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"'Brown Sugar' could save the world..."
adventures in oakland, 11/14-11/18
part IV

thunder bolt

Well, as you all already know, I didn't go to this one; I'd asked for the time off work before the fourth show was announced, and sometimes you just gotta say "enough". But it killed me, and i KNEW tonight would be the night that Eddie came on to sing with the Stones....*sigh*...and I made the mistake of sharing that insight with my friends on Undercover, the (kickass) Rolling Stones mailing list:
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 1997 14:41:41 -0800
To: undercover
From: Gary 
Subject: mick/eddie

just got back from a late lunch - was it just me or did
anyone else hear mick and eddie rehearse  "heartbreaker"
- the winds carried the sound quite nicely although ronnie's
solo needs a bit of work.	
(Of course this didn't happen; Gary just decided it would be a fun way to spend the afternoon, tormenting me. )

Anyway, I don't have any in-person reports, but what I can share is the perspective of my friends from the Stones mailing list:

From: Steve Portigal 
Subject: Final Oakland show
To: undercover
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 01:08:31 -0800 (PST)

[snip snip]
Waiting on a Friend: THANK YOU EVERYONE! How exciting... the guy running the      
web page took his time scrolling down and so Jagger mumbled a bunch of comments      
as the songs went by "oh did that one once, oh we played Stahfucka a fucking      
million times, oh that one, okay..." and then Waiting on a Friend. He gave      
a whole pre-apology about how they've only played it once and they'll give      
it a try. It was really ragged, which was cool. They didn't know how to start.      
Lisa did the high pitched intro vocals. The song had trouble finding its feet.      
Eddie Vedder walked out and stood behind Mick and sang a few lines. The sax      
solo was very late - they just all were looking over and waiting for it. It      
was kinda cool - not polished at all, it's like "Hey! We broke the Stones!"      
but not in a bad way, just awesome to know that we picked this song and they      
played it for US, and they were willing to do that even though maybe it wasn't      
going to go totally smooth. I admire them so much for taking that risk. Eddie      
pecked Mick on the cheek which surprised him, then he walked over to Ronnie      
and then Keith. It was really a cute moment.     

From: OJ Solander
Subject: Oakland 4
To: undercover
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 06:49:43 -0600 (CST)

             Undercover  -  The Rolling Stones Mailing List

	Just got back from the final Oakland show....

    Anyway, the show was heavily cool -- starting with Pearl
Jam. They did a great set, which included a quick jam of Beast
of Burden. Just as they finished Corduroy, Eddie Vedder played
the first two chords to Start Me Up. Then Mike McCready did the
Beast of Burden riff, and kept going.

    After a few seconds the crowd was into it, and I thought
they were gonna go through the whole thing. But, they stopped
about a minute or so into the song, with Eddie saying, "We are
going to get in so much trouble for that." I thought it was
good humor.

    He came out later during Waiting on a Friend (cybervote
song) to share vocals with Mick. He walked off a little bit
before the song ended, making sure to kiss Mick, Ron and Keef
on the cheek before he departed. I thought that was kinda sweet.

And even this one didn't make me feel ANY better.....

From: TigerPurr1
To: undercover
Subject: Caryn - I hope you had a ticket last night.....
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 06:12:08 -0500 (EST)

             Undercover  -  The Rolling Stones Mailing List
Hi Caryn,

Were you there last night?  I hope so -- I know how
much you would like to see Eddie Vedder sing a few verses
of "Waiting on a Friend" with Mick.

I was impressed with Pearl Jam on Tuesday night.  Even wet
and miserable in the pouring rain -- I thought they were
quite good.

Yeah, I would have liked that. Very very much.

Still, it was enough. It really was. Three incredible, rockin' nights, stuff that dreams are made of. Not just seeing two of my favorite bands, but watching Pearl Jam meet this challenge, watch them rise to it, fit into it, face it, accept it. I felt privileged, as a fan, to be able to observe and witness and watch the transformation onstage each night and from night to night.

I adored watching the growing acceptance of the audience, and it was my own personal triumph, after months of getting the shit beat out of me on the Stones mailing list, to see PJ earn not just grudging admiration, but the respect that was due them.

My friend Steve (yep, the PJ 'tourist') who runs the Rolling Stones list referenced above put it best I think:

"...I liked the whole FEELING about the band in Oakland,
the whole shared fun between both the bands, and the way it
wasn't about liking them or hating the Stones or whatever.
No one emptied out of the stadium after PJ. It was just all
cool. I enjoyed what I got to see. 

"I dunno if I'm a FAN whatever that means, but I now have
this very strong secondary association with the band and
the music and so on."
As for the Stones, well, I don't know what I can really say. When I first dragged myself into this, I was worried it was nostalgia, me trying to capture my misspent youth, you name it. But these three nights proved that it comes from the heart, for me, for PJ, and for the Stones themselves. My partner-in-crime for the weekend, Mahlon, said it best:
"It's just that I was watching the show and thinking 'Wow,
this is THE Rolling Stones.  The same guys that were a
bunch of young punks playing all the seedy bars in the 60's.
Now it's so easy to get wrapped up in all the marketing and
the 'official' RS tiffany lamp etc. But it was just cool to
sit back and watch the 'machine' on stage.  They know each
other so well that it just goes and they have a blast.  For
those two hours they're all 25 again.' Sometimes when people
refer to the big production etc as 'the machine' they mean
it in a derogatory sense, but I meant exactly the opposite."
All I can say in the end is... thank you. Thank you PJ. Thank you Stones. Thank you to about a zillion people who made this week possible. Hey, ya know, I'm going to see the Stones again on Friday at the Kingdome (7th row center!!)... maybe Eddie wants to come onstage again??! =)

Next stop: Maui!!!

Copyright © 1998 Caryn Rose