The Rolling Stones live at Slane Castle 1982
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July 24, 1982: Slane Castle, Slane, Ireland
Under My Thumb/When The Whip Comes Down/Let’s Spend The Night Together/Shattered/Neighbours/Black Limousine/Just My Imagination/ Twenty Flight Rock/Going To A Go Go/Let Me Go/Time Is On My Side/Beast Of Burden/You Can’t Always Get What You Want/Band introduction/Little T & A/Angie/Tumbling Dice/She’s So Cold/Hang Fire/Miss You/Honky Tonk Women/Brown Sugar/Start Me Up/Jumping Jack Flash/Satisfaction
From The Irish Examiner:
The news in April 1982 that the Rolling Stones would perform their first gig in Ireland for 17 years was huge. There was a rush on tickets — 70,000 sold at a price of £12 each.
Irish music fans hadn’t seen the likes of it before. The concert dwarfed the scale of Slane Castle’s first outdoor gig a year earlier — when Thin Lizzy, supported by U2 and other bands, sold 20,000 tickets. According to a contemporary RTÉ report, the Stones gig at the same venue was going to be “the biggest event of its kind ever held in this country”.
The gig was set for July 24, 1982, a Saturday. On the Thursday evening before the concert, Mick Jagger had dinner with his Slane Castle host, Lord Henry Mountcharles. The band’s production crew slept in the drawing room of the castle the following night. Thousands of fans also flocked to the County Meath village on the eve of the gig, finding patches of ground outside the castle grounds for their tents.
The concert almost never happened: at the eleventh hour, the Rolling Stones threatened to pull the plug on their show because of the IRA’s bombing campaign in London. Four days before the gig, bombs in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park at military ceremonies killed 11 military personnel and several horses. Keith Richards wrote to Bill Graham, the organiser of the European Tour, threatening to cancel the Slane Castle gig. It went ahead, however, with assurances that all profits went to victims of the bombings.
At the time, the Stones were at a crossroads. They were at the peak of their popularity but also they were falling apart. There was infighting in the band. Co-founder and tour manager, Ian Stewart, was touring with the band for the last time. Bassist Bill Wyman had just released his third studio album, hinting at an exit that later materialised. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were growing apart. Richards’ drug problems were an issue. Jagger — like Wyman — was getting bored with the band and dreaming of a solo career.
“Jagger seemed in pursuit of a youthful 80s relevance that should have been beneath him,” says Anthony DeCurtis, author of Rolling Stones: Unzipped and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine.
“His athletic stage wear looked ridiculous, and the band’s stage effects seemed pointless. As Keith Richards told me in an interview, ‘We don’t need the lemon-yellow tights and we don’t need the cherry picker.’ That says it all.”
From The Irish Times:
Speaking to the Irish Times in 2007 about the Rolling Stones’s 1982 concert, Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mount Charles said Ireland had never seen anything like it before.
“The weather was beautiful, the show was magic. Mick Jagger came down the Thursday before the show and had dinner in the castle and the production crew slept in the drawing room of the castle the night before the show. It had an almost gypsy-like quality about it.”
Some 70,000 music fans paid £12 each for a ticket in 1982. Thousands arrived the night before to camp out wherever they could find a pitch around the village. Fans complained of being charged £5 for a six-pack of beer and £1 for a can of Coke, with one newspaper report at the time remarking that “every kind of huckster, three-card-trick man and itinerant salesman had a stall in Slane”.
The day of the concert, July 24th, saw brilliant sunshine, with those who weren’t sprayed by two massive water hoses taking advantage of the lack of security to swim in the River Boyne.
After the warm-up acts, which included the Chieftains, the Rolling Stones bounded on, with Mick Jagger proclaiming: “It’s great to be back in Dublin. After 16 years, it’s very nice of you to come, so let’s spend the night together.” Jagger showed a hazy knowledge of Irish geography and also of the band’s own history. They had last played Ireland in 1965.
They were a pretty audience. They brought their babies and some of them brought their mammies.
In the interminable gaps between the live music they shinned over the 10-foot fence to leap into the Boyne and every mother’s son and daughter of them was decently clothed. Some stripped down to pants, some modestly leaped in fully clothed.
A ferocious, savage, vicious, terrifying gang of Hell’s Angels, from the badlands of Waterford, sat in a reeking huddle on the grass, shunned by 20 yards by the rest of the crowd. Hunched menacingly in their colours, they were eating Choc-Ices.
The crowd got younger all the way into the centre. Half way down were the 20-year-olds, sprawled out on rugs with their wine, in plastic bottles as per instructions, and their dope. The worst crime they committed was to fall sound asleep in the hot sun, and some slept right through the Stones.
Only in the first 10 rows, damped down by fire hoses and at one ecstatic moment sprayed with fire hose by Mick Jagger HIMSELF was there that wild dangerous electric excitement the media associates with huge rock concerts. They leaped and shrieked and held up imploring arms.
“You’re all right!” Mick Jagger yelled at them. “You’re not too bad yourself!” they shouted back.
Up at the top of the hill, up at the top of a 60 foot pine tree, a lunatic fan leaped up and down hysterically.
“It’s great to be back in Dublin,” Jagger assured them. Nobody had the heart to correct him.
By the last chords of the opening Under My Thumb a steady stream of denim was pouring up the slopes and out the gate. They’d waited 10 hours to see the Rolling Stones, and they’d seen the Rolling Stones; they knew exactly what they were going to play, so they left, perfectly happy.
People kept comparing the Stones concert to the Pope’s visit, but nobody ever left a Papal gig before the Last Blessing.
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