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Rolling Stones Steel Wheels press conference
MTV broadcast. Grand Central Station, NYC, July 11 1989
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The Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Tour was a concert tour which was launched in North America in August 1989 to promote the band’s album Steel Wheels; it continued to Japan in February 1990, with ten shows at the Tokyo Dome. The European leg of the tour, which featured a different stage and logo, was called the Urban Jungle Tour; it ran from May to August 1990. These would be the last live concerts for the band with original member Bill Wyman on bass guitar.
This tour would also be the longest the band had ever done up to that point, playing over twice as many shows as their standard tour length from the 1960s and 1970s.
The tour was an enormous financial success, cementing The Rolling Stones’ return to full commercial power after a seven-year hiatus in touring marked by well-publicized acrimony among band members.
The Rolling Stones began pre-tour preparations in July 1989 at the Wykeham Rise School, a former boarding school for girls in Litchfield, Connecticut. A 25-member entourage, as well as a security force larger than the surrounding towns, was hired to support the band.
The group performed a pre-tour ‘surprise show’ that took place on 12 August 1989 at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut with a local act, Sons of Bob, opening the show for an audience of only 700 people who had purchased tickets for $3.01 apiece. The official Steel Wheels Tour kicked off later that month at the now-demolished Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. During the opening show in Philadelphia, the power went out during “Shattered”, and caused a slight delay in the show. Jagger came out and spoke to the crowd during the delay.
The Stones returned to Vancouver, B.C. in Canada and played two sold out concerts at B.C. Place Stadium. Fan reaction for tickets was unprecedented. One local radio station, 99.3 The Fox, even had a man (Andrew Korn) sit in front of the station in a bath tub filled with brown sugar and water for free tickets to the concert. Total attendance was 6.2 million.
(Ref. rolling stones press conference steel wheels)