rolling stones el alamo san antonio 1975Flashback


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June 4, 1975: The day the Stones visited El Alamo


It was June 4 1975 and the Stones made a pit stop at the Alamo (before heading from San Antonio to Kansas City) to honor the brave Americans who had lost their lives there, to see the place, and mostly to take pictures in front of it. It was later discovered that the Alamo stop was something they wanted to do because the London Daily Mirror had paid the Stones £4,000 for a special photo shoot there.

The Stones started pulling items out of the large cartons of props that the Daily Mirror photographer had brought. Mick is covered in the British flag. In the crotch of his jeans, Keith began to cram Confederate flags, while holding a confederate one, with a menacing appearance. Ronnie, who is sporting a halter top, is also holding the Texas flag. Bill is donning a coonskin hat, while Charlie is just glaring. The Daily Mirror guy yelled at para-Stones musicians Billy Preston and Ollie Brown because he was so happy with the merchandise he was receiving. What he didn’t anticipate was that Bill Wyman would decide to leave as well after the first pictures after hearing that.

According to journalist Chet Flippo, who was covering the tour for Rolling Stone magazine: “I said to Tour Commander Peter Rudge, ‘You just set back Anglo-American relations by a hundred years’. He just laughed. The Stones had their photo opportunity and that was all that mattered. Time magazine, in fact, ran a picture as the lead item of its People page in the June 23, 1975, issue. The accompanying text, as is Time’s wont, was glib and cute and insubstantial and meaningless: “Although they will play to 1.5 million fans during their three-month tour of the Americas, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones are only tourists in some places. After two performances at the San Antonio Convention Center, the British rock megastars decided to pose for pictures at a famous Texas landmark.
(Ref. el alamo)

Flippo: “Jagger and company stepped aside and regrouped for their photo, then headed for beir next concert in Kansas City. ‘I don’t know what it is or where it is’, joked Jagger of the Alamo later, ‘but we’ll never play it again. The sound as awful. It wasn’t even on the itinerary and I hate daytime shows anyway’. The only problem is that it is also wrong. That incident didn’t happen. I was curious about it, since I had been at the Alamo at the time and I knew that no one from Time magazine had been there. I later looked up the Time correspondent’s file on which the item had been based. It had been sent to Time in New York City from a Boston-based Time correspondent eight days after the Stones had posed at the Alamo.

The correspondent’s file was even more vague and lacking in detail than was Time’s People page entry. It read, in part: “Before they hopped on a plane to meet their next engagement in Kansas City, they wanted to see the Alamo. It was a quick stop—just a few minutes to snoop around and pose for a couple of pictures. As they were posing against a wooden door outside one of the Alamo buildings, the door opened and a woman in her sixties, oblivious to whom she was speaking, said, ‘Would you mind not leaning against the door? You’re blocking our way to the Alamo’ “
(Ref. el alamo)

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