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Author's Introduction
Preface by Bennie Strange
Montreux
Logan Airport
The Briefing
The Red Barn
The Stones Might Come
The Stones Are Coming
The Stones Aren't Coming
The Slender Strand
Twin Cessna 75 X-Ray
Keith Richards
Jane Rose
For Engineers Only
Darlin'...
Confidentiality
Systems, Inc.
Joe Rascoff
Ian Stewart
The Little Boys' Room
Master of All He Surveys
Paul Wasserman
The Tennis Courts
Bill & Astrid
A Typical Morning
A Typical Mid-Morning
Guns
My Friend Mark
Philadelphia
The Pantry
The Rock Wall
Woody
Fraternity Brothers
The Red Line
Neighbors
Judith
Kathleen
Club Owners
A Typical Rehearsal
Visitors
Rob Barnett
One Sunday Afternoon
WBCN-Boston
Bennie Strange in Worcester
The Show Must Go On
Performance!
Bill Graham
Little Girls
Steve Morse
The Raging Rose Saloon
The Publicist's Handbook
Charlie Watts
Mick and Freedom
Press Conference
The Strange Afterglow
Postscript
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Wire-copy news
Stones Cinderella Story
The Tennis Court Fiasco


WBCN-Boston



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 his 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 mention of the place had an inflammatory feeling about it. Rock 'n' roll wanted to forget about Cincinnati.
    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 this happen. Why WAAF? Why not WBCN?"
    "Gentlemen, please," I said. "This was not my doing. I couldn't even go 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 had 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 things 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 crowds 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 weird 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 may 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 out about this. Full moon last night, Mark. Maybe it would be better to tell people to stay away, and 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. "We'll 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 high-pitched.
    "Who does he think he is?" Stu asked. "Who is this guy?"
    "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 is really good, and I didn't feel bad for long.
    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. "The 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. .
 


 All original material copyright © Gilbert Scott Markle. All rights reserved.