. More of a rock sound. the events leading up to his year out of the is, to all, “H.” Pomegranate-scented candles
A bold single-color cover to match the spotlight, the layers begin to slip away. flicker around the room. Bhasker enters,
working title: Pink. (He quotes the Clash’s It was in a London studio in late 2014 with guru-length hair, multicolored shirt,
Paul Simonon: “Pink is the only true rock that Styles first brought up the idea of One red socks and sandals. He was initially
& roll colour.”) Many of the details would Direction taking a break. “I didn’t want busy raising a new baby with his partner,
change over the coming year – including to exhaust our fan base,” he explains. “If the singer and songwriter Lykke Li, so he
the title, which would end up as Harry you’re shortsighted, you can think, ‘Let’s guided Styles to two of his producer-player
Styles – but one word stuck in his head. just keep touring,’ but we all thought too protégés, Alex Salibian and Tyler Johnson,

‘H
much of the group than to let that happen. as well as engineer and bassist Ryan Nasci.
onest,” he says, a You realize you’re exhausted and you don’t The band began to form. The final piece
year later, driving want to drain people’s belief in you.” of the puzzle was Mitch Rowland, Styles’
through midcity Los After much discussion, the band mu- guitarist, who had worked in a pizza joint PREVIOUS PAGE: SUIT BY ALEXANDER MCQUEEN. SHIRT BY ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Angeles in a dusty tually agreed to a hiatus, which was an- until two weeks into the sessions. “Being
FROM ONE OF A KIND VINTAGE PORTOBELLO. OPPOSITE PAGE: SHIRT BY GUCCI

black Range Rover. nounced in August 2015 (Zayn Malik had around musicians like this had a big ef-
He’s lived here off and abruptly left One D several months earlier). fect on me,” Styles
on for the past few years, always return- Fans were traumatized by the band’s deci- says. “Not being able OPEN DOOR
ing to London. Styles’ car stereo pumps a sion, but were let down easy with a series to pass an instru- “I would never rule
mix of country and obscure classic rock. of final bows, including a tour that ran ment without sitting out anything in
“I didn’t want to write ‘stories,’ ” he says. through October. Styles remains a One D down and playing the future,” Styles
“I wanted to write my stories, things that advocate: “I love the band, and would never it?” He shakes his says of One D.
happened to me. The number-one thing rule out anything in the future. The band head. It was Styles’
was I wanted to be honest. I hadn’t done changed my life, gave me everything.” first full immersion into the land of musos,
that before.” There isn’t a yellow light he Still, a solo career was calling. “I want- and he clearly can’t get enough.
doesn’t run as he speaks excitedly about ed to step up. There were songs I wanted Styles starts singing some freshly written
the band he’s put together under the tu- to write and record, and not just have it lyrics. It’s a new song called “I Don’t Want
telage of producer Jeff Bhasker (The Roll- be ‘Here’s a demo I wrote.’ Every decision to Be the One You’re Waiting On.” His voice
ing Stones, Kanye West, “Uptown Funk”). I’ve made since I was 16 was made in a de- sounds warm, burnished and intimate,
mocracy. I felt like it was time to make a not unlike early Rod Stewart. The song is
Contributing editor Ca meron Crowe decision about the future . . . and maybe I quickly finished, and the band assembles
wrote about Glenn Frey in January 2016. shouldn’t rely on others.” for a playback of the album.

22 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Harry
Styles
“Mind if I play it loud?” asks Bhasker. It’s then. I wanted to do something that sounds himself, and checks Twitter infrequently.
a rhetorical question. Nasci cranks “Sign like me. I just keep pushing forward.” “I’ll tell you about Twitter,” he continues,
of the Times,” the first single, to a seismic “It’s different from what you’d expect,” discussing the volley of tweets, some good,
level. The song began as a seven-minute Bhasker says. “It made me realize the Harry some cynical, that met his endorsement of
voice note on Styles’ phone, and ended [in One D] was kind of the digitized Harry. the Women’s March on Washington earlier
up as a sweeping piano ballad, as well as Almost like a character. I don’t think people this year. “It’s the most incredible way to
a kind of call to arms. “Most of the stuff know a lot of the sides of him that are on communicate closely with people, but not
that hurts me about what’s going on at the this album. You put it on and people are as well as in person.” When the location of
moment is not politics, it’s fundamentals,” like, ‘This is Harry Styles?’” his London home was published a few years
Styles says. “Equal rights. For everyone, Styles is aware that his largest audience ago, he was rattled. His friend James Cor-
all races, sexes, everything . . . ‘Sign of the so far has been young – often teenage - den offered him a motto coined by British
Times’ came from ‘This isn’t the first time women. Asked if he spends pressure-filled Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: “Never
we’ve been in a hard time, and it’s not going evenings worried about proving credibility complain, never explain.”
to be the last time.’ The song is written to an older crowd, Styles grows animated. I mention a few of the verbal Molotov
from a point of view as if a mother was giv- “Who’s to say that young girls who like pop cocktails Zayn Malik has tossed at the band
ing birth to a child and there’s a complica- music – short for popular, right? – have in recent interviews. Here’s one: “[One D
tion. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, worse musical taste than a 30-year-old is] not music that I would listen to. If I was
but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. sat at a dinner date with a girl, I would play
has five minutes to tell the child, ‘Go forth Music is something that’s always changing. some cool shit, you know what I mean? I
and conquer.’ ” The track was a break- There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the want to make music that I think is cool shit.
through for both the artist and the band. Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not seri- I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”
“Harry really led the charge with that one, ous? How can you say young girls don’t get Styles adjusts himself in his chair. “I
and the rest of the album,” says Bhasker. it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, think it’s a shame he felt that way,” he says,
“I wish the album could be called Sign of lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of threading the needle of diplomacy, “but
I never wish anything but luck to anyone
doing what they love. If you’re not enjoying
something and need to do something else,
“WHO’S TO SAY YOUNG you absolutely should do that. I’m glad he’s
doing what he likes, and good luck to him.”

GIRLS HAVE WORSE Perched on his head are the same-style


white sunglasses made famous by Kurt
Cobain, but the similarities end right there.
taste than a 30-year-old hipster? Girls like the Styles, born two months before Cobain
exited Earth, doesn’t feel tied to any par-
Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious?” ticular genre or era. In the car, he’ll just as
easily crank up the country music of Keith
Whitley as the esoteric blues-and-soul of
the Times,” Styles declares. keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – Shuggie Otis. He even bought a carrot cake
“I don’t know,” says Bhasker. “I mean, it they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. to present to Stevie Nicks at a Fleetwood
has been used.” They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and Mac concert. (“Piped her name onto it. She
They debate for a bit. Nasci plays more they tell you. Which is sick.” loved it. Glad she liked carrot cake.”)

S
 
tracks. The songs range from full-on rock This much is clear: The classic role of
(“Kiwi”) to intricate psychedelic pop (“Meet t y l e s dr i v e s t o a qu i et tortured artist is not one he’ll be playing.
Me in the Hallway”) to the outright confes- dinner spot in Laurel Canyon, “People romanticize places they can’t get
sional (“Ever Since New York,” a desperate at the foot of Lookout Mountain to themselves,” he says. “That’s why it’s fas-
meditation on loss and longing). The lyrics Avenue, onetime home to many cinating when people go dark – when Van
are full of details and references – secrets of his Seventies songwriting he- Gogh cuts off his ear. You romanticize those
whispered between friends, doomed dec- roes. He used to have a place people, sometimes out of proportion. It’s
larations of love, empty swimming pools around the corner. As the later tours of One the same with music. You want a piece of
– sure to set fans scrambling for the facts Direction grew larger, longer and more fre- that darkness, to feel their pain but also to
behind the mystery. netic, he offers with irony, “It was very rock step back into your own [safer] life. I can’t
“Of course I’m nervous,” Styles admits, & roll.” He’s not a heavy drinker, he says, say I had that. I had a really nice upbring-
jingling his keys. “I mean, I’ve never done maybe some tequila on ice or wine with ing. I feel very lucky. I had a great family
this before. I don’t know what the fuck I’m friends after a show, but by the band’s last and always felt loved. There’s nothing worse
doing. I’m happy I found this band and tour there wasn’t much time even for that. than an inauthentic tortured person. ‘They
these musicians, where you can be vulner- John Lennon once told Rolling Stone took my allowance away, so I did heroin.’
able enough to put yourself out there. I’m that behind the curtain, the Beatles’ tours It’s like – that’s not how it works. I don’t
still learning . . . but it’s my favorite lesson.” were like Fellini’s Satyricon. Styles coun- even remember what the question was.”
The album is a distinct departure from ters that the One D tours were more like Styles wanders into the Country Store
the dance pop that permeates the airwaves. “a Wes Anderson movie. Cut. Cut. New lo- next door. It’s a store he knows well. In-
“A lot of my influences, and the stuff that I cation. Quick cut. New location. Cut. Cut. specting the shelves, he asks if I’ve had
love, is older,” he says. “So the thing I didn’t Show. Shower. Hard cut. Sleep.” British rice pudding. He finds a can that
want to do was, I didn’t want to put out my Finding a table, Styles leans forward looks ancient. He collects a roll of Rown-
first album and be like, ‘He’s tried to re-cre- and discusses his social-media presence, trees Fruit Pastilles (“since 1881”), Lindor
ate the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nine- or lack thereof. Styles and his phone have Swiss chocolates (“irresistibly smooth”)
ties.’ Loads of amazing music was written a bittersweet, mature relationship – they and a jar of Branston Pickles. “There’s only
then, but I’m not saying I wish I lived back spend a lot of time apart. He doesn’t Google two shops in L.A. that stock all the British

24 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Northern England, when he was a baby.
His older sister, Gemma, was the studious
one. (“She was always smarter than me, and
I was always jealous of that.”)
His father, Desmond, worked in finance.
He was a fan of the Rolling Stones, Fleet-
wood Mac, a lot of Queen, and Pink Floyd.
Young Harry toddled around to The Dark
Side of the Moon. “I couldn’t really get it,”
he says, “but I just remember being like –
this is really fucking cool. Then my mom
would always have Shania Twain, and Sav-
age Garden, Norah Jones going on. I had a
great childhood. I’ll admit it.”
But in fact, all was not perfection, scored
to a cool, retro soundtrack. When Harry
was seven, his parents explained to him
that Des would be moving out. Asked
about that moment today, Styles stares
straight ahead. “I don’t remember,” he says.
“Honestly, when you’re that young, you can
kind of block it out. . . . I can’t say that I re-
member the exact thing. I didn’t realize
that was the case until just now. Yeah, I
mean, I was seven. It’s one of those things.
Feeling supported and loved by my parents
never changed.”
His eyes moisten a little, but unlike the
young man who wept over an early bout
with Internet criticism, a powerful moment
in the early One Direction documentary A
Year in the Making, Styles tonight knocks
back the sentiment. Styles is still close with
his father, and served as best man to his
mom when she remarried a few years ago.
“Since I’ve been 10,” he
STADIUM reflects, “it’s kind of felt
KILLER like – protect Mom at
With One D all costs. . . . My mom
at Milwaukee’s is very strong. She has
Miller Park the greatest heart. [Her
in 2015
house in Cheshire] is
where I want to go when
I want to spend some time.”
In his early teens, Styles joined some
school friends as the singer in a mostly-
covers band, White Eskimo. “We wrote a
couple of songs,” he remembers. “One was
called ‘Gone in a Week.’ It was about lug-
gage. ‘I’ll be gone in a week or two/Trying to
find myself someplace new/I don’t need any
snacks. This area’s kind of potluck,” he says, “River Phoenix,” the man announces, a jackets or shoes/The only luggage I need is
spreading the collection on the counter. little sadly. “You ever heard of him? If he you.’ ” He laughs. “I was like, ‘Sick.’”
The clerk rings up the snacks. In the most hadn’t have passed, I would have said that It was his mother who suggested he try
careful, deferential way, the young worker was you. Talented guy.” out for the U.K. singing competition The
asks the question. “Would you . . . happen to “Yes, he was,” agrees Styles, who is in X Factor to compete in the solo “Boy” cat-
be . . . Harry Styles?” many ways the generational opposite of egory. Styles sang Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t
“Yep.” Phoenix. “Yes, he was.” She Lovely.” The unforgiving reaction from
“Could I get a selfie?” Styles obliges, and They share a silent moment, before one of the judges, Louis Walsh, is now infa-
leans over the counter. Click. We exit into Styles walks to his car. He hands me the mous. Watching the video today is to watch
© DANIEL DESLOVER/ZUMA PRESS

the Laurel Canyon evening. bag filled with English snacks. “This is for young Harry’s cheery disposition take a
“Hey,” shouts a grizzled-looking dude on you,” he says. “This was my youth. . . .” hot bullet.
the bench outside the store. “Do you know “In that instant,” he says, “you’re in the
who you look like?” harry edward st yles was born in whirlwind. You don’t really know what’s
Styles turns, expecting more of the Worcestershire, England, in true classic- happening; you’re just a kid on the show.
same, but this particular night denizen is rock form, on a Tuesday Afternoon. The You don’t even know you’re good at any-
on a different track. family moved to Cheshire, a quiet spot in thing. I’d gone because my mum told me I

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 25
Harry
Styles
was good from singing in the car...but your
mum tells you things to make you feel good,
so you take it with a pinch of salt. I didn’t
really know what I was expecting when I
went on there.”
Styles didn’t advance in the competi-
tion, but Simon Cowell, the show’s creator,
sensed a crowd favorite. He put Styles
together with four others who’d failed to
advance in the same category, and united
the members of One D in a musical shot-
gun marriage. The marriage worked. And
worked. And worked.

 Y
ou won der how a
young musician might find
his way here, to these lofty
peaks, with his head still
attached to his shoulders.
No sex tapes, no TMZ melt-
downs, no tell-all books written by the
rehab nanny? In a world where one messy
scandal can get you five seasons of a hit
reality show . . . how did Harry Styles slip
through the juggernaut?
“Family,” answers Ben Winston. “It
comes from his mom, Anne. She brought
him and his sister up incredibly well. Harry
would choose boring over exciting.... There
is more chance of me going to Mars next
week than there is of Harry having some 1
sort of addiction.”
We’re in Television City, Holly-
wood. Winston, 35, the Emmy-win-
ning executive producer of The Late
Late Show With James Corden, aban-
dons his desk and retreats to a nearby
sofa to discuss his good friend. More
than a friend, Styles became an un-
likely family member – after he be-
came perhaps the world’s most sur-
prising houseguest. 2
Their friendship was forged in the
early stages of One D’s success, when
the band debuted on The X Factor.
Winston, then a filmmaker and pro-
duction partner with Corden, asked
for a meeting, and instantly hit it off
with the group. He became a friendly
mentor to Styles, though the friend- 4
ship was soon tested. Styles had just
moved out of his family home in Cheshire, GROWN UP ALL RIGHT
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: CAL AURAND; COURTESY OF HARRY STYLES;
DAVID KRIEGER/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES; SIMON

an inconvenient three hours north of Lon- (1) Styles in Jamaica. He recorded much of
don. He found a home he liked near the his album there, turning the studio complex
Winstons in Hampstead Heath. The new into a Caribbean version of Big Pink. (2) At
HARRIS/SH PHOTOGRAPHY/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES

age three. (3) With Taylor Swift in Central


house needed two weeks of work. Styles Park, 2012. (4) One Direction in 2010.
asked if he could briefly move in with Win-
ston and his wife, Meredith. “She agreed,”
Winston says, “but only for two weeks.” mattress in an attic. The only other bit of
Styles parked his mattress in the Win- house-dressing was the acoustic guitar
stons’ attic. “Two weeks later and he hadn’t that would rattle into the Winstons’ bed-
bought his house yet,” continues Winston. room. While fans gathered at the empty
“It wasn’t going through. Then he said, ‘I’m house where he didn’t live, Styles lived in-
going to stay until Christmas, if you don’t cognito with a couple 12 years his senior.
mind.’ Then Christmas came, and. . .” The Winstons’ Orthodox Jewish lifestyle,
For the next 20 months, one of the most with a strong family emphasis, helped keep
desired stars on the planet slept on a small him sane. 3

26 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
“Those 20 months were when they went him with a face that says: My kids love this He returns a couple of minutes later.
from being on a reality show, X Factor, guy! I ask Styles what he hears most from “Thought I’d let you stew for a while,” he
to being the biggest-selling artists in the the parents of young fans. “They say, ‘I see says, laughing, then takes a gulp of green
world,” recalls Winston. “That period of your cardboard face every fucking day.’” He juice. He was surprised, he says, when pho-
time, he was living with us in the most laughs. “I think they want me to apologize.” tos from Central Park rocketed around the
mundane suburban situation. No one ever The subject today is relationships. While world. “When I see photos from that day,”
found out, really. Even when we went out Styles says he still feels like a newcomer to he says, “I think: Relationships are hard, at
for a meal, it’s such a sweet family neigh- all that, a handful of love affairs have deeply any age. And adding in that you don’t re-
borhood, no one dreamed it was actually affected him. The images and stolen mo- ally understand exactly how it works when
him. But he made our house a home. And ments tumble extravagantly through the you’re 18, trying to navigate all that stuff
when he moved out, we were gutted.” new songs: And promises are broken like didn’t make it easier. I mean, you’re a little
Styles jauntily appears at the Late Late a stitch is. . . . I got splinters in my knuckles bit awkward to begin with. You’re on a date
office. He’s clearly a regular visitor, and he crawling ’cross the floor/Couldn’t take you with someone you really like. It should be
and Winston have a brotherly shorthand. home to mother in a skirt that short/But that simple, right? It was a learning experi-
“Leaving Saturday?” asks Winston. I think that’s what I like about it.. . . I see ence for sure. But at the heart of it – I just
“Yeah, gotta buy a cactus for my friend’s you gave him my old T-shirt, more of what wanted it to be a normal date.”
birthday,” says Styles. was once mine.... That black notebook, you He’s well aware that at least two of
“My dad might be on your flight,” says sense, is filled with this stuff. Swift’s songs – “Out of the Woods” and
Winston. “My first proper girlfriend,” he remem- “Style” – are considered to be about their
“The 8:50? That’d be sick.” bers, “used to have one of those laughs. romance. (“You’ve got that long hair
Winston continues the tales from the There was also a little bit of mystery with slicked back, white T-shirt,” she sang in
attic. “So we had this joke. Meri and I her because she didn’t go to our school. I “Style.”) “I mean, I don’t know if they’re
would like to see the girls that you would just worshipped the ground she walked on. about me or not. . . .” he says, attempting
come back with to the house. That was al- And she knew, probably to a fault, a little. gallant discretion, “but the issue is, she’s
so good, they’re bloody everywhere.” He
smiles. “I write from my experiences; ev-
eryone does that. I’m lucky if everything
STYLES IS AWARE AT [we went through] helped create those
songs. That’s what hits your heart. That’s

LEAST TWO OF SWIFT’S the stuff that’s hardest to say, and it’s the
stuff I talk least about. That’s the part
that’s about the two people. I’m never
songs are presumed to be about him. “She’s so going to tell anybody everything.” (Fans
wondered whether “Perfect,” a song Styles
good, [those songs are] bloody everywhere.” co-wrote for One Direction, might have
been about Swift: “And if you like cameras
flashing every time we go out/And if you’re
ways what we enjoyed, because we’d be in That was a tough one. I was 15. looking for someone to write your breakup
bed like an old couple. We’d have our spot “She used to live an hour and a half away songs about/Baby, I’m perfect.”)
cream on our faces and the door would on the train, and I worked in a bakery for Was he able to tell her that he admired
go off. The stairwell was right outside our three years. I’d finish on Saturdays at 4:30 the songs? “Yes and no,” he says after a
door, so we’d wait to see if Harry was com- and it was a 4:42 train, and if I missed it long pause. “She doesn’t need me to tell her
ing home alone or with people.” there wasn’t one for another hour or two. they’re great. They’re great songs. . . . It’s the
“I was alone,” notes Styles. “I was scared So I’d finish and sprint to the train station. most amazing unspoken dialogue ever.”
of Meri.” Spent 70 percent of my wages on train tick- Is there anything he’d want to say to
“He wasn’t always alone,” corrects Win- ets. Later, I’d remember her perfume. Little Swift today? “Maybe this is where you
ston, “but it was exciting seeing the array things. I smell that perfume all the time. I’ll write down that I left!” He laughs, and
of A-listers that would come up and sleep be in a lift or a reception and say to some- looks off. “I don’t know,” he finally says.
in the attic. Or he’d come and lounge with one, ‘A lien, right?’ And sometimes they’re “Certain things don’t work out. There’s
us. We’d never discuss business. He would impressed and sometimes they’re a little a lot of things that can be right, and it’s
act as if he hadn’t come back from playing creeped out. ‘Stop smelling me.’” still wrong. In writing songs about stuff
to 80,000 people three nights in a row in If Styles hadn’t yet adapted to global like that, I like tipping a hat to the time
Rio de Janeiro.” social-media attention, he was tested together. You’re celebrating the fact it was

‘L
in 2012, when he met Taylor Swift at an powerful and made you feel something,
et’s go to the beach,” awards show. Their second date, a walk rather than ‘this didn’t work out, and
says Styles, pulling the in Central Park, was caught by paparazzi. that’s bad.’ And if you run into that person,
Range Rover onto a fog- Suddenly the couple were global news. maybe it’s awkward, maybe you have to get
soa ked Pacif ic Coa st They broke up the next month, reportedly drunk . . . but you shared something. Meet-
Highway. Last night was after a rocky Caribbean vacation; the ro- ing someone new, sharing those experi-
his tequila-fueled birth- mance was said to have ended with at least ences, it’s the best shit ever. So thank you.”
day party, filled with friends and karaoke one broken heart. He notes a more recent relationship, pos-
and a surprise drop-in from Adele. He’s The relationship is a subject he’s famous- sibly over now, but significant for the past
now officially 23. “And not too hung over,” ly avoided discussing. “I gotta pee first. This few years. (Styles has often been spotted
he notes. might be a long one,” he says. He rises to with Kendall Jenner, but he won’t confirm
Styles finds a spot at a sushi place up the head to the bathroom, then adds, “Actually, that’s who he’s talking about.) “She’s a huge
coast. As he passes through the busy dining you can say, ‘He went for a pee and never part of the album,” says Styles. “Sometimes
room, a businessman turns, recognizing came back.’ ” you want to tip the hat, and [Cont. on 80]

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 27
© 2017 Levi Strauss & Co.

L E V I .C O M

C E L E B R AT I N G 5 0 Y E A R S O F M U S I C & S T Y L E
T H E S U M M E R O F L OV E

1967 THE BIRTH OF LEVI’S ® TRUCKER JACKET

T H E F I R ST I S S U E O F R O L L I N G STO N E
BURNING
FOR MORE
Jimi Hendrix at
the Monterey
Pop Festival,
1967
50
THE

GREATEST
CONCERTS

50 YEARS
OF THE LAST

This list was born out of some pretty serious arguments.


Was Bruce Springsteen better in 1975 or 1978? When
did Kanye hit his stride? Which was more awesome,
ÒThe Joshua TreeÓ or ÒZoo TVÓ? The concerts and tours
that made the final cut weren't just huge spectacles,
they deepened the power of rock & roll itself Ð from Neil
Young thrashing out 20-minute jams with Crazy Horse
to BeyoncŽ turning stadium glitz into a personal out-
pouring. ÒYou're almost levitating on the energy from
the audience,Ó says Keith Richards. ÒAnd I miss it when
I'm not doing it.Ó Here are the people who've done it best.

31
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

1967 WORLDWIDE TOUR Brown confers

THE JIMI
with Boston
Mayor Kevin
White (right)
and Councilman

HENDRIX
Thomas Atkins
backstage at
Boston Garden,
1968.

EXPERIENCE
¥ JIMI HENDRIXÕS 1967 debut album,
Are You Experienced, established
his genius. The 200-some shows he
played to support the album assured
his legend. Backed by his ecstatically
indulgent English rhythm section –
bassist Noel Redding and drummer
Mitch Mitchell – Hendrix did noth-
ing short of liberate the electric gui-
tar, turning each show into a pyro-
technic exploration. “I thought, ‘My
God, this is like Buddy Guy on acid,’ ”
Eric Clapton later recalled. For the
U.S., the coming-out party was the
Monterey Pop Festival, where Hen-
drix set his guitar ablaze, terrify-
ing the fire marshal while leaving
the crowd spellbound. As the Expe-
rience toured that year, they played
alongside Pink Floyd and Cat Ste-
vens in every type of venue, from
theaters to biker bars. “We also did
a graduation ball in Paris in March
1967, a really plush place,” Mitch-
ell recalled. “There was an oompah
band on before us, and they would
not leave the stage. I remember one
of our roadies, in a final act of des-

APRIL 5, 1968 JAMES


peration, pushing the trombonist’s
slide back into his mouth – blood and
teeth everywhere.” When the shows

BOSTON GARDEN BROWN


went right, however, Hendrix was a
tour de force. His sense of showman-
ship went back to his years as a side-
man with Little Richard; dressed in
radiant psychedelic frills, he banged
the neck of his guitar, bit its strings I thought, ¥ ON APRIL 4TH, 1968, Martin Luther Mayor Kevin White that calling off
and played it behind his head. “With ‘My God, this King Jr. was assassinated in Mem- a show of that magnitude might lead
Jimi, it was a theater piece,” Soft Ma- is like Buddy phis. In the aftermath, America to even more anger and violence. “If
chine drummer and onetime Hen- Guy on acid.’ burned. There were riots in Wash- [his] concert had not occurred,” re-
PREVIOUS SPREAD: © JIM MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY LLC.

drix tourmate Robert Wyatt once ington, D.C.; Baltimore; Chicago; called local radio DJ James “Early”
THIS PAGE: BOB DEAN/“BOSTON GLOBE”/GETTY IMAGES

observed. “The drama, the pace, Kansas City, Missouri, and other Bird, “we would have had the big-
the buildups and drops.” The peak cities. In Boston, city leaders ex- gest problem in the history of Bos-
Summer of Love moment came in ERIC pected more violence to come. Amid ton since the Tea Party.”
early June, when the Experience CLAPTON this tension, James Brown, the most Frustrating to Brown was the de-
played London. With the Beatles in on seeing Hendrix explosive African-American musi- cision to televise the show, a way of
perform
the crowd, Hendrix opened with the cian of the era, pulled off a miracle. keeping people out of the streets that
title track from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Brown and his band were booked would also drive down ticket sales.
Hearts Club Band, which had been to play Boston Garden on April 5th. “But he had an obligation to honor
released just two days earlier. “1967 The city considered canceling all Dr. King,” says Brown’s saxophon-
was the best year of my life,” he de- public events that night, but the con- ist and bandleader Pee Wee Ellis,
clared later. “I just wanted to play cert’s promoter, local City Coun- and after Brown obtained the fee he
and play.” KORY GROW cilman Thomas Atkins, convinced wanted, everything was set.

32 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
“The show went on just as it had in
all the other places we had played,”
says trombone player Fred Wesley.
“It was a regular show.” Of course,
in 1968, the “regular show” meant
a display of raw energy and dy-
namic power unlike anything else
in music. Dressed in a black suit,
hair in a tight pompadour, Brown
moved with lightning quickness,
his screams rattling the rafters, as
he drove the band through his hits.
They did “I Got You (I Feel Good)” in
a double-time blur, and “Cold Sweat”
featured an incredible solo show-
case for “funky drummer” Clyde
Stubblefield.
THREE
Still, Wesley, who had only recent- ESSENTIAL
ly become a part of Brown’s band, JAMES Joplin at
remembers a palpable sense of fear BROWN the Aragon
among the band members, and ten- LIVE Ballroom
sion in the arena: “We didn’t know if ALBUMS in Chicago,
1968
there was a war against black people,
Live at the

1968 BIG BROTHER AND


or if a race war was happening. As we
got to the stage, we were still wary Apollo
1963
about what might happen.”
Maybe the
But what ended up impressing

THE HOLDING COMPANY


best live LP
him most was what amazed him ever: Brown’s

AMERICAN TOUR
about James Brown every night: 1962 set runs
his ability to hold and command a from raw
crowd. As the set reached its climax heartache to
breakneck
during Brown’s dramatic “cape act,”
soul, blasting ¥ LIKE SO MUCH of Janis Joplin’s career, the tour to support Cheap
young fans began rushing the stage, through a Thrills, her 1968 album with Big Brother and the Holding Company,
and white police officers ran in to nine-song
restore order. Shoving ensued, and
was a triumph wrought from chaos. On the eve of the tour, the singer
medley along
the moment of mayhem many had the way. A announced she was leaving the band, leading to screaming fights with
anticipated seemed to have finally mix of some of the musicians. Yet that very tension – combined with gruel-
precision and
arrived. energy few, if ing album sessions that tightened what, as drummer Dave Getz ad-
But Brown quickly interceded. any, artists mits, “wasn’t a tight band” – made for a riveting farewell. The com-
“You’re not being fair to yourself matched
and me or your race,” he told the onstage.
bination of her wild-child rasp and Big Brother’s wailing blues rock
crowd. “Now, are we together, or proved transformative. “By the end of ’68,” says Getz, “I don’t think
we ain’t?” Turning to Stubblefield, Love, Power, there was a singer in rock & roll who could touch her.” DAVID BROWNE
Peace
he ordered, “Hit the thing, man,” 1992
and the band launched into a furi- Live in Paris
ous version of “I Can’t Stand Myself
(When You Touch Me).” Brown was
in 1971, at the
height of his
AIRED DECEMBER 3, 1968 1968 FAREWELL TOUR

ELVIS CREAM
even joined onstage by Mayor White, funk powers.
whom he announced as a “swinging
Say It Live
cat.” Brown exited the stage shak- and Loud:
ing hands with the people up front, Live in Dallas ¥ ERIC CLAPTON ended Cream in
as much like a political leader as a 08.26.68 COMEBACK SPECIAL 1968 after only two years, burned
soul star. 1998 out and sick of keeping the peace
In the weeks to come, requests for Recorded ¥ ÒELVIS WAS HARDLY ever nervous,” between bandmates Ginger Baker
Brown to appear elsewhere poured the month says drummer D.J. Fontana, re- and Jack Bruce. But even as they
he released
in, including one to travel to Wash- “Say It Loud – membering the NBC special that re- were breaking up, Cream pushed the
ington, D.C., to speak to rioters. In I’m Black and launched Presley’s career after years boundaries. “It had nothing to do
August that year, he’d release his I’m Proud.” in Hollywood. “But he was then.” The with lyrics or ideas,” said Clapton. “It
monumental message record, “Say It highlight: an intimate sit-down set was much deeper, purely musical.” At
Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.” “I with his band, Fontana and guitar- Madison Square Garden, they played
RON POWNALL/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

was able to speak to the country dur- ist Scotty Moore, that was almost a wild, nearly 20-minute “Spoon-
ing the crisis,” he later said, “and that like catching Elvis at the Louisiana ful.” At San Francisco’s Fillmore,
was one of the things that meant the Hayride back in 1954. “Performing they played under the venue’s psyche-
most to me.” Almost 50 years later, with Elvis was amazing,” remem- delic light shows as Clapton, Baker
Ellis is still moved by the moment. bers Darlene Love, who sang back- and Bruce soloed simultaneously. As
“I’m proud to have been part of that,” up for Presley on the show, “because Roger Waters, who saw them at the
he says. “I’m pleased that it came off we didn’t really know what to expect time, put it, “It was an astounding
the way that it did.” JON DOLAN from him.” K.G. sight and an explosive sound.” K.G.

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 33
1969 AMERICAN TOUR

IKE&TINA
TURNER
¥ THE ROLLING STONESÕ return to Amer-
ica in 1969, after three years away
Cash and June – a period that included Beggars
Carter Cash at San Banquet and the death of guitarist
Quentin, 1969 Brian Jones – was what critic Rob-
ert Christgau described as “history’s

FEBRUARY 24, 1969 SAN QUENTIN first mythic rock & roll tour.” But on
the 17-date spin through the States,
PRISON time and again they were upstaged

JOHNNY CASH
by their handpicked opening act, old
friends Ike and Tina Turner and their
combustible R&B revue.
The Stones met Ike and Tina
among Phil Spector’s orbit in Eng-
MORE land. “I’d always see Mick in the
¥ ÒI REMEMBER walking through two City Jail” and Bob Dylan’s “Want- LIVE wings,” Tina remembered of perfor-
sets of iron gates, and when I heard ed Man.” Cash also wrote a song for CASH mances in the mid-Sixties. “I’d come
them close, I thought, ‘Man, I hope the occasion – the twangy, brood- out and watch him occasionally;
we get back out of here,’ ” Johnny ing “San Quentin.” Its first line – At Folsom they’d play music and Mick would
Cash’s guitarist Bob Wootton recalls “San Quentin, you’ve been livin’ Prison beat the tambourine. He wasn’t
1968
of his visit to San Quentin prison on hell to me” – prompted hooting and dancing. And lo and behold, when
His most
February 24th, 1969. San Quentin cheering from the crowd. “One more he came to America, he was doing
legendary
was (and remains) California’s oldest time!” they called out. “All right,” jailhouse gig. everything!” Jagger later admitted
prison, as well as the largest death- Cash said. “Hey, before we do it, The title he “learned a lot of things from Tina.”
row facility in the country. though, if any of the guards are still track became In the U.S., Ike and Tina won over
That day, as Cash stood onstage speakin’ to me, can I have a glass of a Number a new audience with wild, sweat-
in his usual black suit, he was greet- water?” The crowd laughed, then One hit. drenched covers of the new rock
ed by a sight that might have fright- booed the guard. The Johnny & roll canon, including a brassy
ened a different performer: 2,000 One of the show’s standout mo- Cash Show burst through the Beatles’ “Come
hollering, charged-up inmates. But ments was “A Boy Named Sue,” 1970 Together” (“I said to Ike,” recalled
Cash, who always felt a special con- which made its world premiere be- Lushly Tina, “ ‘Please, please let me do that
nection to prisoners, seemed to real- fore everyone in the prison, includ- orchestrated song onstage’ ”). They spun through
gospel and
ize the gravity of the moment. “John ing the band. “I didn’t even know he Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart”
story-songs,
THIS PAGE: ITV/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE PAGE: © ROBERT ALTMAN/THE IMAGE WORKS
was very solemn that day,” Wootton had the song,” drummer W.S. Hol- named after and a high-octane version of Cree-
says. “We all were. It reminds you land says with a laugh. “Back then, his ABC dence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud
how much you take for granted. John we didn’t have monitors and couldn’t variety show. Mary” that, by 1971, would become
connected with [the prisoners] in a hear all that much onstage. John just their biggest hit. Their take on Otis
way I never saw him connect with started doing it. The first time I ac- At Madison Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too
Square
another audience.” tually heard the song was [later] in Garden Long” garnered its share of attention
Cash had played prisons before the studio.” 2002 too, thanks to an orgasmic bridge
– including an earlier San Quentin “A Boy Named Sue” became a A wild 1969 that eventually got even raunchier.
gig and, famously, California’s Fol- Number One country single and set, featuring “I don’t think it can go any further,”
som Prison. His show at San Quen- crossed over to the pop charts, clear- guests the Tina said in 1971, “because, as they
Carter Family
tin in 1969 was a full-on revue fea- ing a path for greater success, much say in New York, it’s getting porn-
and the
turing the Carter Family, the Statler to Cash’s amusement. “I’ve always Statler ographic.”
Brothers and Carl Perkins, and was thought it was ironic that it was a Brothers. At Madison Square Garden, Jop-
shot for British TV. He performed prison concert, with me and the con- lin herself stopped by to assist on
with steely intensity, when he wasn’t victs getting along just as fellow reb- “Land of 1,000 Dances.” By the tour’s
cracking jokes to his audience. In a els, outsiders and miscreants should,” end, writers couldn’t control their
sense, he became one of them. he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, enthusiasm. “Vogue said it best,” said
Cash treated his set list more as a “that pumped up my marketability to Tina. “ ‘They came to see Mick Jag-
guide than as a hard-and-fast pro- the point where ABC thought I was ger, but they saw Ike and Tina, and
gram, but ended up catering to the respectable enough to have a weekly they’ve been comin’ ever since.’ ”
inmates with songs like “Starkville network TV show.” KORY GROW CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN

34 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Turner 1969 WORLD TOUR

LED ZEPPELIN
in 1969

¥ BEFORE THE PRIVATE planes, moun-


tains of cocaine and allegations of
black magic, Led Zeppelin were four
blokes tearing a path through Amer-
ica for the first time. They hit the
U.S. in late December 1968, just be-
fore their debut LP hit shelves. “I re-
member pulling up to a theater and
the marquee said, ‘Vanilla Fudge, Taj
Mahal and support,’ ” Robert Plant
said in 2005. “I thought, ‘Wow, here
we are: support!’”
Everyone knew their name soon
enough. A month in, they unleashed a
four-hour set at the Boston Tea Party.
“We’d played our usual one-hour set,
using all the material from the first
album,” John Paul Jones said. “The
audience just wouldn’t let us off-
stage.” Over 168 shows that year,
as they unveiled new songs like
“Whole Lotta Love,” Zep’s
live fury and future prom-
ise came into view. “This
group could become one
of the biggest bands in his-
tory,” Jones said. “I hope we
don’t blow it.” ANDY GREENE

1970 AMERICAN TOUR


BLACK
SABBATH
¥ WHEN BLACK SABBATH landed at JFK
Airport for their first U.S. tour, Ozzy
Osbourne scrawled “Satanist” as his
religion on the immigration form.
Many who saw their shows – open-
ing for the Faces, Alice Cooper and
the James Gang – didn’t know what
to make of the shaggy Brits. A turn-
ing point came at New York’s Fill-
more East. “I tore my floor tom off
the riser and threw it at the audience,”
says drummer Bill Ward. “I was like,
‘Fucking move! Do something!’ Soon
everyone was headbanging.” Relent-
less touring in Europe had turned
Sabbath into a brutal assault force.
“It was primal,” says Ward of the tour.
“There’s a lower self that went on-
stage, and it was just dynamite.” A.G.

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 35
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

Townshend 1970 WINTER AMERICAN TOUR


NEIL YOUNG
in 1970

AND CRAZY
HORSE
¥ IN EARLY 1970, Neil Young had final-
ly become a star thanks to the huge
success of Crosby, Stills, Nash and
Young. During a quick break from
that band and from recording his
third solo LP, After the Gold Rush,
Young decided to introduce his new
fans to his other band, Crazy Horse
– whose garage-rock thrash sound-
ed the complete opposite of CSNY –
on a run of clubs, theaters and the oc-
casional junior-college auditorium.
“When Neil plays with Crazy Horse,
he goes into this other place and
plays deep from inside,” says drum-
mer Ralph Molina. “He becomes Neil
Young, the real Neil Young.”
It was a sound no one had heard
before. While other early jam bands
like the Allman Brothers played with
virtuosic professionalism, Crazy
Horse produced raw chaos. Each
night began with a brief solo acous-
tic set before Crazy Horse came on-
stage. Songs like “Down by the River”
and “Cowgirl in the Sand” sometimes
stretched to nearly 20 minutes,
Young trading unhinged solos with
guitarist Danny Whitten. “Danny
had a strong musical presence, prob-
ably just as strong as Neil,” says bass-
ist Billy Talbot. “We started doing
songs longer, which Neil had never
done before.”
In March, Bill Graham booked
them at the Fillmore East for four
shows in two nights, where they
shared a bill with Miles Davis and

FEBRUARY 14, 1970 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS


the Steve Miller Band. Each night,
Whitten sang “Come on Baby Let’s
Go Downtown,” a song about scor-

THE WHO
ing heroin, which he’d started using
heavily around this time. One night
backstage, Young wrote down the
phrase “I’ve seen the needle and the
damage done” on a sheet of paper.
CHRIS MORPHET/REDFERNS/GETTY IMAGES

Within two years, Whitten was


¥ AFTER 1969Õs rock opera Tommy, the Who wanted to return to their dead, and Young’s song about him,
raw roots with a live album. Pete Townshend hated the recordings “The Needle and the Damage Done,”
they made on their U.S. tour so much he threw them onto a bonfire. would appear on Harvest, the best-
But everything clicked back home in England, in front of 2,000 rav- selling album of 1972. “It was such a
loss,” said Young. “[It taught me] you
enous fans at the University of Leeds, where the band tore through can’t count on things. You just can’t
38 songs, including a nearly 15-minute “My Generation.” Townshend take things for granted. Anything
later called it “the greatest audience we’ve ever played to.” ANDY GREENE could go at any time.” A.G.

36 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Keurig, K-Cup, Keurig Hot, and K Logo are trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. Used with permission.
Elton in
L.A., 1970

AUGUST 25-30, 1970


THE TROUBADOUR
¥ WHEN ELTON JOHN took the stage at
ELTON JOHN
“I’m here because of having listened packed with lush strings, harp and a
Los Angeles’ Troubadour for the first to Elton John’s album.” synthesizer, he performed that night
night of his six-date residency, he But those who had heard his accompanied only by Olsson and
was a little-known 23-year-old pop album had no idea what they were bassist Dee Murray. “We just made
singer with thick glasses and greasy in for: a poetic singer-songwrit- a lot of noise,” Murray told Rolling
hair who had only recently changed er with the flamboyance of a rock Stone in 1987. “It was new. Elton
his name from Reginald Kenneth star. Album tracks like “Take Me was experimenting. Plus, we had to
Dwight. When the show was over, to the Pilot” and “Sixty Years On” Before the make up for the orchestra. We just
Elton was a sensation. The stakes were played with a punklike energy, Troubadour socked it to them.”
couldn’t have been higher: His debut Elton falling to his knees like Jerry concerts, Elton played five more nights as
LP, which had come out that spring, Lee Lewis and knocking the piano Elton and his word started to spread around town:
wasn’t selling. After what he called a bench over. The set also mixed in record label “His music is so staggeringly origi-
were in crisis
“crisis meeting” with his label, it sent standards like “Great Balls of Fire” mode. After
nal,” Los Angeles Times music critic
him to the States. The label made and “Honky Tonk Women.” And the the shows, he Robert Hilburn wrote. In the com-
sure to pack the 300-capacity club rapturous reception he received en- was the ing weeks, “Your Song” began climb-
with big names like David Crosby, couraged him to experiment with fastest-rising ing the charts, eventually hitting
Graham Nash, and Mike Love of the even more adventurous stagecraft. star in Number Eight in January 1971.
Beach Boys. “The second night, Leon “He seemed like a very quiet, sub- America. Forty-seven years later, Elton still
Russell was in the front row, but I dued person,” says drummer Nigel looks back fondly on that first trip to
ED CARAEFF/GETTY IMAGES

didn’t see him until the last num- Olsson. “All of a sudden, in front America. “It was just all systems go,”
ber,” Elton recalled. “Thank God I of an American audience, he start- he says. “Nothing was impossible.
didn’t, because at that time I slept ed wearing Mickey Mouse ears and You’re working on adrenaline and the
and drank Leon Russell.” jumping up and down. That’s where sheer fact that you’re a success. I still
Neil Diamond introduced Elton. all the strange gear started.” Un- love what I do, and I’m 70 years old.
“I’m like the rest of you,” he said. like Elton’s debut album, which was I love it even more.” ANDY GREENE

38 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Helping you feel
safe in your lane.
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(TSS-P)1 is designed to help keep passengers safe with a suite
of systems including Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist.2
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MARCH 5-7, 1971 FILLMORE WEST B.B.
King,

ARETHA FRANKLIN
1971

¥ WHEN PROMOTER Bill Graham booked the Queen of Soul for his San Francisco venue for three
nights in March 1971, no one was certain the matchup would work, including Aretha Frank-
lin herself. “I wasn’t sure how the hippies reacted to me,” she said. As Franklin’s drummer Ber-
nard Purdie recalls, “She’d been doing what you’d call Vegas-type shows. But this was a whole
SEPTEMBER 10, 1970

B.B. KING
different audience.” No one needed to worry. With saxman King Curtis leading a band that in-
cluded Billy Preston on organ, Franklin remade pop and rock classics in her own image – turn-
ing Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” into call-and-response gospel and
reworking “Eleanor Rigby” as a funky stomp. The weekend of shows (portions of which were
released a few months later as Live at Fillmore West) had an appropriately glorious finale: On
the last night, Franklin pulled Ray Charles out of the crowd. Though they’d just met that day,
the two traded piano and vocal parts on an epic 19-minute version of “Spirit in the Dark.” “She
turned the thing into church,” Charles said later. “I mean, she’s on fire.” DAVID BROWNE
COOK COUNTY JAIL
¥ B.B. KING WAS playing a regular
club gig on Chicago’s Rush Street
Franklin and
Ray Charles in the late Sixties when he was
in 1971 invited to do a show at the local
Cook County Jail. “I knew the in-
mates would enjoy it,” said war-
den Clarence English. “And that
would be something they’d be be-
holden to us. . . . If you give extra
ice cream or let them stay up late
at night, [they] don’t fight and de-
stroy each other.”
King’s new manager, Sid Se-
idenberg – who was helping King
score a career resurgence by book-
ing him at venues like the Fill-
more West – saw an opportuni-
ty. He told King to take the gig,
and invited press and a recording
engineer for a future live album
(Johnny Cash had released the
successful At Folsom Prison two
years earlier). But what began as a
commercial move became some-
thing much deeper. “I couldn’t
FROM LEFT: © JIM MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY LLC.; PAUL SEQUEIRA/GETTY IMAGES

help but feel the oppression,” King


said later. “My heart was heavy
with feeling for the guys behind
bars.” With a full big band behind
him, King belted burning takes on
“Every Day I Have the Blues” and
“How Blue Can You Get?” with a
fury the loud assembly evident-
ly connected with. The inmates
booed when he took the stage, but
by the end they were hypnotized.
The show was released on 1971’s
Live at Cook County Jail, a doc-
ument of an electric-blues master
at the top of his game.
“There were tears in people’s
eyes,” English recalled. “In mine,
too.” WILL HERMES

M a y 4 , 2 017
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Also available at bn.com/rspinkfloyd.
Duane
Allman,
1971
MARCH 11-13, 1971 ACADEMY
DECEMBER 28-31, 1971
FILLMORE EAST
THE BAND OF MUSIC
THE ALLMAN ¥ THE BANDÕS 1978 farewell movie, The
Last Waltz, is the greatest concert
The group set the tone with a
taut, funky cover of Marvin Gaye’s

BROTHERS
film of all time. But even that per- “Don’t Do It,” and gracefully moved
formance didn’t reach the heights of through its canon. The Band played
the Band’s four-night stand at New with intensified warmth on “Un-
York’s Academy of Music at the end faithful Servant” and “Get Up Jake”
of 1971. The shows, which were re- and jittery energy on deep album

BAND
THREE leased as a box set in 2013, captured cuts like “Smoke Signal.” “We only
MORE the Band at their tightest and funk- did it once or twice,” said Robert-
CLASSIC iest, injecting New Orleans R&B son. “Levon [Helm] did an amazing
ALLMANS swagger into their harmonious folk job on it.” They turned “Chest Fever”
SHOWS rock. It was a period of high mo-
rale and expert musicianship for
and “Rag Mama Rag” into the stuff
of a Crescent City street party, and
SUNY Stony the sometimes volatile group, the returned to their roadhouse roots
¥ THE ALLMANS were still young, Brook, Stony result of a decade of hard touring, on Chuck Willis’ 1958 deep cut “(I
hungry Georgia rockers when they Brook, NY with Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan Don’t Want to) Hang Up My Rock &
booked three nights at Bill Graham’s SEPTEMBER 19, 1971 and finally on their own. “There was Roll Shoes.”
Fillmore East in New York in early One of Duane a spell that everybody was doing re- The Band saved their biggest
Allman’s most
1971 with the idea of recording a live ally, really good,” the Band’s Robbie surprise for last. During their
magnificent
album. “My brother always believed shows: See the Robertson told Rolling Stone in New Year’s Eve encore, they invit-
a live album was what the Brothers 11-minute-plus 2013. “It was a roll of the dice after ed out their old friend Dylan, who
needed to do, and the record com- “Blue Sky.” that. You just didn’t know what con- had been out of the spotlight for
pany finally agreed,” Gregg Allman dition somebody was going to show years. Looking like his mid-Sixties
recalled. “The Fillmore was just the Cow Palace, up in.” self with aviators and a Telecaster,
San Francisco
logical choice. I don’t think we even It was a moment the Band need- Dylan howled fiery takes of “Like
DECEMBER 31, 1973
discussed another venue.” The LP Jerry
ed. Three years on from their a Rolling Stone” and “Don’t Ya Tell
they made there, At Fillmore East, Garcia, Bill groundbreaking debut, Music From Henry,” pausing only to talk through
became their defining statement. Kreutzmann Big Pink, their two most recent stu- the arrangements. “We were being
The Allmans were initially slot- and Boz dio a lbums, Stage
ted into a bill headlined by John- Scaggs sit Fright and Cahoots, Levon
ny Winter. But they came out guns in on New had been greeted with
Year’s jam that Helm
blazing the first night, and when starts with lukewarm rev iews. onstage
the hall emptied out after their set, “Whipping Aiming for some fresh in New
they were promoted to headliner. Post,” energy, Robertson re- York,
With the band order duly shuffled, then goes cruited veteran New 1971
the Allmans had time to stretch out jukeboxing. Orleans bandlead-
on spectacular journeys – “On those er Allen Toussaint to
Beacon
long jams, you climbed in and there Theatre, NY put together a horn
was no tomorrow, no yesterday,” OCTOBER 28, 2014 section for their holi-
said drummer Butch Trucks. The A four-hour day gigs at the Acade-
gigs were hardly trouble-free. On farewell my of Music. It almost
the last night, a bomb scare delayed blowout at didn’t work out. To
the start of the second show until the their adopted ever yone’s hor ror,
latter-day
OPPOSITE PAGE: © JIM MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY LLC. THIS PAGE: JOHN SCHEELE

wee hours (“Good mornin’, every- home base,


Toussaint’s briefcase
body!” someone announced before ending in the full of horn arrange-
“Statesboro Blues”). That early-a.m. a.m. on the ments was stolen on his way from a little bit bold,” said Robertson.
set ended up becoming the keeper: anniversary of New Orleans to the band’s Wood- (The horns didn’t accompany Dylan,
“Whipping Post” sprawled over gor- Duane’s death. stock headquarters, where he was though: “He looked over and saw
geous melodic terrain for 23 minutes; forced to rewrite the charts from us, jumped back from the micro-
“Mountain Jam” ascended for more memory. He wrote them in the phone and glared over his shades,”
than a half-hour. Atlantic Records wrong keys, and the Band had to says tuba player Howard Johnson.
engineer Tom Dowd oversaw the tap- relearn their songs in entirely new “I told everyone, ‘OK, let’s just get
ing; unlike most live albums, noth- keys. Robertson recalled thinking, offstage.’ ”)
ing needed to be redone in the stu- “We’re doomed.” Months later, highlights of those
dio besides a few vocal overdubs. The That anxiety lifted when they shows comprised the dazzling live
LP went gold on October 25th, four took the stage. “A chill ran through double LP Rock of Ages, which crit-
days before guitarist Duane Allman me,” Robertson said. “I thought, ics immediately called one of the
died in a motorcycle accident. “It’s the ‘OK, I’m feeling some magic in the best live albums of the Seventies.
best-sounding live album ever,” said air here. . . .’ As soon as we kicked off For drummer Helm, it was simply
the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. “It’s the first song,” he added, “we weren’t “the most fun I ever had making a
just fuckin’ awesome.” WILL HERMES even touching the ground.” Band record.” DAVID BROWNE

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 43
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

THE
1972
ROLLING
NORTH
AMERICAN
TOUR
¥ MICK JAGGER has a clear memory of
being onstage in the summer of 1972,
singing “Love in Vain,” the Robert
STONES in the world,” Greenfield wrote in
his chronicle of the tour, A Journey
Through America With the Rolling
thing. He kept starting it.” Says Rich-
ards, “That was probably trying to
catch up with lost time.” Songs like
Johnson song the Rolling Stones had Stones. “The only great band of the “Street Fighting Man” ran several
recently reworked into a soul ballad. Sixties still around in original form minutes longer than the studio ver-
Jagger still marvels at the live version playing original rock & roll. . . . They sions as the band ripped away. “We
– particularly Mick Taylor’s searing were royalty.” were probably searching for the end-
lead guitar, which slowly took over Both Jagger and Richards remem- ing,” Richards jokes.
the song and culminated in a minute ber the excitement they felt ahead of For Richards, the highlight was
and a half of mournful, melodic vir- the eight-week run. If the prospect playing the new songs from Exile
tuosity. “He was playing beautiful- of getting back on the road weren’t on Main Street, recorded the pre-
ly at this point,” says Jagger. “It was enough, the opening act on tour was vious summer. “Playing the Exile
chilling. It was so sad and haunting. a 22-year-old Stevie Wonder, whom stuff for the first time was a real
And the horns were really just sub- Jagger made a habit of watching I got up turn-on,” says Richards. After open-
tly there. The beats and stops were side-stage. “It was exciting, the feel- and hit in the ing with “Brown Sugar,” the band
usually perfect. That was one of my ing of anticipation – getting back in general tore through several Exile classics:
direction of
favorites.” touch with what it is we did,” says the light and “Rocks Off,” “Rip This Joint,” “Sweet
The Rolling Stones were at the Richards. Adds Jagger, “We were busted the Virginia.” Unlike later tours, Jagger
peak of their powers in the summer trying to get out of the studio, out of guy’s camera. hung around during Richards’ songs,
of 1972: Keith Richards was play- the South of France, and Keith had Things howling away “Happy” into the same
ing the most fearless rhythm guitar all these drug problems – so it was escalated mic. “I always enjoyed doing that,”
of his career; Taylor stretched out kind of good to get out on the road.” from there. Richards says.
Then the
their music to improbable peaks; and The Stones’ office was overload- fucking FBI There were also a few throwbacks,
Jagger stalked the stage, whipping ed with requests for tickets, priced got involved. including a horn-fueled version of
his belt and perfecting his ability to at $6.50 (some fans sent in as many “Satisfaction,” and “Bye Bye Johnny,”
turn music, as critic Robert Green- as 60 postcards each). A Dick Cavett a Chuck Berry song that the Stones
field observed, into a psychodrama. TV special on the tour described the had been doing since 1963. Accord-
It was the band’s first North Amer- strange new phenomenon of scalp- ing to Richards, they picked the deep
KEITH
ican tour since Altamont, the disas- ing (plus the new concept of group- cut for its rhythm: “There’s an inter-
RICHARDS
trous, deadly California festival in ies). On opening night in Vancouver, esting reverse beat going on that al-
December 1969. Shaken by that de- 2,000 fans tried to force their way ways intrigued us.”
bacle and the death of Brian Jones, into the Pacific Coliseum, leaving 31 On the road, the Stones encoun-
the band hunkered down in the stu- policemen injured – the first of sev- tered an older audience – one that
dio, recording three masterpieces: eral violent incidents. “That was in ranged from about age 15 to 30.
1969’s Let It Bleed, 1971’s Sticky Fin- the day when people who didn’t have “There always used to be screamers,
gers and 1972’s Exile on Main Street. a ticket would show up,” says Jagger, and they didn’t seem to worry much
Their Sixties peers – the Beatles, “and be like, ‘OK, we’re here, we’re about the music,” Bill Wyman told
Bob Dylan – were less prolific, with- fucking going in.’ ” Cavett. As a result, the band played
KEN REGAN/CAMERA 5

drawing from public view. In their Unlike the 1969 tour – which fea- with more focus. It helped that arena
absence, the Stones had only grown tured slow, slogging rhythms – the sound had improved: “Now you hear
in stature. “After 10 years of playing band played at breakneck speed. everything and you see everything,
together, the Stones had somehow “Keith was doing that,” says Jagger. and there’s so much tension,” said
become the number-one attraction “I’m not trying to blame him for any- Wyman.

44 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Jagger in
Vancouver,
1972
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

For all the onstage professional- The offstage chaos was document-
ism, the backstage scene was as wild ed by the legendary photographer
as any rock & roll tour before or since. Robert Frank, who brought along a
The band traveled with the largest camera for a documentary that, as
entourage in rock history up to that Jagger understood, would be “about
point – including a physician, label playing and about music.” Instead,
president Marshall Chess and a press Cocksucker Blues was a cinéma vé-
corps Richards compared to a political rité experiment full of lurid scenes:
campaign. The press included photog- naked groupies having sex on an air-
rapher Annie Leibovitz, and authors plane, Jagger snorting cocaine, and
Terry Southern, Robert Greenfield, groupie heroin use. The band blocked
and Truman Capote, who reluctant- its release (though it became a popu-
ly joined for a Rolling Stone cover lar bootleg). “[Robert] would initiate
Jagger and
story. “For him, it was a social occa- things,” says Jagger. “Most documen-
Richards
in 1989
sion,” says Jagger, who recalls Capote tary filmmakers kind of get you to do
saying he hated the fact that Jagger things that you perhaps wouldn’t do
wore the same clothes every night. if they weren’t there.” Jagger cites the

LET IT LOOSE: MORE


“He would’ve liked it better now – I famous scene where Richards and
have such a bigger wardrobe.” (Capote Keys threw a TV out of a Hyatt Hotel

GREAT STONES TOURS


never wrote his piece, claiming it window: “Robert would probably say
“didn’t interest me creatively.”) to Keith, ‘Keith, throw the TV out the
Jagger admits that the traveling window.’ They probably weren’t going
The Stones are the best live band in rock history, playing party was “a bit distracting.” He had to do that that morning.” But Rich-
tours that combine spectacle with a sense of danger. to watch his drug intake in order to ards disagrees. “Bobby Keys and I en-
Jagger reflects on five of their best perform. “I wasn’t on meth, out of my gineered that,” he says. “We called the
mind or anything,” Jagger says. “But cameraman ’round when we disman-
I was having a lot of fun.” Richards’ tled the TV. So that scene was direct-
American Tour 1969 favorite story “has got to be Bobby ed by Bobby Keys and Keith fucking
After years of controversy and the loss of Brian Jones, the Keys and me nearly burning down Richards.”
band hit the road with a dark energy that perfectly captured
the Playboy mansion,” he says. Stay- The tour wrapped with four shows
the political upheaval of the time. It was the first arena
tour of its kind, with a traveling, hanging sound system and ing at Hugh Hefner’s home, Richards at Madison Square Garden. Though
lighting rig. “There was nothing to draw on,” says Jagger. “I and saxophonist Keys accidentally set the Stones had played 48 shows in
always thought of that one as groundbreaking. It was the fire to one of the bathrooms. “We were only 54 days, they didn’t hold back.
early days of doing arenas properly.” going through a doctor’s bag and we The July 25th show featured a sen-
knocked over a candle,” says Richards. timental singalong of “You Can’t Al-
At the same time, Jagger remem- ways Get What You Want” and per-
ÔSome GirlsÕ Tour 1978
bers “all these dark moments” on the haps the fiercest “All Down the Line”
“That was fast and furious,” Jagger says of the tour, which
lost the props and large band of the 1975 tour and saw the
tour. On the morning of July 17th in ever played. “You almost feel like
band channel punk energy in 25 mostly small venues, debut- Montreal, dynamite exploded be- you’re levitating on the energy from
ing new anthems like “When the Whip Comes Down” and neath one of the band’s vans, destroy- the audience,” says Richards. “It’s a
“Respectable.” “It was a great tour,” says Jagger. ing equipment. “It was kind of scary strange experience.” The tour ended
because it was during the separatist the following night, on Jagger’s 29th
movement of Quebec,” says Jagger. “I birthday. Wonder joined the band for
ÔSteel WheelsÕ Tour 1989 mean, it wasn’t just some random guy a raucous medley of “Uptight (Ev-
After seven years of fighting, the band returned for its first trying to blow up a truck.” The show, erything’s Alright)” and a revved-up,
“megatour,” as Richards called it. The Stones played nearly
30 songs on a stadium stage that raised the bar for everyone remarkably, went on that night, but a horn-fueled take on “Satisfaction”
else. “It was the biggest fun house,” Jagger says of the stage, riot ensued when 500 fans with coun- (Wonder said he wrote “Uptight” with
which featured steam pipes, catwalks and a revolutionary terfeit tickets were turned away. “Satisfaction” in mind). A cake was
video screen. “Just crazy big. When it was all smoking at night The following day, the band flew to rolled onstage, and the show ended
and we put the lights on it, it was the most amazing thing I’ve a small airport in Rhode Island. As with a pie fight among bandmates.
ever seen. No one had built anything like that before.”
the entourage cleared customs, Rich- The afterparty, thrown by Ahmet
ards took a nap on the side of a parked Ertegun, included Muddy Waters,
Licks World Tour 2002-03 firetruck. He woke up to the flashing Bob Dylan and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
The band shook things up often by playing three shows in lights of a local newspaper photogra- It was the end of an era. Afterward,
the same city: a stadium gig, an arena and a theater. Jagger pher. “I just reacted,” Richards says. Richards slid further into addiction,
liked the theater shows, where they returned to their R&B “I got up and hit in the general direc- and was arrested on heroin and gun
roots, including a devastating cover of O.V. Wright’s “That’s tion of the light and busted the guy’s charges the next year. In 1974, after
How Strong My Love Is.” “We hadn’t done theaters in a long camera. Things escalated from there. only five years, Taylor left the band to
time,” he says. “But it was so much fun.”
Then the fucking FBI got involved.” go solo. The Stones’ next North Ameri-
The photographer claimed he was can tour, in 1975, featured stage props
50 and Counting 2012-13 assaulted, and Richards and Jagger like a giant inflatable phallus, and little
The band celebrated its 50th anniversary by playing its best in were arrested and placed in a jail cell, of the ragged charm of the 1972 tour.
PAUL NATKIN/GETTY IMAGES

a decade. With fewer backing musicians, it broke out rarities while an unruly audience at Boston “There were no sort of guidelines,”
like “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Around and Around.” “The Garden waited. Fearing a riot, Boston Richards says. “You sort of made it up
idea was having three really ancient numbers to open with,
Mayor Kevin White organized their and you went along. It was a good feel-
and having this black-and-white look and feel to the whole
thing,” Jagger said. The tour also included the return of Bill release, and the band took the stage ing, that tour. A bit frenetic and a little
Wyman, who joined the band in London, and Mick Taylor, after midnight. “There was never a blurry, like an old movie, you know?
who came onstage every night to rip on “Midnight Rambler.” dull moment,” says Richards. It was a bit jerky.” PATRICK DOYLE

46 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Bowie and
Ronson in
London,
1973 1975
CBGB
PATTI SMITH
GROUP AND
TELEVISION
¥ OVER A two-month-long residency,
the Patti Smith Group went from
art project to formidable band –
and lower Manhattan’s CBGB was
well on the road to becoming one of
the most famous rock clubs in the
world. Much of the material that
ended up on Smith’s debut, Horses,
came to life at CB’s, with Smith im-
provising poetic chants as the band
brutalized simple chord patterns.
“CBGB was the ideal place to sound
a clarion call,” Smith wrote. Tele-
1972-73 WORLD TOUR

FROM TOP: ILPO MUSTO/REX SHUTTERSTOCK; © BOB GRUEN/BOBGRUEN.COM


vision, meanwhile, had just begun

DAVID BOWIE
emphasizing the guitar-weaving
tapestries they would immortalize
ZIGGY on Marquee Moon. Rock history
STARDUST was being made at a club with no
AND THE dressing rooms and an incontinent
SPIDERS
dog in residence – and the musi-
FROM MARS
cians knew it. “I remember one
¥ ÒI WANTED THE music to look like it sounded,” said David Bowie, who night standing outside CBGB, in the
doorway of the derelict hotel next
reigned over the moonage daydream of his greatest tour as a crim-
door, smoking a joint,” says Patti
son-haired, sparkly, makeup-slathered rock & roll space god. The Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, “and
music, thanks to the savage elegance of the Spiders From Mars, was realizing that this was the kind of
even wilder, with an intense symbiosis developing between Bowie and gathering of psychic energies I’d al-
chunky-toned guitarist Mick Ronson. “There was magic there,” says ways dreamed of when, say, I would
read about the San Francisco scene
keyboardist Mike Garson. Ziggymania broke out across the world,
in 1966.” WILL HERMES
and even as Bowie moved on, it never really stopped. ANDY GREENE

Smith in
New York,
1975

1973 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

VAN MORRISON
¥ IT TAKES an extraordinary band to
top the studio versions of songs like
that sparked dynamic shifts worthy
of James Brown. “He had these sig-
“Domino” and “Cyprus Avenue,” but nals behind his back,” says Platania.
with the 10-piece Caledonia Soul “He would flash his hand and spread
Orchestra, Van Morrison pulled it his fingers out. We knew instantly we
off night after night. With horns, had to bring it down and then build
strings and blazing jazz chops, the it up again.” Morrison was stretching
band was ready to “take the songs out, toying with his phrasing, elon-
anywhere Van wanted to take them,” gating syllables like a jazz singer. The
says guitarist John Platania. “Every band ended when the tour did – but
performance of each song was differ- it lives on in Morrison’s It’s Too Late
ent.” Morrison was, as usual, lost in to Stop Now, one of the most essen-
the music, getting so into it that he tial live albums of all time, recently
gave himself backaches – the plat- released in a gloriously extended
form shoes he was favoring at the version. “We were sad to see it end,”
time probably didn’t help. He rarely says Platania. “But in those days,
addressed the crowd, and kept his he would say stuff like, ‘The show
band on its toes with subtle gestures doesn’t have to go on.’ ” DAVID BROWNE

48 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

JULY 17-18, 1975


THE LYCEUM THEATRE, LONDON
¥ BOB MARLEY'S TWO con-
certs at the Lyceum The-
atre in London in July
BOB MARLEY
1975 were more than just
musically transcendent
shows: They were the tri-
umphant peak of Marley’s
first proper tour as a solo
artist and would elevate
him from cult act to in-
ternational icon – in part
thanks to Live!, a concert
document from the shows
that gave him his first in-
ternational Top 40 hit,
“No Woman, No Cry.”
“Lyceum was magic,” re-
calls Marley’s friend Nev-
ille Garrick, the Wail-
ers’ lighting designer and
art director at the time.
“It was an old theater, so
the acoustics were prop-
er....They took out all the
seats, and people were
going from the very first
song.” Booked in a small
room to drive up tick-
et demand, the Lyceum
shows sold out in a day,
and roughly 3,000 ticket-
less hopefuls mobbed the
streets outside the venue
on Marley’s first night
there, along with a pha-
lanx of cops. Some fans
nevertheless managed to
tear the fire doors off their
hinges and rush in, pack-
ing the room tighter still,
shoulder to shoulder. It
was so hot, condensation
was dripping from the ceil-
ing, and roof hatches had
to be opened to let air in.
Marley appeared before
the crowd like a proph-
et in a denim work shirt,
dreadlocks bobbing, and
few moments in pop are
as spine-tingling as the
opening of “No Woman,
No Cry,” the audience
IAN DICKSON/REX SHUTTERSTOCK

chanting the chorus like


a hymn before Marley had
even sung a word. Recalled
bassist Aston Barrett, “Ev-
Marley in
eryone onstage [got] high
London,
from the feedback of the 1975
people.” WILL HERMES

50 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
1975-76 NORTH
AMERICAN TOUR

BOB DYLAN
ROLLING THUNDER REVUE
¥ BOB DYLAN COULD have played arenas
when he toured to support 1976’s De-
sire. Instead, true to form, he did the
unexpected: He booked tiny theaters
with just days’ notice, charged less
than $9 per ticket and took along a
gaggle of friends – including Roger
McGuinn, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
and Joan Baez. Dylan had started
hanging around his old West Village
haunts with buddies from his folk-
ie days, and he wanted to take that
nostalgic spirit on the road. “We all
sing and sing and sing and laugh
until we pass out,” Baez told Roll-
i ng Ston e. “For us, it makes no
difference if we just play for 15 peo-
ple or 15,000.” Backed by one of his
best bands ever (including guitarist
Mick Ronson), Dylan stretched out
shows for as long as five hours – with
help from McGuinn, Elliott and oth-
ers, who would do their own sets and
join his. New tracks from Desire were
mixed with 1960s classics (“It Ain’t
Me Babe,” “Just Like a Woman”) and
covers (“Deportees”). The shows were
full of raw, spontaneous intimacy:
Dylan duetted with his ex-lover Baez,
did scorched-earth versions of “Idiot
Wind,” and pleaded for the release of
jailed boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Cart-
Dylan er. As Rolling Thunder participant
in 1975 Allen Ginsberg said, “Having gone
through his changes . . . Bob now has
his powers together.” ANDY GREENE

1977 GRATEFUL DEAD NORTH AMERICAN TOUR


¥ ÒOUR SECOND COMING,Ó says Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart of Olsen’s whip-cracking became clear as soon as the Dead went
of the band’s 1977 North American tour. Everyone knew the Dead back on the road – they tore into old favorites like “St. Stephen”
could jam out infinitely. But that year they were discovering some- and tried new combinations, like going from the fast-paced “Scar-
thing new: that tight, songful concision could transport a crowd let Begonias” into the churning “Fire on the Mountain,” and proved
just as easily. “We had a lot of new songs and wanted to get at ’em,” their newly honed chops could help sculpt jams such as the 10-min-
says singer and guitarist Bob Weir. “And the only way to get at the ute “Terrapin Station.” “We felt like rock gods,” Weir says. It helped
next song was to finish the one you were doing.” Ironically for a that the band was in relatively good shape physically as well. “Jerry
band that had little use or patience for studios, it would be record- was healthy,” says Hart. “That was a big thing.” The high point took
ing sessions that strengthened its live approach. Terrapin Station, place on May 8th at Cornell University’s Barton Hall, regarded by
KEN REGAN/CAMERA 5

the group’s most recent LP, was recorded with Fleetwood Mac Deadheads as the band’s greatest show ever. In the end, the 1977
producer Keith Olsen, who’d helmed their self-titled 1975 break- tour completely changed the Dead’s sense of connection with fans,
through; he forced the Dead to prep and rehearse more than they and their own musical purpose. “That was an era where it started
ever had. “Going in with Keith and having him organize and ar- to creep up on us that people came to hear the songs,” says Weir. “It
range all this stuff,” says Weir, “that gave us a solidity.” The results finally dawned on us: ‘Oh, that’s what it’s all about.’ ” DAVID BROWNE

52 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Johnny
Ramone,
Liverpool,
May 1977

1977 EUROPEAN TOUR 1977-78 U.S.TOUR

THE RAMONES
¥ THE RAMONES ARRIVED in England with something to prove. The punk
revolution had broken out in London in 1977, with the Sex Pistols get-
ting wall-to-wall press and causing havoc. But no one in the nascent
CLASSIC
LIVE
PUNK LPS
The Stooges
Metallic KO
THE EAGLES
¥ THE CAREER-DEFINING two-year
stretch of shows that followed 1976’s
Hotel California saw the Eagles be-
come a stadium band. Yet in an era
in which rock shows were growing
bigger and more impersonal, the Ea-
gles’ studio perfectionists, Don Hen-
1976
U.K. punk scene was ready for the precision-strike arrival of the Ra- ley and Glenn Frey, found a way to
mones. In his memoir, Johnny Ramone wrote that at a Pistols show Elvis Costello re-create the feel and detail of their
and the albums onstage, with every harmo-
on their first night in town in December ’77, “Johnny Rotten asked Attractions ny and guitar lick seamlessly in place
me what I thought of them, and I told him . . . they stunk.” Live at the El decades before backing tapes and
Mocambo
Three days later, the Ramones unleashed a furious assault on the 1978 Auto-Tune made that process easier.
audience in Glasgow, opening with “Rockaway Beach” and not taking Hits like “Life in the Fast Lane” and
Minutemen “Take It to the Limit” were given al-
a break until 26 songs later. Playing to a punk-crazed English audi- Ballot Result most impossibly pristine treatment.
ence pushed the Ramones to play their most intense shows. The tour 1987
The tour itself was chaotic; at one
wrapped on New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Theatre, their 148th show point, bassist Randy Meisner and
of the year. “Probably the best show the Ramones ever did,” said John- Frey got into a fistfight when Frey
IAN DICKSON/MEDIAPUNCH

ny. Amazingly, Joey had been singing through incredible pain; he’d called Meisner a “pussy.” But you
suffered third-degree burns on his neck when a makeshift humidifi- wouldn’t have known it watching
their sets. “Some critic said we used
er exploded on him. Said Ramones co-manager Linda Stein, “[John- to go out onstage and loiter,” Hen-
ny] came to me and said. . . ‘Put me in a wheelchair and get me on a ley said. “I think we accomplished a
plane before I go insane.’” He wanted to be sedated. ANDY GREENE great deal.” DAVID BROWNE

54 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Springsteen
airborne in
Detroit,
September
1978
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
1978

AMERICAN
TOUR AND THE E STREET BAND
¥ IT HAD BEEN three very long
years since Born to Run made
Bruce Springsteen a nation-
Sets featured the majority of
the new album, a big chunk of
Born to Run and favorites off
and Shout,” it became one of the
most coveted bootlegs in rock
history. “It was really hot,” says
al star. A bitter lawsuit filed
against his former manager in
the first two discs, like “Spirit in
the Night” and “Rosalita (Come PROVING Weinberg. “Just sweltering. It
was incredibly exciting. Then
1976 left him legally unable to
enter a studio for two years be-
Out Tonight).” After so much
time off, the band played with a
IT EVERY you just get on the bus and go
to the next gig. It was like that
fore making Darkness on the
Edge of Town. “Prove It All
stunning mix of pent-up energy
and technical precision. “Any-
NIGHT about five nights a week with
two days off.”
Night,” his new single, stalled at one can be great on any given Four decades of electrifying Word of Springsteen’s glori-
Number 33 on the charts. Any- night,” says Weinberg. “To re- shows from an artist who ous return prompted CBS Rec-
thing radio-friendly, like “Fire” ally be great every night takes never took a night off ords to mount a huge billboard
and “Because the Night,” was a lot of willpower, a lot of dedi- of his image on the Sunset Strip,
held off Darkness to maintain cation, a lot of self-confidence, advertising the album and tour
the starker atmosphere Spring- a lot of respect for your audi- ÔBorn to RunÕ Tour 1975 but making no mention of the
steen wanted for his set of songs ence – tremendous respect for New E Streeters Steven Van band. “It was the ugliest thing
about the reality of everyday the audience.” Zandt, Max Weinberg and Roy I’ve ever seen,” Springsteen told
Bittan helped Springsteen live
working life. To many, all of this Live, the songs complete- up to the insane hype of Born
a radio DJ. One night, Spring-
was evidence that Springsteen ly transformed from their re- to Run and bring its wall of steen snuck up to the roof of
was in decline. So he did the corded versions. For “Prove sound to life night after night. a nearby building with Tall-
thing he could do better than al- It All Night,” the band added ent and saxophonist Clarence
most anyone alive: He went on a piano and guitar intro that Clemons. Armed with cans of
tour. “With the burden of prov- built to a furious climax, and ÔGhost of Tom black spray paint, Springsteen
ing I wasn’t a has-been at 28,” he “Backstreets” developed an JoadÕ Tour 1995-97 hoisted himself onto Clemons’
wrote in his 2016 memoir, Born emotional spoken-word inter- Springsteen hit theaters armed massive shoulders and wrote
with an acoustic guitar and
to Run, “I headed out on the lude about lost love that even- delivered spare, powerful
“Prove It All Night E Street”
road performing long, sweat- tually morphed into “Drive All renditions of his songs. After a across the entire thing. “We
drenched rock shows featuring Night,” from The River. “Even down period, the tour rebooted didn’t deface it,” says Tallent
the new album.” at that point, the whole thing his entire career. with a laugh. “We corrected it.
Springsteen and the E Street was ‘You have to see them live That was our way of letting peo-
Band played 115 shows across – you can’t go by the record,’ ” ple know to not expect the next
The E Street
North America, the longest se- says Tallent. Reunion 1999-2000 coming of Christ. It’s just a rock
ries of dates they would ever As the tour crisscrossed the & roll show.”
Ten years after Springsteen
play in a single year. Even the nation, with five shows get- fired his most famous band, Darkness on the Edge of
soundchecks were grueling. ting broadcast on the radio they all came back together Town still wasn’t a commer-
“Literally, we would play ‘Thun- and quickly hitting the boot- for an emotional tour. “We did cial hit by the end of the run,
der Road’ for a half-hour and leg market, a new respect for a run at MSG that was so over- but critics across the coun-
Bruce would walk around and the album took hold. “Night the-top,” says Weinberg. “Some try hailed the tour as the best
of the best shows we ever did.”
sit in every section and make after night, we sent our listen- of the year, and the album re-
sure the sound was as good as ers away, back to the recorded mained at the core of Spring-
possible,” says drummer Max versions of this music,” Spring- ÔWorking on a steen’s set list for decades to
Weinberg. “Look, Bruce took steen wrote in Born to Run, DreamÕ Tour 2009 come. “[They] are perhaps the
ROBERT MATHEU/CAMERA PRESS/REDUX

his fun very seriously.” Not ev- “newly able to hear their beau- The final tour before the purest distillation of what I
eryone thought it was so much ty and restrained power.” death of Clemons featured wanted my rock & roll music to
fun. “I thought it was a little One particularly great show performances of Springsteen’s be about,” Springsteen wrote.
self-indulgent and a little bit took place at the tiny Agora classic records, ending with “[On the last stand of the tour]
Greetings From Asbury Park,
silly,” says bassist Garry Tall- Ballroom in Cleveland. Open- N.J. It was the perfect way to
an exploding firecracker tossed
ent. “We would do four-hour ing with a ferocious cover of say goodbye to the Big Man. by an inebriated ‘fan’ opened up
soundchecks and then a three- Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime a small slash underneath my
and-a-half-hour show. We were Blues” and wrapping up three eye. A little blood’d been drawn,
younger then.” hours later with a wild “Twist but we were back.” ANDY GREENE

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 57
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

1979 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 1983 ÔSPEAKING IN TONGUESÕ TOUR


THE CLASH
¥ THEY CALLED IT the Pearl Harbour
Tour, and they opened each night
with a slashing version of “I’m So
Bored With the USA.” For an English
punk band trying to break through in
the States, it was an interesting mar-
ÔTHE WALLÕ
TOUR:
BY THE
TALKING HEADS
¥ IT WAS AN image that defined Talk-
ing Heads for a generation of music
fans – skinny, nervous David Byrne
saw Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall off to
the side of the stage – she was danc-
ing, Mick wasn’t.” The Greek Theater
keting approach. “England’s becom-
NUMBERS on the Speaking in Tongues tour, in Berkeley the following month was
The 31-date
ing claustrophobic for us,” Joe Strum- tour was
struggling to dance in a cartoon- a similar bacchanal. “We’d begun to
mer told Rolling Stone. “I think the most ishly huge white suit. “What I re- get the Deadhead crowd,” Frantz
touring America could be a new lease technically alized years before,” Byrne says, “is says, laughing.
on life.” With a touring budget of complex in I had to find my own way of mov- In late 1983, the band decided
just $30,000 from their record label rock at that ing that wasn’t a white rock guy try- to document the tour with a con-
(most of which they gave to opening point. Here’s a ing to imitate black people, or bring cert film, and teamed up with direc-
look at what
act Bo Diddley), the Clash stormed went into it. some other kind of received visual tor Jonathan Demme (who would
the heartland and made converts or choreographic language into pop later win an Oscar for The Silence
wherever they went. During down- Number music. . . . I just thought, ‘No, no, you of the Lambs). “We didn’t want any
time on their tour bus, they watched of white have to invent it from scratch.’ ” of the bullshit,” says Frantz of the
a VHS copy of Star Wars over and fireproof, Since forming in the mid-Seven- band’s initial idea for Stop Making
reinforced
over. They hit the Palladium in New cardboard
ties, Talking Heads had gone from Sense. “We didn’t want the clichés.
York in February, blowing away a boxes that CBGB New Wavers to one of the big- We didn’t want close-ups of people’s
crowd that included Andy Warhol made up gest bands in America. For the tour to fingers while they’re doing a guitar
and Bruce Springsteen. “Every coun- the wall: support 1983’s Speaking in Tongues, solo. We wanted the camera to lin-
try has one thing in common, which 340 their most popular album to date, ger, so you could get to know the mu-
is they all listen to shit music,” said they reinvented themselves, growing sicians a little bit.”
co-leader Mick Jones. “We’re here to Number from a quartet to a nine-piece funk Shot over three nights at the Pan-
alleviate that.” ANDY GREENE of feet a mob that included P-Funk keyboard- tages Theater in Los Angeles, Stop
hydraulic
ist Bernie Worrell, Brothers Johnson Making Sense may be the greatest
lift hoisted
Gilmour guitarist Alex Weir and vocalist Lynn concert movie. It begins with Byrne
into the air Mabry. Byrne also took cues from the walking onto a deserted stage with
1980-81 ÔTHE WALLÕ TOUR every night experimental visual-art world, pro- a boombox, setting it down, press-

PINK FLOYD
to play his jecting abstract slides onto a spare ing “play,” then reimagining “Psy-
“Comfortably backdrop, creating a stark aesthetic cho Killer” for acoustic guitar and
Numb” solo
on top of
to match the band’s driving, unclut- 808 drum-machine beats. His band-
the wall: tered funk. The suit was inspired in mates and backing musicians join
part by Japanese Noh theater. him incrementally, song by song.
¥ PINK FLOYD'S 1979 rock opera, The
33 What emerged was arty dance- “It’s cut down,” Byrne notes, com-
Wall, was their most ambitious Number of party transcendence. Byrne and paring the film to the two-hour
album to date, and when they took it dollars the drummer Chris Frantz recall the shows, “but there were no other sub-
on the road the next year they knew a band earned two-night run at New York’s Forest stantial changes.”
traditional stage show would simply from the Hills Tennis Stadium in August as The effect was so real, people ac-
entire tour,
not do it justice. Pushing the limits of a highlight. “Madonna had just re- tually got up and danced in movie
excluding
concert technology, they built an ac- keyboardist leased her first record; she was walk- theaters. “I’d never seen that before,”
tual wall during the first half of every Richard ing around barefoot,” Frantz says. “I Frantz says. “Or since.” WILL HERMES

show, then played the bulk of the sec- Wright, who


ond half behind it, obscured from was fired

FELA KUTI
the audience. “Not much spontane- during the
making of the
ity,” said drummer Nick Mason, “but
we’re not known for our duckwalking
album and
JUNE 23,
1984
was brought
and gyrating around onstage.” on as a
The logistics were so daunting hired hand:
that they staged it only 31 times
across 16 months, hitting just four
cities: Los Angeles; London; Dort-
$0.00
GLASTONBURY
mund, Germany; and Uniondale, ¥ IF ANYONE at the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival didn’t already know Fela
New York. The most dramatic mo- Kuti, they soon learned why he was one of the planet’s most electric
ment of the show happened near the artists. Before his biggest international crowd to date, Fela played
end, when the wall came tumbling big-band Afrobeat that owed as much to James Brown’s funk as to
down. “The first couple of bricks the high life of his native Nigeria. Fela managed just two songs in two
would terrify people in the front
rows,” said guitarist David Gilmour. hours – but the grooves were so intoxicating, no one minded. “The love
“The audience would think they the audience gave was fantastic,” recalls son Femi Kuti, who backed
were going to be killed.” A.G. him on sax that day. He left a legend in his wake. W.H.

58 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
1986 ÔRAISING
HELLÕ TOUR

RUN-DMC
¥ ÒTHERE WAS NO concept of charts
and no concept of airplay,” says LL
Cool J, describing the landscape for
Run-DMC’s 1986 tour, which fea-
tured LL, the Beastie Boys, Who-
dini and others as openers. That
underground status changed two
months into the tour, when Run-
DMC had a breakout MTV hit with
their Aerosmith collaboration “Walk
This Way,” from their Raising Hell
album. “Motherfuckers in the front
row started looking like the Ra-
mones and Cyndi Lauper,” says DMC
of the new white fans who came to
check out their shows. “We got a
bunch of Madonnas asking for au-
tographs.” DMC also noticed that
cross-cultural appeal working the
other way as a predominantly black
audience embraced the tour’s beer-
spraying opening act, the Beastie
Boys, then months away from re-
leasing their debut LP, Licensed to
Ill. “The Beasties were crazy,” recalls
rapper Ecstasy of Whodini. “They
created an illusion that they were
happy-go-lucky and careless, but
they were on top of their shit. They
Prince in were the white Run-DMC.” Compe-
Detroit, 1985 tition among the artists was fierce. “I
wanted to chain-saw the audience,”

1984-85 ÔPURPLE RAINÕ TOUR


says LL Cool J, who was 18 years old
at the time. Toward the end of the

PRINCE
tour, a riot at a show in Long Beach,
California, provided fuel for neg-
ative media coverage. But Raising
Hell’s positive legacy is undeniable.
As DMC says today, “When Obama
first got elected, all my white friends
said, ‘That’s because of what Run-
¥ ON EACH NIGHT of the Purple Rain tour, Prince and the Revolution DMC did.’ ” CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN
huddled backstage for a prayer. “It was a meaningful ritual,” says
FROM TOP: NEAL PRESTON; ROB VERHORST/REDFERNS/GETTY IMAGES

bassist Mark Brown. “The crowds were so loud, and it was so crazy,
that we needed each other because that was the only thing you had:
each other for support.” With Prince’s movie Purple Rain catapulting
the singer toward megastardom, the 98 shows he did in support of
the soundtrack album were like Broadway productions. Prince began
the show ascending from beneath the stage on a hydraulic lift, and
went through five costume changes. “He had all these visual cues,”
recalls keyboardist Lisa Coleman. “He’d throw a hankie into the air,
and when the hankie hit the ground, that’s when we would stop.” At
the Los Angeles Forum, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna joined
Prince for the encore, which included a nearly half-hour-long ver- Run and DMC
sion of “Purple Rain.” “He wanted to tower over everybody,” says key- (from left) in
Amsterdam, 1987
boardist Matt Fink. “He was the Muhammad Ali of rock.” DAVID BROWNE

M a y 4 , 2 017 R ol l i n g S t o n e | 59
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

1988-89 DAMAGED JUSTICE TOUR

METALLICA
¥ IN 1988, METALLICA released their piv-
otal album . . . And Justice for All and
went from thrash-metal renegades
to mainstream stars. But when their
manager suggested an arena tour
to support the LP, the band wasn’t
convinced. “I was like, ‘Seriously?’ ”
drummer Lars Ulrich recalls. “We
knew we could do L.A., New York,
San Francisco, but the American
heartland didn’t seem like a great
idea. No band as extreme as ours
had ever done a full arena tour. So
we used Indianapolis as a yardstick.
If we were cool there, we were cool
almost anywhere. When the tick-
ets went on sale in Indianapolis, we
ended up doing 13,000 or 14,000,
which in 1988 was an insane victory.”
On the Damaged Justice Tour,
Metallica learned just how many
authenticity-starved headbangers
were really out there. The band got
the first taste of its transformative
power in the summer of 1988 when
it was booked onto the Monsters of
Rock Tour, opening for Van Halen
and Scorpions. At the L.A. Colise-
um, fans responded to Metallica’s set
by flinging their folding chairs at the
stage to create a football-field-size
mosh pit. “It was bonkers,” says bass-
ist Jason Newsted, who had recently
joined the band, replacing the late
Cliff Burton. “For a kid coming off
a farm and jumping into my favor-
ite band, it was very dreamy. I didn’t
sleep. Every day was another dream
coming true.” He also got a lesson in
how to conduct himself on the road.
“I’d walk on the crew bus of a big band
and there’s a pile of blow on the table
in the front lounge,” Newsted recalls.
“I look over there at my heroes, all
red and swollen, and I’m like, ‘Guess
what I’m not gonna do? That!’ ” The
kickoff of the Damaged Justice Tour
coincided with the success of Metal-
lica’s anti-war-themed video for their
new single, “One,” which quickly be-
came an MTV hit. At the peak of
bloated hair metal, Metallica were
playing jagged seven-to-nine-min-
ute-long thrash odysseys. But the
crowds at their shows kept growing.
“The kids know that at the end of the
day there’s something very real and
Madonna
honest about what we do,” Ulrich told
in Tokyo,
Rolling Stone in 1989. “You can’t 1990
take that away from us.” KORY GROW

62 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
1990 BLOND AMBITION TOUR

MADONNA
Cobain at
the 1991
Reading
Festival

¥ AS MADONNAÕS career was taking off Ciccone, to design sets, and creat-
in the mid-Eighties, most of her tours ing the costumes with fashion de-
were relatively straightforward af- signer Jean Paul Gaultier. “I tried
fairs, based around her singing and to make the show accommodate my
dancing. But for the stadium blow- own short attention span,” she said.
outs that supported her 1989 classic, “We put the songs together so there

1991 EUROPEAN TOUR


Like a Prayer, she wanted to up her was an emotional arc in the show.
game. In the process, she reinvented I basically thought of vignettes for

SONIC YOUTH
the pop megatour itself. “I really put every song.”
a lot of myself into it,” she said. “It’s Starting out in Japan in April
much more theatrical than anything 1990 and hitting the U.S. the follow-
I’ve ever done.” That year, Madonna ing month, the tour grossed almost

AND NIRVANA
had caused a nationwide controversy $63 million. But it didn’t go off with-
with the video for “Like a Prayer,” out any complications: Madonna
which daringly mixed sexual and re- had to ditch the blond-ponytail hair
ligious imagery. Blond Ambition ex- extensions she wore early in the tour
tended that provocation and upped because they kept getting caught in
the spectacle. her headset microphone. And in To- ¥ IN THE SUMMER before they released
The show opened with Madonna ronto, the masturbation sequence Nevermind, Nirvana were still a
climbing down a staircase into a fac- almost got her and her dancers ar- largely unknown band. They booked
tory world inspired by German ex- rested in what became a bonding a series of European festival dates,
pressionist filmmaker Fritz Lang. moment for her entire crew. opening for their friends Sonic Youth
She sang in a giant cathedral for Madonna’s close relationship with – and witnessed for the first time
“Like a Prayer” and under a beauty- her collaborators would be a major their power to convert and ignite
shop hair dryer in “Material Girl.” theme in the blockbuster 1991 tour huge crowds. “It was passionate. It
And, most infamously, she simulated documentary Truth or Dare, espe- was reckless,” says Thurston Moore
masturbation while wearing a cone- cially in memorable scenes where of Sonic Youth, who also astounded
shaped bustier on a crimson bed she invited her backup dancers into audiences with their New York
during “Like a Virgin.” “The Blond her bed. Today, Blond Ambition’s noise-rock. “[Nirvana] were going
Ambition Tour was what really cat- over-the-top intimacy is a staple of on at 2:00 in the afternoon, playing
apulted her into the stratosphere,” live pop music, from Lady Gaga to a 20-minute set. But there was this
says Vincent Paterson, the tour’s co- Miley Cyrus. In 1990, it was a revolu- massive amount of pogo’ing going
director and choreographer. tion. “It was a kind of turning point,” on.” With drummer Dave Grohl on
Madonna took a hands-on ap- says Darryl Jones, who played bass tour with the band for the first time,
proach to the show, working with on the tour. “A lot of young girls were and the new Nevermind material,
her brother, painter Christopher watching.” STEVE KNOPPER Nirvana were received almost like
headliners. Kurt Cobain biographer
Charles Cross called it Cobain’s “hap-

1990 PUBLIC ENEMY


piest time as a musician.” Recalls
SIZZLING Grohl, “Everything was still very in-
SUMMER TOUR nocent.” A documentary of the tour,
1991: The Year Punk Broke, captured
¥ FOR THE TOUR to support their groundbreaking LP Fear of a Black Cobain spraying champagne all over
Planet, Public Enemy wanted a show to match their music’s com- a dressing room and Grohl and bass-
bative assault. “OK, if we’re gonna fill a stage, everything’s gotta be ist Krist Novoselic gleefully tearing
moving,” leader Chuck D recalls of the band’s approach. They’d built through a backstage cheese plate.
The high point for Moore was in
their live rep on short, explosive sets. Now they packed an hour with Brussels, where security tried to stop
Chuck as bullhorn MC and Flava Flav as his firecracker comic foil, Nirvana’s nightly ritual of smashing
leaping across the stage and diving into the crowd. In Houston, Ice their gear, and Novoselic had to be
Cube joined them to perform his guest verse on “Burn Hollywood pulled down as he tried to climb up
the closing stage curtains. “It was,”
Burn,” a song that became each night’s incendiary high point. “We says Moore, “the most perverse, de-
didn’t need to use pyro,” says Chuck. “When I see acts use pyro, I’m constructed, psychedelic freakout
like, ‘What lazy fucks.’ ” CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN concert I’ve ever seen.” JON DOLAN

M a y 4 , 2 017 RollingStone.com | R ol l i n g S t o n e | 63
1992-93

U
ZOO TV TOUR

2
¥ FOR ITS FIRST tour of the Nineties, the
biggest rock band in the world had
one simple goal: to completely rein-
vent itself as a live act. U2 had just
given their sound a full-scale make-
over with 1991’s Achtung Baby – a
groundbreaking fusion of rock, pop,
electronic dance grooves and kraut-
rock – and they needed a tour that re-
flected their sleek, challenging new
music. “We were drawn to anything
that was going to give us a chance to
get away from the Joshua Tree ear-
nestness,” said the Edge, “which had
become so stifling.”
The notion of U2 as the inheritors of
rock’s social mission had been central
to their Eighties stardom. But as the
band was well aware, it was increas-
ingly out of step with an era defined
by groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam,

64 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com
Bono in the
Netherlands,
1993
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

who cast a skeptical eye at sweep- too happy to talk to the band. U2
ing Joshua Tree-style rock heroism. met with Bill Clinton in Chicago in On the
For the Achtung Baby tour, U2 were September 1992 during the tour and 360° Tour,
ready to loosen up and throw a dance forged what became an enduring re- Australia,
party, albeit a subversive one, packed lationship. The sitting president was 2010
with multimedia images that were a unmoved. “I have nothing against
clear break from the stark purity of U2,” Bush told a crowd in Bowling
their Eighties stage sets. “The tour Green, Ohio, that month. “You may
was being conceived at the same time not know this, but they tried to call
as the album,” Bono recalled in 2005. me at the White House every night
“Zoo radio was a phenomenon before during their concert. But the next
reality TV, with so-called shock jocks time we face a foreign-policy crisis, I
such as Howard Stern. It was aggres- will work with John Major and Boris
sive, raw radio, the precursor to The Yeltsin, and Bill Clinton can consult
Jerry Springer Show. The world was with Boy George.”
getting tired of fiction. . . . We wanted For opening acts, U2 chose artists
to make a tour that referenced this who enhanced the idea of the band
zoo/reality phenomenon.” as a gathering point for pop music
Extensive cable news coverage was in an increasingly fragmented era – FIVE MORE U2 TOURS
FOR THE AGES
a fact of life by the early Nineties; from Public Enemy to the Ramones,
during the Gulf War, images of Scud Velvet Underground and Pearl Jam.
missiles raining down on Iraq be- Eddie Vedder was initially skepti-
came dinnertime entertainment. U2 cal about the scale of Zoo TV, but he U2 established themselves as one of rock’s greatest
essentially turned the Zoo TV set into came around. “[I eventually] under- live bands by crafting spectacles full of inventiveness
a postmodern art installation that stood that these weren’t decisions and emotion. And every one was totally distinct
reflected the numbing cacophony of they were making out of fashion or
the cable-TV era, playing in front of a simply being clever,” Vedder said. “It
mosaic of TV screens that mashed up was like an edict they’d created as a 'War' Tour 1982-83
war footage with old sitcoms, cook- new philosophy for the group, to re- U2 were still mainly a club act when they decided to shoot
ing shows and everything in between. ally explore the avenues of connect- a concert movie at Colorado’s Red Rocks. Despite playing in
a torrential downpour, the band put on a show that would
Bono, meanwhile, came up with ing to people on a large level.”
define its image as flag-waving rock redeemers. “After Red
a new, sly persona to match the new During a break in early 1993, U2 Rocks,” said Bono, “the band went into overdrive.”
stage set. He donned an Elvis-style recorded Zooropa, which took the
leather jacket, wraparound sun- experiments of Achtung Baby fur-
glasses and leather pants that evoked ther. When the tour resumed, Bono 'The Joshua Tree' Tour 1987
Jim Morrison. He took this rock star devised a new character: MacPhis- While most bands in the Eighties went for pomp and excess,
amalgamation and created a char- to, a devilish figure with white face U2 headed in the opposite direction. Right from the opening
acter called the Fly. “When I put on paint and horns. “The character was number – “Where the Streets Have No Name,” played before
a solid-red backdrop – they found power in simplicity. “We
those glasses, anything goes,” Bono a great device for saying the opposite didn’t have any tricks,” said Adam Clayton. “We had a fervent
told Rolling Stone. “The charac- of what you meant,” said the Edge. belief that the music was...big enough to fill a stadium.”
ter is just on the edge of lunacy. It’s “One highlight was calling the minis-
megalomania and paranoia.” ter of fisheries in Norway, young Jan
Zoo TV opened in Florida on Feb- Henri Olsen, to congratulate him on Elevation Tour 2001
ruary 29th, 1992. If the staging and whaling, which was forbidden by the After spending the 1990s in stadiums, the group decided
Bono’s wild get-up weren’t enough in- European Union but legal in Norway. it was time to scale things back for the tour in support of

PREVIOUS SPREAD: GERT VAN KESTERN/CAMERA PRESS/REDUX. THIS PAGE: MATT JELONEK/WIREIMAGE
dications this was a new U2, the band He actually took the call and invited 2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind. U2 made arenas feel
like nightclubs by putting fans in the center of a heart-shape
kicked things off with eight consecu- Bono to come and have a whale steak stage and mixing in hits with new classics like “Beautiful Day.”
tive songs from Achtung Baby. “Peo- with him.” “It felt like we were reconnecting with our audience,” said
ple went for it,” Bono said to Roll- Those phone calls became a major Larry Mullen. “And they with us.”
ing Stone later that year. “The first part of each performance – some
show, you just didn’t know. ‘How is nights Bono ordered pizzas for the
this going to go down?’ And they crowd; on another he rang Madonna U2 360° Tour 2009-11
went for it. I think our audiences on her cellphone (she didn’t pick up). U2 couldn’t keep their stadium itch at bay forever. For the
360° tour, they placed a 164-foot-tall stage set – the largest
are smart and that they expect us to As venues got bigger, U2 kept things
ever constructed – in midfloor to allow great views from every
push and pull them a bit. They had to intimate by adding a miniset to the seat. The stage was buttressed by giant four-legged supports;
swallow blues on Rattle and Hum, for show, playing on a tiny stage. the band likened it to a spaceship and displayed messages
God’s sake! They can take it.” The wall-to-wall video screens from the International Space Station during the show. “We’re
The tour’s first leg coincided with also set the scene for every pop spec- at the absolute limit when you consider the economics and
the 1992 presidential race, and every tacle that followed, from Lady Ga- the practicality of transportation,” said the Edge.
night from the stage Bono called the ga’s Monster Ball to Kanye West’s
White House and asked to speak Glow in the Dark Tour. “Zoo TV Innocence + Experience Tour 2015
with President Bush. “Operator Two wasn’t a set piece, it was a state of U2’s 2014 LP Songs of Innocence was an extremely personal
and I had a great relationship,” Bono mind,” said the Edge. For Bono, the collection of songs about Bono’s childhood. The band
said. “She tried not to show it, but I experience was life-changing: “I’ve wanted the supporting tour to capture that intimacy. Playing
on a stage that spanned the entire arena, U2 performed
could tell she was very amused, as we had to stop ‘not drinking.’ I’ve had
while walking through gigantic LED screens projecting
rang her night after night.” to smoke incessantly. I’ve learned to images from throughout their lives. “The breaking down
Bush never took the call, but a be insincere. I’ve learned to lie. I’ve of the fourth wall has been the theme of all of U2’s live
young Arkansas governor was all never felt better!” ANDY GREENE shows,” said Bono.

66 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
1997 AMERICAN TOUR
SLEATER-
KINNEY
¥ IN EARLY 1997, the most exciting new
band in rock was a trio of young
women driving their own van across
the country, with only their friend
Tim along as a roadie. “We’d get to
the club,” recalls Sleater-Kinney
singer-guitarist Corin Tucker, “and
the sound man would be like, ‘Wait.
You’re the band? You? You girls?’ ”
But playing songs from its album
Dig Me Out, the group bulldozed the
staid indie-rock scene with unbridled
punk-rock exuberance. “In Atlanta,
THE 10 women got onstage and took their
EVOLUTION OF shirts off and danced with us,” says
RADIOHEADÕS co-leader Carrie Brownstein. “I don’t
know if they’d ever felt that freedom
STADIUM-SIZE before, and I was really proud to pro-
ART ROCK vide the soundtrack for that.” JON DOLAN
May 27, 1994
This version of
“My Iron Lung”
ended up on Vedder
The Bends. in 1998
Yorke
in Los July 4, 2000
Angeles A sneak preview
of Kid A that left

JUNE 28, 1997 GLASTONBURY


Berlin stunned.

RADIOHEAD
June 17, 2006
At Bonnaroo,
playing early
versions of In
Rainbows songs.

1998 AMERICAN TOUR


¥ THE SCENE RADIOHEAD encoun-
tered at 1997’s Glastonbury Fes-
tival looked more like a war zone
than a concert. It had been pour-
Weeks after releasing their ca-
reer-defining album, OK Comput-
er, it looked like Radiohead might
flop during a headlining set at the
PEARL JAM
¥ BY THE MID-NINETIES, Pearl Jam
ing rain for days, forcing the 90,000 world’s biggest music festival. In- were in serious danger of implod-
fans at the remote field in Somer- stead, the chaos inspired one of ing, thanks to intraband tensions
set, England, to live like refugees the band’s greatest performances. and a self-defeating war against
in a monsoon. Two stages sank into Rage poured through Yorke all night Ticketmaster that had left them al-
the mud, and some fans actually long, giving extra fire to eight songs most unable to tour. But they started
came down with the World War from OK Computer, plus nearly all over with 1998’s aptly named Yield,
I-era malady trench foot. Early in of The Bends – and even a crowd- their most collaborative album yet,
FROM LEFT: MARTY TEMME; KENEI SATO/NEWSCOM

Radiohead’s set, Thom Yorke’s mon- pleasing version of their first hit, and when they hit the road with a
itor melted down. The lighting rig “Creep.” It was a transcendent per- new drummer, Soundgarden’s Matt
was shining directly into his face, formance, even if Yorke didn’t real- Cameron, the shows fulfilled their
meaning he couldn’t see in addi- ize it at the time. “I thundered off- promise as one of rock’s all-time
tion to being unable to hear himself stage at the end, really ready to kill,” great live acts. New tracks (“Given
play. “If I’d found the guy who was he said. “And my girlfriend grabbed to Fly,” “Do the Evolution”) were in-
running the PA system that day,” me, made me stop, and said, ‘Lis- stant crowd favorites, and classics
Yorke told a journalist, “I would have ten!’ And the crowd were just going like “Alive” sounded bigger than ever.
gone backstage and throttled him. wild. It was amazing.” In 2006, Q “We’re making up for lost time here,”
Everything was going wrong. Every- magazine voted it the greatest con- Eddie Vedder told the crowd one
thing blew up.” cert in British history. ANDY GREENE night. “Thanks for waiting.” A.G.

68 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
Launching a
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a not-so-smooth name.
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100% PURO AGAVE TEQUILA
DECEMBER 31, 1999 2006-07 DAFT PUNK ALIVE
TOUR

PHISH
¥ IN THE EARLY AUGHTS, electronic-dance live “performances” were rare-
ly more than one or two dudes nodding their heads around laptops.
All that changed at Coachella on April 29th, 2006, when Daft Punk
unveiled their genre’s most dazzling musical spectacle. In the over-
BIG CYPRESS heated, overcrowded darkness of the festival’s Sahara Tent, two hel-
meted, robotlike figures – Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de
¥ FOR PHISHÕS Trey Anastasio, this co- Homem-Christo – stood inside a 24-foot aluminum pyramid cov-
lossal one-band festival, at a South ered in high-intensity LED panels and performed their catalog as a
Florida Native American reservation,
megamix to nearly 40,000 fans. “It was the most synced-up we ever
was “the culmination” of the band’s
first run. “Eighty thousand people felt,” Bangalter said. What might have been a legendary one-off be-
came from all over,” he said, “and came a 2007 tour that blew minds across Europe, the U.S., Japan
virtually nothing went wrong.” The and Australia, inspiring the likes of Skrillex and untold others. W.H.
fest’s final set began around mid-
night, and went on for more than
seven hours, displaying every side PHISH'S
WILDEST
of peak Phish, a singular mix of in-
joke quirks and ESP-level improv. SHOWS 2008-13 WORLDWIDE TOUR

LEONARD COHEN
Toward the end came an unforget-
Tweezerfest
table take on the “Sunrise” section of DALLAS, 1994
“Also Sprach Zarathustra,” played as With the
the sun actually rose. “I will never lis- Who’s
ten to that tape because I know what “Sparks” and
a letdown it would be compared to Prince’s
“Purple Rain”
what it was actually like,” Anastasio popping up
¥ IT STARTED AS a finan-
said. “When that sun came up, and along the cial rescue mission.
the sky was blazing pink, it was an way. After Leonard Cohen
indescribable moment.” WILL HERMES learned, at age 70, that
Glens his manager/sometime-
Falls, NY lover had absconded
1994
with most of his life sav-

FEBRUARY 20, 2004


Phish play
the Beatles’ ings, he realized that his
entire White only chance of replen-

BRIAN WILSON
Album. ishing his funds was to
go on tour. Cohen wasn’t
Las Vegas sure how many fans
2014
A spooky he had left, so he first
instrumental agreed only to a test run
second of theater dates in far-
THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL set with
haunted-
flung Canadian towns. Cohen in
Though he’d never Holland,
house sound
¥ FOR DECADES, Brian Wilson avoid- effects.
much enjoyed touring, 2008
ed even talking about Smile, the Cohen was a unique-
psychedelic follow-up to the Beach ly charismatic live performer. Even new songs and stretching the run-
Boys’ Pet Sounds he shelved under those first shows stretched past the ning time to three and a half hours,
the stresses of drug abuse and psy- two-hour mark, mixing elegant re- even skipping offstage before the en-
chiatric problems. At a 2002 Pet arrangements of 1960s classics like cores. “Leonard was really good at
Sounds show in London, though, “Suzanne” and “Bird on the Wire” conserving his strength and block-
someone said to the promoter, “How with more recent tunes like “Waiting ing out distractions and prioritiz-
can we possibly top this?” The idea for the Miracle” and “Boogie Street.” ing his energy,” says Robinson. “He
of a Smile tour came up. “We all kind His voice had deepened considerably, lived an almost monastic lifestyle
of chuckled,” says Wilson keyboard- but that only gave it more authority even though he wasn’t a real monk.”
ist Darian Sahanaja. But 20 months and character. “It’s like he was whis- By the time he played his final
later, after poring over the old Smile pering into your ear,” says longtime show, in Auckland, New Zealand,
tapes, Wilson walked onstage and backup singer Sharon Robinson. Cohen had gone from cult favor-
ROB VERHORST/REDFERNS/GETTY IMAGES

finally delivered on his decades- The shows were spectacular, and ite to cross-generational icon. After
old promise of a “teenage sympho- word-of-mouth spread quickly. By he closed that performance with a
ny to God,” bringing rock’s most 2009, Cohen was selling out arenas sprightly “Save the Last Dance for
famous unheard album back to life. all over Europe, and eventually he hit Me,” he doffed his hat, took a deep
From the first celestial harmonies 20,000-seaters in America, includ- bow and walked off the stage, smil-
of “Our Prayer” much of the audi- ing Madison Square Garden. The ing. “I want to thank you,” he said
ence was in tears. Backstage after- tour eventually ran for 387 shows to the audience. “Not just for to-
ward, Wilson was exultant, shout- across five years. Even as he neared night, but for all the years you’ve paid
ing, “I did it!” ANDY GREENE his 80th birthday, he kept adding attention to my songs.” A.G.

70 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
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C E R E M O N Y
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

APRIL 2, 2011 MADISON


SQUARE
GARDEN

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
¥ ÒITÕS YOUR SHOW,Ó LCD Soundsystem
frontman James Murphy shouted to
a sold-out Madison Square Garden.
The raging farewell by Murphy’s be-
loved group was a Last Waltz for New
York’s early-’00s dance-rock scene.
“I thought it would be really sad,”
recalls keyboardist-vocalist Nancy
GREAT Whang. “But it was just fun. The en-
HALL OF ergy in the room was really charged.”
FAME Fans danced to near-exhaustion as
MOMENTS LCD played songs from their entire
Bono and catalog. With barely two months to
1995
Jagger in Neil Young
prepare the nearly four-hour spec-
New York, and Led tacle, featuring a choir, a horn sec-
2009 Zeppelin rip tion and a rickety spaceship, the band
through tackled a production scale beyond its

OCTOBER 29-30, 2009 25TH-ANNIVERSARY CONCERT


“When the experience. “It was held together with
Levee gum and string,” Whang admits.
Breaks.”
The night (captured in the 2012 film

ROCK AND ROLL


2002 Shut Up and Play the Hits) ended in
Talking Heads a snowstorm of balloons, culminat-
put aside ing the band’s dream of throwing “the

HALL OF FAME
years of best funeral ever.” WILL HERMES
bitterness for
one final set.

2004

2011-12 THRONEÕ
¥ THE IDEA WAS to celebrate the 25th ing themselves into a soul revue as Prince honors
anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall they backed Billy Joel, John Foger- George ÔWATCH THE
of Fame with no less than the most
important multi-artist concert in
ty, Tom Morello and Darlene Love.
U2 brought Springsteen back the
Harrison with
a smoking TOUR

JAY Z&
“While My
history. “I knew the anniversary had next night, but the biggest moment Guitar Gently
potency,” said Hall of Fame Founda- came near the end of their set, when Weeps” solo.

KANYE WEST
tion chairman (and Rolling Stone they kicked into “Gimme Shelter,”
founder) Jann Wenner. “I thought and – out of nowhere – an unbilled
that we had earned the right and re- Mick Jagger appeared onstage to the
sponsibility to do this thing. It was an stunned delight of the crowd.
opportunity not to be missed.” The first night began with a nod ¥ ÒIÕM SORRY IF this is your first con-
The organizers were determined to rock’s origins: Jerry Lee Lewis cert,” Kanye West said to a Los An-
to put on a show that was far more pounding out “Whole Lotta Shakin’ geles crowd on the Watch the Throne
ambitious than any of the previous Goin’ On.” Next were Crosby, Stills tour. “It’s all downhill from here.”
megashows, while capturing the in- and Nash (joined by Bonnie Raitt, Supporting their
timate, collaborative spirit of the Jackson Browne and James Taylor), triumphal 2011
annual induction ceremonies and Stevie Wonder (with guests Smokey LP, Watch the
telling the story of rock & roll. “[I Robinson, John Legend, B.B. King, Throne, Jay Z
kept saying], ‘If this is just minicon- Sting and Jeff Beck) and a note- and Kanye con-
FROM TOP: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE; JULIO CORTEZ/AP IMAGES

certs of greatest hits, I’m bored,’” re- perfect Simon and Garfunkel. On vened the great-
called co-producer Robbie Robert- the closing night, Aretha Franklin e s t s up e r s t a r
son. “ ‘What do we have to offer that sang with Annie Lennox and Lenny summit in hip-
you can’t get anywhere else?’ ” Kravitz; Jeff Beck jammed with hop history. The
The shows, held over two nights Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons and Sting; pair performed
at New York’s Madison Square Gar- and Metallica backed Ray Davies, Kanye on giant, rising
den, were a rock fan’s dream, with Ozzy Osbourne and Lou Reed. and Jay Z cubes that pro-
all the artists delivering blister- “For a lot of us here, rock & roll jected video, and,
ing, unforgettable sets, no doubt in- means just one word: liberation. Po- when the tour hit Paris, encored
spired by the presence of so many of litical, sexual, spiritual liberation,” with their hit “Niggas in Paris” 12
their peers and the event’s grandeur. Bono said onstage, before Spring- times in a row. “People just want-
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street steen interrupted him with the ed more,” says the tour’s lighting de-
Band, who closed the first night, per- other side of the equation: “Let’s signer Nick Whitehouse. “It made
formed at their absolute peak, turn- have some fun with it!” ANDY GREENE people crazy.” CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN

72 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
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50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

2014-15 FLEETWOOD MAC ÔONWITH THE


2016 FORMATION TOUR

BEYONCE
SHOWÕ TOUR
¥ THE RETURN OF CHRISTINE McVIE after 16 years brought the Mac’s live
show to a whole new dimension. Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar solo on
“Go Your Own Way” soared to new heights; Stevie Nicks seemed pos-
sessed during the nightly exorcism of “Rhiannon”; and all three voices
locked seamlessly on “Little Lies.” It was all the magic of 1977 with-
out the distractions of hard drugs and sexual soap operas. ANDY GREENE
¥ STRUTTING IN stacked heels across

TAYLOR SWIFT
the turf of Levi’s Stadium in Santa

2015
Clara, California, wrapped in gold-
en bandoleers and flanked by a Black
Panther-styled phalanx of dancers,
Beyoncé performed “Formation”
at the 2016 Super Bowl in a cameo
Ô1989Õ TOUR appearance even fiercer than her
2013 Super Bowl triumph. It was
¥ ÒYOUÕRE NOT going to see me play- tional overshares, whether open- the overture to a tour that redefined
ing the banjo,” Taylor Swift warned ing up in confessional interludes or TAYLORÕS stadium-scale concert staging. “She
Rolling Stone at the outset of her torching up ballads (“Clean”). Swift TOP had an overall vision of what she
1989 world tour. On her Speak Now aimed for a glammier look onstage, DUETS wanted,” says Steve Pamon, chief
and Red tours, she claimed her turf reflecting the grown-up flair of the operating officer of Beyoncé’s label,
Swift brought
at the crossroads of country, pop music, and she invited high-pro- up dozens of Parkwood Entertainment. “Not only
and classic arena rock. But for 1989, file guests: In Nashville, she duet- guests on in terms of a business, but in the
Swift made her bold move into full- ted with Mick Jagger; in L.A., she the ‘1989’ type of experience we want to give
on dance pop. She turned up the glitz brought out Beck, St. Vincent, Jus- tour. Here the fans.”
with new material like “New Roman- tin Timberlake, Chris Rock and Al- are the best Four days before the tour began,
moments:
tics” and “Blank Space” (“blatant pop anis Morissette. It all summed up Beyoncé surprise-dropped her in-
music,” as she put it), but she didn’t her staggeringly ambitious vision of The stant classic Lemonade. British set
compromise on her trademark emo- modern pop. ROB SHEFFIELD Weeknd designer Es Devlin, who had previ-
EAST ously worked with Kanye West and
RUTHERFORD, NJ
Swift in “Can’t Feel
U2, created a kind of spectacular
Nashville, My Face” intimacy that fit the album’s per-
2015 sonal themes. At midstage was the
Lorde “Monolith,” a video-screen center-
WASHINGTON, DC piece standing seven stories high
“Royals” that projected the show in 70-foot

THIS PAGE: JOHN SHEARER/GETTY IMAGES. OPPOSITE PAGE: DANIELA VESCO/INVISION FOR PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT/AP IMAGES
magnification, making every seat
Beck and
St. Vincent feel front-row. On opening night
LOS ANGELES in Miami, Bey burned through
“Dreams” “Crazy in Love” and “Bootylicious”
in a fire-engine-red latex bodysuit
Justin and matching boots, looking like an
Timberlake
LOS ANGELES
anime empress. The shows also di-
“Mirrors” aled it down for slow jams like the
breakup meditation “Mine,” during
which the Monolith split in two to
reveal dancers suspended on cables
while Bey and a squadron in lace
bodysuits rose up from beneath the
stage. At the end of the show, a mov-
ing catwalk connected the main
stage to a huge wading pool, where
Beyoncé and her dancers splashed
around in a baptismal moment that
reflected Lemonade’s journey from
betrayal to rebirth.
The Formation World Tour began
around the time of Prince’s death.
In Minneapolis, she performed his
classic “The Beautiful Ones” before
a rapt crowd, honoring a hero and
placing herself in his epic lineage. “I
would put that tour up against any
performance,” Pamon says. “By any
artist at any age.” BRITTANY SPANOS

M a y 4 , 2 017
Beyoncé
in New
Orleans,
2016
10
50 CONCERTS
GREATEST

GREATEST
FESTIVALS
OF THE LAST 50 YEARS
A brief history of passionate fans gathering together in the name of music, love and not
showering Ð from a generation-defining party in upstate New York to a chill polo field outside
Palm Springs, California, to an eclectic jam on a campground in rural Tennessee

MONTEREY Sly Stone at


POP 1967 Woodstock
“Monterey Pop was the
prototype,” concert
promoter Bill Graham
told ROLLING STONE. It
christened the Summer
of Love, with around
200,000 flower
children happily de-
scending on the quiet
Northern California
beach community. The
Who and the Jimi Hen-
drix Experience sealed
their legends with
equipment-destroying
U.S. performances, and
soul icon Otis Red-
ding, playing months
before his tragic death,
crossed over to the
rock audience with an
impassioned set.
“I thought the stage
was going to fall in
when he stomped his
foot,” recalled Grace
Slick.

Redding
WOODSTOCK 1969 CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH 1971
FROM TOP: “NEW YORK POST”/© GLOBE PHOTOS/

“What kind of culture is it that can produce so colos- After a genocidal war in South Asia led to hundreds
sal a mess?” thundered the New York Times editorial of thousands of deaths and created a massive refugee
page after approximately 500,000 rock fans turned a crisis, Indian sitar great Ravi Shankar approached
ZUMA PRESS; CEA/CACHE AGENCY

600-acre chunk of Max Yasgur’s upstate New York farm George Harrison about a benefit. Two concerts at
into the greatest camping trip in rock history – featur- New York’s Madison Square Garden in August 1971
ing sets by a lineup that included the Who, Sly Stone, essentially invented the megastar-humanitarian charity
CSNY, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Santana and blowout. Harrison led a supergroup featuring his old
dozens of others. As Jimi Hendrix closed the weekend bandmate Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, Billy Preston and
on the morning of its fourth day with a lysergic “Star- Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan’s set with Harrison was the
Spangled Banner,” history had been made, brown acid first time he had ever played live with a Beatle. “What
notwithstanding. “I think ‘the Big Bang’ is a great way we did show was that musicians and people are more
to describe Woodstock,” David Crosby once said. humane than politicians,” Harrison later recalled.

76 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com M a y 4 , 2 017
WATTSTAX 1972 LOLLAPALOOZA 1994
Memphis soul label Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell
Stax Records came organized Lollapalooza in 1991 to create
up with the idea of a “a social gathering where people can
“black Woodstock” feel like they were at the right place at
in Los Angeles the right time.” And that time was never
seven years after the more right than 1994, the height of the
cataclysmic Watts alternative era. Lolla ’94 was a perfect
riots of 1965. More snapshot of alt-rock’s unlikely boom.
than 100,000 people The Beastie Boys provided an article
paid the $1 ticket in the concert program outlining the
charge and packed do’s-and-don’ts of moshing (“Save the
the Los Angeles macho bullshit for American Gladia-
Coliseum to see the tors tryouts, tough guy”); the Breeders
Bar-Kays, Albert King, played their surprise MTV hit “Can-
Rufus Thomas, the nonball”; funk legend George Clinton
Staple Singers, and performed for an audience who’d spent
headliner Isaac Hayes, the past two years listening to his
who did a spellbinding samples in songs by Dr. Dre and Snoop
“Theme From Shaft,” Dogg; and A Tribe Called Quest got the
bare chested under a Smashing Pumpkins fans bouncing. The
vest of gold chains. A year’s breakout act was Green Day, who
30-year-old dashiki- joined midway through the tour. “People
clad Jesse Jackson led would rush the stage, causing security
the crowd to raise fists to come out,” said bassist Mike Dirnt.
and join in the chant Freddie “Of course, we’d get in trouble for it.”
“I! Am! Somebody!” at Mercury at
a historic event that Live Aid Billy
generated thousands
Corgan
to benefit community
groups, and produced
an excellent 1973
LIVE AID 1985
concert movie. “There More than 1.5 billion people worldwide watched the trans-Atlantic
was hope in that film “Eighties Woodstock,” thanks to a star-packed lineup including Bob
and everything that Dylan, Madonna, Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys, Queen, U2 and Led
we aspired to be,” said Zeppelin, who reunited, with Phil Collins on drums. Live Aid eventually
Hayes. raised around $250 million for Ethiopian famine relief. “Everybody had
such a fantastic time,” said David Bowie. “I’d do it next year in a shot.”

GLASTONBURY 1994
The mud-caked U.K. blowout was broadcast nationally for the first
time, making it a coming-out party for Brit pop, with appearances by
Oasis, Blur, Björk, Pulp and Radiohead, and an epochal moment for
Björk dance music, thanks to techno duo Orbital’s hugely influential set.

COACHELLA ULTRA BONNAROO 2009


2004 MUSIC Bonnaroo debuted in 2002, offering a

FESTIVAL
jam-friendly lineup and an immersive
In its fifth year, Coach- camping experience that mirrored
ella drew 110,000 fans 2008 European fests like Glastonbury. “It
to the Empire Polo was like, ‘Why not try this in the United
Field in Indio, California Dutch DJ-producer States?’” said co-founder Ashley Capps.
(despite 100-plus heat Tiësto has called the By 2009, the Manchester, Tennessee,
on Day One). It was the beachside Miami event get-together was America’s biggest fest,
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ALAMY; STEVE EICHNER/WIREIMAGE;

first time the fest had “one of the most impor- and its most eclectic. The Beastie Boys
sold out, and it was a tant festivals in the world.” played their final set, before the death
RUKES.COM; MICK HUTSON/REDFERNS/GETTY IMAGES

watershed, highlighted Its 10th-anniversary in- of Adam “MCA” Yauch, and African
by Beck, Radiohead, stallment was ground zero bands, including King Sunny Adé, heated
the Black Keys, the for the EDM explosion in up “the Other Tent.” On the final night,
Cure, Kraftwerk and the aughts. Future cross- fest patron saints Phish covered Bruce
Muse. The main event over stars Calvin Harris Deadmau5 Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” and “Glory
featured a reunion of and David Guetta did Days,” with Springsteen himself joining
indie-rock titans the breakout sets, and then- in on vocals and guitar. “We were in the
Pixies. “This is the little-known Canadian practice room,” said Phish bassist Mike
first festival I know artist Deadmau5 injected Gordon, “[and] he instantly brought this
of with this kind of a new visual spectacle sense of melody and bold statements
dynamic lineup,” said into dance music, turning out of his singing and guitar playing. It
Danger Mouse, who a small spot on the was undeniably great.”
performed that year. main stage into a career-
“It’s amazing.” making moment. KORY GROW, CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN

M a y 4 , 2 017 R ol l i n g S t o n e | 77
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BACKSTAGE PASS HARRY STYLES

[Cont. from 27] sometimes you just want


wants to hear about it? I don’t want to
hear my favorite artists talk about all the
amazing shit they get to do. I want to hear,
to give them the whole cap . . . and hope they ‘How did you feel when you were alone in
S P EC I A L O F F E R S A N D P R O M OT I O N S know it’s just for them.” that hotel room, because you chose to be
alone?’ ”
n l a t e f e brua r y 2016, s t y l e s To wind down in Jamaica, Styles and

I landed a plum part in Christopher


Nolan’s upcoming World War II epic,
Dunkirk. In Nolan, Styles found a director
Rowland, the guitarist, began a daily Net-
flix obsession with sugary romantic come-
dies. Houseworkers would sometimes leave
equally interested in mystery. “The movie at night and return the next morning to see
is so ambitious,” he says. “Some of the stuff Styles blearily removing himself from a
they’re doing in this movie is insane. And long string of rom-coms. He declares him-
it was hard, man, physically really tough, self an expert on Nicholas Sparks, whom
but I love acting. I love playing someone he now calls “Nicky Spee.” After almost
else. I’d sleep really well at night, then get two months, the band left the island with
up and continue drowning.” a bounty of songs and stories. Like the time
When Styles returned to L.A., an idea Styles ended up drunk and wet from the
landed. The idea was: Get out of Dodge. ocean, toasting everybody, wearing a dress
Styles called his manager, Jeffrey Azoff, he’d traded with someone’s girlfriend. “I
and explained he wanted to finish the don’t remember the toast,” he says, “but I
album outside London or L.A., a place remember the feeling.”
where the band could focus and coalesce.
Four days after returning from the movie, hristm as 2016. harry st yles
they were on their way to Port Antonio on
Jamaica’s remote north coast. At Geejam,
Styles and his entire band were able to live
C was parked outside his childhood
home, sitting next to his father. They
were listening to his album. After lunch
together, turning the studio compound at a pub, they had driven down their old
into something like a Caribbean version street and landed in front of the family
of Big Pink. They occupied a two-story home. Staring out at the house where
villa filled with instruments, hung out at Styles grew up listening to his father’s
the tree-house-like Bush Bar, and had ac- copy of The Dark Side of the Moon, there
cess to the gorgeous studio on-site. Many was much to consider. It was a long way
mornings began with a swim in the desert- he’d traveled in those fast few years since
ed cove just down the hill. “Isn’t She Lovely.” He’d previously played
Life in Jamaica was 10 percent beach the new album for his mother, on a stool, in
party and 90 percent musical expedition. the living room, on cheap speakers. She’d
It was the perfect rite of passage for a cried hearing “Sign of the Times.” Now
musician looking to explode the past and he sat with his father – who liked the new
launch a future. The anxiety of what’s next song “Carolina” best – both having come
slipped away. Layers of feeling emerged full circle.
that had never made it past One Direc- Styles is moved as he describes how he
tion’s group songwriting sessions, often felt. We’re sitting in Corden’s empty office,
with pop craftsmen who polished the songs talking over a few last subjects before he
after Styles had left. He didn’t feel stifled returns to England. “I think, as a parent,
in One D, he says, as much as interrupted. especially with the band stuff, it was such a
“We were touring all the time,” he recalls. roller coaster,” he says. “I feel like they were
Let the magic “I wrote more as we went, especially on
the last two albums.” There are songs from
always thinking, ‘OK, this ride could stop
at any point and we’re going to have to be
find you. that period he loves, he says, like “Olivia”
and “Stockholm Syndrome,” along with the
there when it does.’ There was something
about playing the album and how happy I
earlier song “Happily.” “But I think it was was that told them, ‘If all I get is to make
tough to really delve in and find out who this music, I’m content. If I’m never on that
Escape to stunning vistas, you are as a writer when you’re just kind of big ride again, I’m happy and proud of it.’
unexpected rhythms and dipping your toe each time. We didn’t get “I always said, at the very beginning, all
the six months to see what kind of shit you I wanted was to be the granddad with the
surprising flavors.
can work with. To have time to live with a best stories . . . and the best shelf of artifacts
song, see what you love as a fan, chip at it, and bits and trinkets.”
Book a trip today to see hone it and go for that . . . it’s heaven.” Tomorrow night he’ll hop a flight back to
what Asheville, North Carolina The more v ulnerable the song, he England. Rehearsals await. Album-cover
is all about. learned, the better. “The one subject that choices need to be made. He grabs his
hits the hardest is love,” he says, “whether black notebook and turns back for a mo-
it’s platonic, romantic, loving it, gaining ment before disappearing down the hall-
it, losing it . . . it always hits you hardest. I way, into the future.
don’t think people want to hear me talk “How am I going to be mysterious,” he
about going to bars, and how great every- asks, only half-joking, “when I’ve been this
HEAD TO thing is. The champagne popping . . . who honest with you?”
ExploreAshevilleMusic. com
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Introducing the Heated L’Amourose Denia

Hungry for more?

liberator.com
THE
LAST
WORD

Sheryl Crow
The singer-songwriter on apocalyptic fears, choosing
happiness, and what Gandhi and Keef have in common
You’ve had health crises over the years, including breast cancer You don’t often hear Gandhi and Keith in the same breath.
and a benign brain tumor. How have those affected the way you For a curious human being who is always looking to navigate
see day-to-day life? life with passion, you know, Gandhi’s it. For someone who’s also
I don’t think about it anymore. I don’t think about whether my curious and who is so playful about music and loves the people
cancer’s coming back or if my brain tumor’s growing or anything that he has loved, that’s Keith. I mean, I’m pretty sure that Keith
like that. I’m busy with my kids – my objective is to be here as long had a nice, long cry the other day when Chuck Berry died. And
as I can for them and to enjoy every second of it. But I would say that’s what I love about my work – it’s work – but it’s a life force,
that my life was really changed when I got diagnosed. It gave me and that’s what I look at with him.
the freedom to just say, “Hey, let’s get on with life. If you wanna You recorded and never released a debut before Tuesday Night
have kids, either adopt or go have one, get some sperm, whatever.” Music Club. How do you see that album now?
I also learned how to let myself off the hook, and it really It just wound up being a really soft-rock-sounding record.
made my life a lot better. I like to blame my lack And I am never soft rock. And I just felt like, if I turn this
of memories on having a brain tumor, but un- in and this is my introduction, I did not stand a chance.
fortunately I can’t, ’cause it doesn’t have any You always have one introduction. You get one first im-
side effects [laughs]. pression.
How has having kids changed you? Did learning cover songs in bar bands as you were
Everything revolves around what’s coming up inform your songwriting?
good for them. I quit touring [tempo- I tell every kid, get in a cover band. It teach-
rarily] a couple of years ago. My nine- es you chops, it literally teaches you why some
year-old cried. He was like, “We’re not songs are classics, and it teaches you how to
going on the tour bus?” But the main navigate a working band. With songwriting,
thing really is that my work, my so- there’s something to that idea of stealing
called inspiration, has been relegated from the best. You’re only as good as your
to school hours. I made a record I love references. And I pride myself on my refer-
between school drop-off and dinner- ences. I have tried to emulate the greatest
time. Not many rock stars can say that. rock stars and songwriters in the world. I
In “Heartbeat Away,” on your new try not to steal verbatim, but if they’ve in-
album, a president launches nukes. Do fluenced my work at all, I take a sense of
you have apocalyptic fears? pride in that.
My sleep has been disturbed. My The classic-rockers embraced you
insides are ridden with unease. I right away. Was there any down-
wrote that song before Trump got the side to that?
nomination – it already felt apocalyptic There’s absolutely no down-
that people were entertaining the idea side to that. My idea for music
of making a man like that the most was that I didn’t want to be
powerful person in the world. I had to great. I wanted to be impor-
go into deep meditation and find a way tant. I wanted to write important
to have compassion for the people of music, and so, when you start hav-
this country that are hurting and believe he ing a music career and you’re certain-
cares about them. I’m worried, but my meditation ly not one of the cool kids, but you’re em-
teacher said something fascinating. Her phrase braced by the older class – I was just like,
was, “This is the way forward.” “Wow, I can’t believe these people know me.”
You have a pretty serious meditation practice – As hokey as it might sound, I still feel really
what does that do for you? humbled by that.
I meditate 20 to 25 minutes in the morning, Finally, if it makes you happy, can it be that bad?
then 20 minutes in between tucking the boys As great a hook as that might be, that is a co-
in and going to bed. It’s compassion-based – nundrum. My struggle in life is accepting the
the idea is to live life from an extremely idea of choosing to be happy. Happiness is not
compassionate place and be mindful. something where you wake up that way. You de-
Who are your heroes? cide you’re gonna be happy. And it took me a
Gandhi, and then after that I long time to figure that out. I definitely con-
would say Keith Richards. George sciously do it with my children, because they
Harrison, for a number of reasons. define themselves by your mood and how it re-
Stevie Nicks. Bob Dylan. lates to them. As a parent and as a person, life
can be so happy, but you have to decide
Crow’s new album, “Be Myself,” that that’s the life you’re gonna lead.
is out April 21st. INTERVIEW BY BRIAN HIATT

82 | R ol l i n g S t o n e | RollingStone.com Illustration by Mark Summers


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