Rolling Stones’ gigs brought back to life

Author Richard Houghton, who wrote You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962-1969.
Author Richard Houghton, who wrote You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962-1969.

A new book about the career of the Rolling Stones has been published giving a front row perspective on the group’s early live shows, including memories of their performances at the Futurist, Scarborough and the Spa in Bridlington.

You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 – 69, written by Manchester author Richard Houghton, contains over 500 eyewitness accounts of the band’s very first performances, beginning with pubs and clubs in and around London and culminating in their 1969 Hyde Park show in front of 250,000 people.

I thought it would be good to capture the memories 'before they fade - Richard Houghton

I thought it would be good to capture the memories 'before they fade - Richard Houghton

Fans who were at the Bridlington show included Elaine Wilson, who organised a coach trip from Scarborough Girls’ High School.

She was 17 and remembers: “It cost 12/6 (63p). We did not need to book beforehand – we just turned up and paid at the door. It was an all night dance, not a concert. Everyone walked around and sat and chatted while they played.”

Meanwhile, Helen Smalley who was 12 at the time recalls: “My dad took me down to the Spa on the night to watch the acts go in. All hell broke loose when the Stones arrived and I remember being crushed against the barrier.

“I was lifted up and plonked down by one of the bouncers – right next to (Stones guitarist) Brian Jones! He said ‘You alright love?’”

The publication of You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962–69 coincides with the announcement of a major Rolling Stones exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London next year.

Mr Houghton said: “I got the idea for the book last year after I saw the Rolling Stones perform in Stockholm.

“Mick Jagger was about to turn 71 and it occurred to me that many of the people who saw the Stones when they were starting out would be of a similar vintage. 50 years ago they were teenagers and I thought it would be good to capture their memories of those early Stones shows before they fade.”

Richard added: “I now want to hear the memories of anyone who saw The Beatles in the 1960s, because they set the entertainment world alight when they came along.”

You can share your Beatle memories at thebeatlesinthe60s@gmail.com.

You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962–69 can be ordered from http://gottahavebooks.co.uk/ or via www.amazon.co.uk