Undoubtedly, the most popular rock group of the "British Invasion" of the early to mid 1960s was the Beatles. However, the Beatles broke up 42 years ago, and the Rolling Stones are still going strong after 50 years. In fact, the average age of the members of the Stones exceeds the average age of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court by nearly two years!
In their half century of existence, the Rolling Stones have toured Connecticut six times. Their first Connecticut concert occurred on Nov. 4, 1965, in the New Haven Arena. Less than a year later, the Stones appeared in Dillon Stadium in Hartford on June 27, 1966, to promote their new album "Aftermath." The members of the band at the time were Mick Jagger (lead vocals and harmonica); Charlie Watts (percussion); Keith Richards (guitar and leading vocals); Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica, and organ); and Bill Wyman (bass and backing vocals).
Fifteen years would pass before the Stones returned to Connecticut. They appeared at the Hartford Civic Center on Nov. 9 and 10 of 1981. The tour promoted their new album called "Tattoo You." The tour itself grossed more than $50 million and was seen by more than 3 million fans — both records for the time.
In 1989, the Stones made arrangements to rent a building at the Wykeham Rise School in Washington, Conn., for rehearsal for their upcoming "Steel Wheels Tour." They stayed there for six weeks. The group made a surprise visit to Toad's Place on York Street in New Haven on Aug. 12, 1989, and gave a concert there, much to the delight of about 700 patrons. Interestingly, Muddy Waters, a huge musical influence on the Rolling Stones, had also played at Toad's Place; in fact, the group's name is derived from one of Muddy's tunes.
Ten years later the Stones appeared at the Hartford Civic Center on March 28 and 29 in 1999. That stop was one of 25 in North America for the group's promotion of its album called "No Security." This tour was the group's first in 20 years that played only in indoor arenas for audiences of 20,000 or less.
The last time that the Stones appeared in Connecticut was at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on Aug. 25, 2005. It was one of the stops on "A Bigger Bang Tour." Like all Rolling Stone concerts, this one, too, was a sellout. The Stones had a seven-story movable stage rigged up and rolled around the field to the delight of the crowd. The cost of a field level seat was $402 — see the photo gallery.
Besides visiting the state for six concerts in the last 50 years, the group has other connections to Connecticut. Mick Jagger's daughter, Karis Jagger, attended Yale University and graduated in 1992. Mick attended the graduation ceremony. Karis is Mick's oldest child and currently works as a production assistant on movies.
Keith Richards' main home is in Weston, Conn. An interesting man, Richards yearned to be a librarian as a young man. He has a keen interest in history and reads a great deal. He keeps an extensive library there.
This past Sunday — Nov. 25 — the Rolling Stones kicked off a five-concert celebration of their golden anniversary as a group by having their first of two concerts at London's O2 Arena. The concert tour will continue in December in the New York metropolitan area with a concert in Brooklyn in the brand new Barclay's Center on Dec. 8 and two concerts at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Dec. 13 and 15. In fact, Stamford, CT, based WWE Corporation will promote the Dec. 15 concert on pay-per-view. Vince McMahon, CEO of WWE, is the husband of Linda McMahon. If the concert goes as well as is expected, Vince will be able to put a big dent in the $47 million cost of his wife's recent senatorial campaign!