rolling stones sunday night london palladium 1967 COVERTrivia


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Sunday Night at the London Palladium

Famous British TV show which on January 22 1967 featured the Stones performing “Let’s Spend the Night Together”. Eventually the band refused to participate in a corny skit and also caused a public outcry by refusing to join the rest of the cast onstage at the end of the show and wave goodbye to the audience.

The Stones had a busy and contentious beginning to 1967. The song “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” which was backed by “Ruby Tuesday,” after being released by Decca in England on January 13, 1967, it was made available in America the following day by London Records. But they had to alter the lyrics on the single’s A-side before performing on The Ed Sullivan Show the following day, January 15, in order to avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of American TV viewers because of its title.

The situation was a little different in England at the time, although it turned out to be just as contentious. After the infamous Ed Sullivan incident, the Stones released their new album Between The Buttons. And a few days later, on January 22, they were practicing for an appearance on TV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium at one of London’s most renowned theaters.

No one from the band can exactly recall why they finally agreed to play after being asked repeatedly but never showing up. Charlie said at the time, “Personally I didn’t want to do it, and I’m not sure why we did. I suppose it was a challenge. It’s always done more harm than good to anybody I’ve ever seen on it”, Watts said.

One reason for their appearance was that there were fewer opportunities to appear on TV after Ready Steady Go!, the best pop program of the 1960s, was taken off the air. It was also true that Sunday Night At The London Palladium had a sizable audience of close to 10 million people.

They arrived with all of their music on a tape, following the orders of the show’s producer. They weren’t only late for rehearsal, but I also thought they were being rude and ill-mannered. However, Keith adds, “The show’s so bad we couldn’t rely on them to get the sound we wanted. It’s not as if we can’t play live”, he told Disc.

Eventually once in the TV show the rest of the Stones mimed, while Mick sang live to “Ruby Tuesday,” “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” and “Connection”. However, controversy did not surround the miming. The Stones’ decision not to appear on the show’s closing sequence was the cause. When all of the performers and the show’s host, Dave Allen, were expected to smile and wave to the audience, they refused to stand on the rotating stage. In the days that followed, upset viewers started sending letters to the press, that after Andrew Loog Oldham and Mick got into an argument over it.

The argument appeared to continue for weeks. Older people had no idea why The Stones had been asked to perform, younger people couldn’t care less, and some people probably wondered why the Stones had bothered at all. “The only reason we did the show was because it was a good national plug. Anyone who thought we were changing our image to suit a family audience was mistaken”, Jagger explained to the New Musical Express.

Next week, comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore stole the show after their performance at Sunday Night at the London Palladium. In an effort to support the band and show their friendship with them, Gerald Scarfe’s life-size cardboard cutouts of all five Stones were carried by both as they rode the roundabout.

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