When the Rolling Stones played Mansfield - appeal for YOUR memories

Rolling Stones played Mansfield
Rolling Stones played Mansfield

Older rock ‘n’ rollers are asked to cast their minds back to the start of the swinging Sixties for their memories of when the Rolling Stones played Mansfield.

Stones enthusiast and writer Richard Houghton is compiling a people’s history of the group and wants to know if any Chad readers saw them play at the Granada Theatre on 14th January 1964, and would like to share their memories.

The group played two shows at the Granada Theatre on Westgate, on a site now occupied by Primark, as part of their second UK tour and were supported by all girl group The Ronettes, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Marty Wilde and the Wild Cats and Sheffield’s Dave Berry.

Richard (54), of Preston, said: “I’d love to hear if people have any more stories like that, but also what else they remember about going to the concerts – what they wore, what they had for tea, whether they missed the last bus.

“It’s the social history of Britain around the time that the Stones exploded onto the scene that I want to hear about and that I’m hoping to capture.”

Including a handful of gigs they’d played at the turn of the year the Stones performed 40 shows that January - having performed an incredible 114 times in the last three months of 1963. So by the time they played Mansfield they were incredibly well rehearsed and knew how to deliver a stunning show. A ticket cost 11/6 (58p in decimal currency).

They had only had two minor hits at the time and Not Fade Away, their third single and their first top ten hit, had yet to be released.

They didn’t perform any of their own songs as they were still discovering the treasure trove of old blues and R&B numbers that black artists had recorded in the USA and which were largely unknown to British audiences.

The group performed two shows that night, and at the end of the second concert apparently came back on stage only to find that most of the audience were already leaving for the last bus, causing Mick Jagger to promptly usher the band back off stage.

Richard, who has seen the Rolling Stones perform more than 20 times, said: “I’ve decided to write this book because I want to capture the stories of those people who saw the Stones in Mansfield in 1964 and in theatres and concert halls up and down the country between 1963 and 1965.

“Those people who queued up to see the Stones were teenagers then and they’re pensioners now and they witnessed something quite special – a piece of rock’n’roll history being made. They saw a band that was already serving up something special in terms of the way they performed and which, because of the uniqueness of the times with Britain emerging from the grey austerity of the post war years, subsequent generations will probably struggle to understand the significance of.

“The Swinging Sixties hadn’t quite started but this was the beginning of it.”

Richard can be contacted via email at richardmhoughton@gmail.com or by letter at 32 Manor Avenue, Preston, PR2 8DN.

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A poster advertising the the Group Scene 64 package tour

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The Grenada Theatre on Westagate in Mansfield

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The Rolling Stones circa 1964

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Author and Rolling Stones afficianado Richard Houghton