Stu didn't answer, or comment on my instinctive apologies for a friend. He
just looked straight at the radio, and he wasn't blinking.
"A little Cincinnati in Worcester tonight!" warned Mark Parenteau, the
legendary Boston disc jockey who would have been very pleased to see
radio station, WBCN, do the deal with the Stones rather than
the rival upstart station to the west, WAAF. Mark was mad, and was
saying some very strange things on the radio. Like, about Cincinnati.
Eleven rock 'n' roll fans had been killed trampled to death by
their fellow fans six months earlier in that city at a Who
concert, and even the
of the place had an inflammatory
feeling about it. Rock 'n' roll wanted to
Parenteau called me about noon on that fateful Sir Morgan's Monday,
just before going on the air. Radical D.J. Oedipus was also on the
line, madder than hell at me as well.
"How could you let this happen?" they shouted to me almost in unison.
"We've helped you and that damned studio of yours for almost ten years,
and now you let
happen. Why WAAF? Why not WBCN?"
"Gentlemen, please," I said. "This was not my doing. I couldn't
with Kathleen and Stu when they went out and scouted the
clubs. They told me nothing of what was going on, and for that I have
been eternally grateful. I would not have wanted to make the decision
of what radio station to use. I'd win one friend and twenty enemies.
Look fellas, WAAF just got lucky, and they're sounding like kids about
it on the air, calling themselves the 'Rolling Stones Radio Station.'
So don't be too upset."
"It's still a real drag that this occurred. A real drag. Does the band
realize how much the Rolling Stones get played by WBCN? We've been
doing it for years. Someone should clue them in."
That someone was supposed to be me, too, I felt, without much further
explanation from them. I actually
mentioned to Alan Dunn that
there were radio friends of ours in Boston who would be willing to do
anything, absolutely anything, to be involved with the Stones. They'd
actually promised that to me in advance, once they knew what was about
to happen at Long View. "These guys are friends," I had said. I should
have told Stu, too, but he was spending a lot of time shopping for
antiques, and 40's jazz records, and found it sufficient for his
purposes to relate to the farm through Kathleen mainly, and that was
all fine with me. It was Stu who had been approached some ten days
earlier by WAAF.
"Mark," I continued on the telephone, "it's not going to help
either if you keep on announcing the identity and location of Sir
Morgan's Cove, like what's-her-name did on the air a half-hour ago, on
the news. There are
milling about in the streets here in
your home town. I just had a guy come up from downtown and he said
things were positively
there people moving in large
groups and wondering where the Stones might first show up, where the
gig is going to be, and the like. Shouting in the streets. If they all
go over to Green Street, then there
be trouble. Green Street
isn't big enough for them, and they're driving up from places like
Providence, 'cause they think the chance of getting a ticket is better
here. It's strange in Worcester today, and you've got to be careful.
The cops only just found
about this. Full moon last night,
Mark. Maybe it would be better to tell people to stay
it would be said that you acted in the public interest.
Parenteau and I have had a good relationship over the years, and I
think he's still a bit impressed because I was a university professor
once, and so he generally listens to what I say. I appreciate that, and
always try to amuse him, at least.
"He's right," I heard Mark say on the other end of the phone.
tell them to stay away. In the 'public interest.'" Oedipus agreed.
Only it didn't come off quite that way on the radio that afternoon.
Mark said some things about the Stones behaving immaturely, and made
repeated and excessively somber references to Cincinnati, which
horrified everyone, including Ian Stewart, who was sitting in my
offices on Airport Hill, in Worcester, listening to the radio with me
and a few of the guys from WAAF. Mark's voice sounded nervous and
"Who does he think he is?" Stu asked. "Who
"He was on a panel of radio commentators who interviewed Mick once," I
offered. "King Biscuit Flower Hour. He just wants to help, and he's a
nice guy. He's maybe the best disc jockey around." I forgot the guys
from WAAF were in the room, and looked around to see them squirming in
their chairs. But Mark
really good, and I didn't feel bad for
Stu didn't answer, or comment on my instinctive apologies for a friend.
He just looked straight at the radio, and he wasn't blinking.
They left my office a moment later Ian Stewart, the guys from WAAF,
and Kathleen Holden, who had driven in from Long View to help give out
the tickets in downtown Worcester. "Blue Monday" the tickets said.
Cockroaches." The tickets were laser-etched, to prevent transfer
between individuals, and there were only three hundred of them. It was
now about 4 PM, and the city of Worcester was in a state of upheaval
which old-timers have since compared to the frenzy which erupted that
day some thirty-five years ago, when it was announced on the radio that
the Second World War was over.