2003 TOUR

Keith Licks Pittsburgh
Photo by Jane Rose

  • December 31, 2003
    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THE VISITORS TO THE KEITH SHRINE. HERE'S TO MORE KEITH NEWS IN 2004!!! For the latest news on Keith and the Stones in 2004, please visit: Keith News 2004

  • December 8, 2003
    Log onto the new Keith Shrine chat forum calledYAP YAP-KEITH SHRINE CHAT

    On December 18th I will be in Toronto, Canada at Stones Place to celebrate Keith's 60th Birthday at a fan get-together at Stone's Place. Bernard Fowler & Blondie Chaplin will be playing Stone's Place on Dec. 18 & 20. Should be a blast!

  • December 7, 2003
    Keith's 60th birthday is coming up on December 18, 2003 and to celebrate the UK mag Uncut has released a mag with a Keef cover and 28 pages in tribute to the MAN. January issue is in stores now.

  • November 16, 2003
    A troubled post-SARS concert series which featured the Rolling Stones cost taxpayers around $HK100 million ($A18 million), Hong Kong's financial secretary says.Officials had earlier insisted that the bill would be much less, but Financial Secretary Henry Tang announced to lawmakers Saturday that the event incurred losses equal to the maximum amount the government had pledged it would cover.

    Hey they got the Stones, what do they want?

    Is everyone enjoying Four Flicks? I know I am!

  • November 11, 2003

    The Stones were on the Today Show this morning, if you missed the interview you can view it online at: The Stones 4 DVD set was released in the US/Canada today exclusively at Best Buy stores.

  • November 8, 2003
    The Stones played Hong Kong yesterday for the first time ever. There was a crowd of 13,000 including former President Clinton and fans from the US, Europe, Australia & of course Asia.

  • November 1, 2003
    On Wednesday October 29, 2003 the Rolling Stones were in NYC to promote the release of their Four Flicks DVD which will be available at Best Buy November 11th.

    Keith & Patti in NYC for Four Flicks release party

  • October 12, 2003
    I was informed by band personnel last weekend that the Stones would indeed play Hong Kong. Then this week, panic set in among fans when the press announced that Hong Kong withdrew the offer for the Stones to play there. Today Michael Cohl cleared the air when he announced the following:"We have received the deposit money from Hong Kong and the band's lawyers have a signed contract having concluded negotiations last week," Rolling Stones tour director Michael Cohl said in a statement. "This will be the first time in their 40-year history that The Rolling Stones have performed in Hong Kong and they look forward being part of the 'Harbourfest' festival." So it looks like it is now OFFICIAL, the Stones will play Hong Kong November 7 & 9!!!

  • October 2, 2003

    The Rolling Stones wrapped up their 2002-2003 Licks World Tour in Zurich, Switzerland in front of more than 45,000 people. The Stones have been on the road almost exactly one year and one month. The band's management and promoters are still in discussions as to whether the cancelled China shows will be made up. Novemeber is the month that is being speculated upon, but nothing has been officially announced by the band. THANK YOU ROLLING STONES AND CREW FOR ANOTHER GREAT TOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • August 24, 2003

    Stones resume their tour in London tonight at Twickenham Rugby Stadium playing to a sold out crowd...

  • August 23, 2003
    I returned from the Netherlands on August 22, having seen 4 out of the 5 Stones shows I was supposed to see. Show #5 at Amsterdam Arena was cancelled due to Mick's illness, and now show #1 in London at Twickenham Stadium is cancelled as well. Get well soon Mick!!! It's always a disappointment when a show is cancelled, and imagine the difficult decision the band has to make, knowing that the second Amsterdam show was to be a television and radio broadcast as well. Michael Cohl said "I've had better days" when we saw him at the Amstel on Wednesday evening.

    My scarf hanging from Keith's balcony at the Amstel

    But, all was not a loss. Amsterdam was a blast, starting with the Rotterdam De Kuip show on Aug. 13th. That was the best stadium show I have seen since Wembley in '99, it may have even surpassed the Wembley's. The crowd was electric, they never stopped clapping, singing, dancing, waving from start to finish, from top to bottom of the seats, from front to back of the pitch, it was a marvelous site. And it gave the Stones energy as well.

    Next up was the Ahoy Rotterdam for 10,000. A great arena show, highlights were the Exile cuts "Swee Virginia", "Loving Cup" and "Rocks Off". I actually enjoyed Rotterdam stadium more than Ahoy if you can believe that!

    Onto Utrecht and the much anticipated club gig. My third club gig of the tour and it definitely is right up there with the Aragon Ballroom. Fucking fantastic show. Ronnie was a wildman, Mick had boundless energy. My favorite of the night was "That's How Strong My Love Is", Mick was truly incredible, he poured his heart and soul into that number...I cried it was so damn good. And Keith did "Thief in the Night" for the first time this tour, a bit unrehearsed it seemed, but sweet all the same. Keith said "Great room, think I'll fold it up and take it with me". Other highlights were the debut of "Saint of Me" this tour, and the crowd carried it much like Shepherd's Bush in '99, Going to a Go-Go was great, as was "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", and "Dance". Ronnie was superb, Keith was amazing as always and I really got to watch Charlie as I could see all the goings-on behind the amps too. Fabulous show.

    Some of my passes & tickets from the shows in Holland

    On the 18th at the Leidseplein Square there was a big party outside the Black & White Cafe (with the big Stones tongue on the front), organized by Melody and the members of the Babylon Bar website. People from many Stones websites attended; folks from USA, Canada, England, Holland, Germany, Poland, Japan, Israel and several other countries. A great time was had by all.

    Blue Lena, Rolling Hansie & Dear Lady Anne at the Black & White Cafe 8-14-03

    On Tuesday the 19th it was time for Amsterdam Arena, and since Rottterdam Stadium was so good, I was looking forward to this one. Both nights were to be filmed. Well, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and they played it, and it was true. Little did I know at the time that Mick was already sick, I couldn't tell too much from his performance per se, but overall something was missing from this show from start to finish. Anything that could go wrong did, starting with the very opening chords. Keith came out too late onto the stage after the intro music had ended, he proceeded to hit the chords, but there seemed to be no sound at first, then he seemed to just be hitting anything to test for sound, and the sound came on with some horrible noises from his guitar and before he could even get back into Brown Sugar Mick was on stage beginning to sing...whoa, it was a major fuck-up. I laughed though, but I felt bad for the band. Other things went wrong through the evening, lyric problems, missed chords. The crowd was very lame, Rotterdam kicked Amsterdam's ass. I only saw about the first 10 rows of the pitch going mad, the rest of the pitch was still, with the exception of a few numbers like "Miss You" and "Satisfaction". Security was too tight. I got to my seat and was immediately told to sit down by two fat chicks behind me, so I immediately left my seat not wanting to relive Houston in '98 when I was thrown out for 3 songs for standing up. Luckily a nice venue security lady told me to go down to the rail & stand,so I did, fire code for blocking the stairs does not seem to matter there. But then within 4 songs someone else was telling me to move,so I inched down the railway toward the stage and pretty soon was front of the rail starting with "Miss You", which was 9 songs into the show. The best songs for me were "Rocks Off", "Paint it Black", and "Starfucker" on the B-stage. Although Keith did a fabulous version of "Slipping Away" while being filmed in 360 degrees by 3 camera men, he even added extra lyrics in! Even the confetti machine went off too early. All in all, the show was somewhat uninspiring by both the band and the crowd...I think some crowd enthusiasm would have helped the band that night in light of Mick's condition. Mick really pulled through it well...and he went straight to the hospital in London when the show ended.

    Other highlights of Amsterdam were seeing the Stones leave the hotel 3 times. Also, the scarf I gave Keith back in Oct. 02, the one he hung from the balcony in LA, was hanging from his balcony at the Amstel all 12 days. Regretably, I didn't have a camera the first day, the second day I took a disposible instead of a digital, and the third day the digital fuckedup. Oh well, the memories are good. Saw everyone in the band & backing band, plus Jo Wood, Patti Hansen, Tyrone & Leah Wood, Georgia & Gabriel Jagger. We had lunch at the Amstel one day and sat at a table next to Marlon & Lucie Richards and Keith's grandkids Ella & Olson. They were sitting next to us for high tea at the Amstel on the last day of our trip as well.

    Amstel Hotel
    Photo Blue Lena

  • August 11, 2003
    The Stones played de Kuip in Rotterdam tonight and surprised the crowd by adding in "Paint it Black", as well as "Starfucker" on the B-stage! A new twist in stadium show sets! I will be at the de Kuip show in Rotterdam on Wednesday evening Aug. 13. Stay tuned for my review when I return from Holland Aug. 22.

  • August 9, 2003
    Mick is over his bout of laryngitis which caused the Stones to cancel their show in Spain on August 5th. That show is rescheduled for September 19th. They played Hanover last night to rave reviews and today should be arriving in Holland. I leave August 13th for Holland, and will be seeing 5 of the 6 shows there, including the Utrecht club gig. Stay tuned for a full report after August 22.

  • August 2, 2003

    Just returned home from Toronto, Canada today, where I had been since arriving 1am early Wednesday morning. Had a fantastic time in Toronto, starting Wednesday afternoon at the Four Seasons bar. Had lunch and drinks there and chatted with Bernard and Blondie, and as luck would have it, upon leaving the bar ran straight into Keith as he was leaving for the show! Since it was so unexpected, all I could muster was a surprised "Hey baby" to which he turned around and shook both our hands, as did Tony. So that was a cool pre-show treat. We had passes for the VIP pavillion, so we headed to the show around 6pm. Saw the Guess Who, Rush and the kick-ass set by AC/DC. Then around 10:15pm the Stones hit the stage. Highlights for me were "Ruby Tuesday" (Keith was looking mighty fine in that white shirt), "Nearness of You" (to die for, thanks Keith), and "Rock Me Baby" with AC/DC. We had video screens and speakers in the tent so the sight and sound were good. All in all a very fine evening with 500,000 people!

  • July 26, 2003

  • July 21, 2003

    The Stones have been nominated for four Emmy Awards for their Live From Madison Square Garden show that aired on HBO.

  • June 24, 2003

    The ROLLING STONES will perform at a July 30th benefit concert in Toronto, to aid the Canadian city after SARS claimed thirty-eight victims and weakened its tourist industry. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, AC/DC, the FLAMING LIPS, the ISLEY BROTHERS, KATHLEEN EDWARDS, SAM ROBERTS and the GUESS WHO will also perform at the event, which will be held at Downview Park. Promoters expect up to 500,000 people to attend; 250,000 tickets will go on sale this Friday.

    Keith Plays in Hockenheim, Germany

  • June 9, 2003
    The Stones played the Cirkus Krone last night in Munich for the first time since 1965. The setlist was fantastic with Keitth performing "The Nearness of You" (only available on bootleg) for the first time live!

    Set list: Jumping Jack Flash - Tumbling Dice - All Down The Line - Sweet Virginia - Worried About You - Stray Cat Blues - Everybody Needs Somebody - Dance part 1 - That's How Strong My Love Is - Going To A Go-Go - Nearness Of You - Before They Make Me Run - It's Only Rock'n'Roll - Can't You Hear Me Knocking - Honky Tonk Woman - Start Me Up - Brown Sugar - I Can't Turn You Loose

  • June 4, 2003
    Stones kick off tour in Munich tonight!

  • June 2, 2003

    Rolling Stones SARS concert could be back on

    TORONTO - The on-again, off-again free Rolling Stones concert to boost the SARS-tainted image of Toronto could be ready to roll, according to reports. Liberal MP Dennis Mills told The Globe and Mail that the private sector has been able to raise $6 million of the estimated $10-million price tag for staging the summer event. Mills said he expected private sources to chip in another $1 million, with the government adding an additional $3 million. The government has yet to commit to the funding.

  • June 1, 2003
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY RONNIE! The Stones reportedly arrived in Germany May 28 to prepare for the start of their 2003 Licks European Tour. The first show is in Munich on June 4th.

  • May 22, 2003

    Announcing Ronnie's newest releases!!! Ronnie Wood is celebrated throughout the world of music and art as being the singular fine-art ambassador of rock and roll. His uncommon musical career, profound friendships with many of the greatest names in music and the rare talents of a world class artist have made him truly unique. It is because of these extraordinary attributes Wood’s editions are much more than a collection of famous figures in Rock — they are his friends, creative influences, and sometime heroes. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the collective suite of work The “Others.” This fabulous portfolio of five limited edtion prints has been made available for acquisition as a matched number set....all pieces will be numbered the same! Each piece is signed by Ronnie personally. The edition is limited to 290 pieces of each of the five images. The size for each limited edition is approximately 17 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches. The suite comprises five poignant screen print studies of of Keith (Touch), Charlie, Mick (aka "Sir Mick"), Darryl Jones and John Lennon. None of us can quite define the meaning of the "Others," but the term is quite important to Ronnie. Sort-of like his the case of John perhaps a "soul mate." Ronnie is very attached to these images. The opening price is $2,500 for the set of five. This is a fabulous price that will only be available for a short time. As each 50 sets sell the price will be increased. So please buy early. Pieces cannot be sold individually. Delivery is to begin in Late June. For those of you who have purchased Rod Stewart and/or Satisfaction and have not yet received their is expected soon. Please call or email right away to reserve The "OTHERS" at the beginning price! Jim Hartley Executive Director San Francisco Art Exchange 800-344-9633 415-441-8840

  • March 29, 2003

  • March 28, 2003

    On March 26 it was reported by Stones VIP ticketing that the shows in Hong Kong and China were indeed on. However, by early March 27th, the Hong Kong shows were suddenly cancelled, due to the risk of SARS. As of today, RS.COM posted this on their news site:

    March 28, 2003 Rolling Stones Cancel China Concerts, Reschedules Thailand and India shows Updated information (Singapore: Friday, March 28) – The Rolling Stones announced today that their concert performances in Shanghai on April 1 and Beijing on April 4 have been cancelled due to World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control travel warnings regarding SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and continued concerns expressed by local Chinese government officials, communities and individuals over large public gatherings. Mick Jagger, on behalf of the Rolling Stones said, ”We are very sad and disappointed not to be able to do these concerts. We have been looking forward to the shows in China for so long and will reschedule them as soon as possible.” The Stones’ “Licks” world tour will continue with concerts on April 4 in Bangalore, April 7 in Mumbai and April 10 in Bangkok. Ticket holders should check their local media outlets or contact the local promoters for refund details.

  • March 23, 2003

    The Stones arrived yesterday in Singapore at 9:40pm after a 7+ hour flight from Tokyo. They are staying at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Hotel. The Stones have not played Singapore since 1965 and are quite anxious to do so. As of today, the shows are reportedly 70% sold. The shows are Monday and Wednesday of this week at 8pm at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Top ticket price is $500 which reportedly is 1/2 a months salary for most residents of Singapore. Many fans from Malaysia are expected to attend these shows as well. Keith said "'I can't wait to see the changes. I've seen pictures of the new Singapore, of course, and I look forward to this visit. The people were nice the last time we came. We had lunch with the British Governor-General. I remember hearing the sound of firecrackers. I was thinking: 'Oh no, what's happening?' Later, they told me it was Chinese New Year"

  • March 22, 2003

    The concern for fans is that the Stones may cancel their upcoming shows in Singapore, China, Thailand & India because of the war with Iraq. So far, the word from the Stones press agents is that the tour will go on. Mumbai News reported today "Never mind the drums of war. All you rock fans will get your Forty Licks. Yes, the Rolling Stones will not cancel or postpone their tour.Asia, including Bangalore and Mumbai, will get to see the rock gods as scheduled in April.Event organisers DNA Networks confirmed that they have had a ‘personal’ assurance over the telephone from the band. The band is currently in Japan and will move on to China for three shows."

  • March 10-21, 2003

    The Stones finally played the Budokan in Tokyo, and those who attended claimed it was the best show of the tour so far. The Stones then went onto shows at the Yokohama Arena, Tokyo Dome and Osaka Dome. Several of my my friends from the UK & Japan attended these shows and gave rave reviews.

  • February 18-22, 2003

    The Stones are now in Australia to the delight of Stones fans Down Under. They played the intimate Enmore Theater on Feb. 18 and the Sydney Superdome Feb 20 & 22.

    Some of my passes from the US Tour

  • February 1-10, 2003

    Arrived in San Francisco on Sat. Feb 1st and Elizabeth and I headed to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch...what a combo of martinis, calamari, mexican food & cheesecake, ugh. Went to the Four Seasons San Francisco to see our favorite tour bartenders, Jackie & Dave. They come highly recommended by us and Blondie Chaplin as coolest bartenders of the US tour. On Sunday we flew from Oakland to LA and cruised to Beverly Hills, where we joined the band at the Four Seasons there. On Sunday night we saw Ronnie & Jo twice, they had eaten in the restaurant. We also saw Simon Cowell from American Idol in the bar and were tempted to ask him "What do you think of Keith's voice? Could he be the next American Idol?" hahaha. Other celeb sightings at the Four Seasons Beverly Hill were Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane who sat at a table next to us for several hours. At the end of the evening we joked about making a sign for the show that read "Stones ticket $320, Stones hotel $350, bar tab $250, seeing Keith live...priceless". Don't attempt to drink for 8 hours at the Four Seasons.

    Some of my guitar picks from Keith from the Licks Tour

    We were invited to soundcheck for the Stones in San Jose Feb. 4th, but it turned out that there wasn't a soundcheck there. We were bummed, but since we arrived early at the venue we were treated to Shebeen passes (band lounge) instead! WOW. What a privilege. Had some of Keith's shepherd's pie with HP Sauce, among other Stones bufffet delicacies. I sent a sterling silver skull saber necklace backstage to Keith before the show. I spoke with Jane Rose for about 10 minutes regarding Keith's new official web site and told her how I liked the design and offered some ideas and suggestions. Matt Busch, manager for Gov't Mule, whom I had met with Chuck Leavell back in Oct. 2001 was in the lounge and discussed the Stones and the Mule a bit as well.

    For the 4th time in a row we were blessed with second row center seats. We didn't realize it at the time, but the rowdy boys in front of us were the band Green Day! Another amazing show, and at the front of the B-stage Keith grabbed my scarf (#10)from me before I was even ready to give it to him! Ha! We scored another couple guitar picks as well.

    We were again invited to soundcheck for the LA benefit show on Feb 6th. But, thanks to Bill Clinton and the secret service we were foiled again. There was a soundcheck, it's just that the secret service wouldn't let anyone into it. But, we did see Mick drive in the back gate in an electric car which was totally cool. Saw the rest of the boys come in the usual vans. Watched some of the Green Carpet reception, the only celeb we saw was Larry David producer of "Seinfeld". It was cold hanging around outside, so we went in to find the VIP Lounge,only to find out it was on the roof outside! Chilly. But a damn nice view and we could see the green carpet reception below us. Our free tickets were located center of the B-stage section 107 floor risers, so they provided a nice view of both stages. It was weird to have Clinton open the show! Even Mick commented on it. Surprisingly, the crowd rocked, considering many of the ticket winners has never seen the Stones before ever. During "Wild Horses" the sound went out, which led to a scratch of "Dead Flowers" in favor of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" to bring the crowd back to fevor pitch. "Midnight Rambler" on the B-stage brought down the house, it was mind blowing. Because there was no curfew for this show, there was a lot more time between songs, the jams went on longer and the show went on until midnight. Went to the after-party at the Four Seasons, which took about 20 minutes to get into since they were way over capacity for their bar. What a night!

    Flew to Vegas on the morning of the 7th, nothing like having 3 hours of sleep in 48 hours. Checked in and promptly crashed until around 2pm. On show day, we arrived early at the MGM. Saw the Stones arrive fashionably late at 6pm at the back gate. Checked out the VIP Lounge and then headed to the Shebeen again. Saw Charlie, Bernard, Blondie (whose been wearing MY Stones ring on stage each night since San Jose and showing it to everyone in the band), Bobby and Chuck. Bobby complained after seeing the empty dishes "Isn't there any food for anyone who actually PLAYS in the band?" We were 13th row on Keith's side tonight and it was a Let It Bleed set. Highlights once again were Midnight Rambler, Can't You Hear Me Knocking and Keith doing Thru & Thru. B-stage was crowded, first time we didn't make it to the front all tour, we were about 4 people back on Keith's side. Managed to get front row on the rail of the main stage for the JJF encore and final bow, which was cool. Threw up both of our scarves to Keith, so that was scarf #11 since 1997. The last show of the US Tour. Can you believe it? It went FAST. Now they are already in Australia. "Coming down again, where are all my friends, coming down again..." Only 6 months till I head to Holland!

    Bernard, Blue Lena & Blondie at the Ritz Carlton after party in Washington, DC 2002

  • January 22, 2003

    Same seats as last night. Un-believable. This band is just a joy to watch. Every night is something new and special. Just when you think it can't get any better, it does. I heard someone say "my favorite show is always the next one". It seems true. As Chuck promised me the night before, we did indeed get a Tattoo You set for the first time and Waiting on a Friend was one of the highlights tonight bringing tears to some girls eyes. Neighbors was the rocker of the evening, Keith just wailed away and I was mesmerized. I was thrilled to be leaning on the catwalk rail center stage in front of Keith as he did a stellar rendition of "Thru & Thru". The energy was not lacking, considering this was a back to back show. Waves, winks, nods from Keith, Ronnie, Chuck and Bernard. At the B stage Keith accepted a handcuff chain from Elizabeth and Ronnie got the first thong of the night from me-a Rolling Stones Fan Club logo thong that he hung on the mic in front of Charlie's drums. Another spectacular night with the Rolling Stones. Back to the after party at the Ritz, attended by most of the backing band, who were gracious as usual with the throng of ever present fans. Onto San Jose for me next!

  • January 21, 2003

    Sweet Home Chicago and the Stones were back in fine form. They really had a great time on stage tonight and the whole band was on fire. We were treated to the best seats in the house, second row center on the catwalk. Amazing. It's like a private show when the boys are that close. Highlights of the night were a killer Can't You Hear Me Knocking on the main stage and a hellish jam of Midnight Rambler on the B stage. I actually slapped Mick's hand for the first time ever at the B stage. Cool. We were on Ronnie's side tonight at the B stage and Elizabeth got a Ronnie AND a Keith pick. Keith accepted skull scarf #9 from me tonight, carefully tucking it into the waistband of his pants...and to top it off, for the final bow, Keith wore my skull scarf that I had given him in Pittsburgh. Tre cool Keith!!! Thanks. Setlists and reviews available on Stones PlanetSee my PHOTOS of tonight's show.

  • January 20, 2003

    Blondie Chaplin was on the bill at the Double Door with the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra on Monday night in downtown Chicago. After a fine first set by Nicholas Tremulis Blondie joined the band on stage and proceeded to knock out the house with some wonderfully soulful tunes. Blondie is one talented singer, song writer and musician and if you haven't seen him perform without the Stones you don't know what you're missing!

  • January 17, 2003

    I WON FREE TICKETS TO THE LA SHOW TODAY-WOOO WOOO! LA here we come. Not only did I win, but my best Stones friend Elizabeth won as well, along with several other fans that we know. Congrats to the lucky 6000, see you in LA!

  • January 16, 2003

    Stones Prepare for HBO Special in NYC

    The Stones played MSG tonight 1-16-03, to a sold out crowd. All the cameras are in place and tonight's show was a dry run for Saturday's live HBO Special. I saw some photos from the show & it looks like Keith may have put my skull chain back on...very cool if you did Keith! I am sure I will see many familiar fan faces on TV on the 18th, not to mention all the celebs that want in on this action. I figured I'd save some money for once and watch it on TV because I am leaving for the Chicago shows on Saturday and will be in Chicago until Thursday Jan. 23. Stay tuned for my United Center reviews to be posted next week.

  • January 10, 2003

    Pittsburgh Friday January 10, 2003

    Review by Blue Lena

    The Stones arrived in Pittsburgh at the Renaissance Hotel around 8pm on Thursday the 9th, flying in from Montreal, Canada. This was a change in hotels for the Stones, who had previously always stayed at the William Penn Hotel. The Renaissance is located on 6th Street in downtown Pittsburgh and is housed in the newly (2001) renovated Fulton Building. Billed as a boutique hotel with all the amenities of a luxury hotel, both myself and the Stones seemed to agree. It has a spectacular lobby, with a dome reminicent of the the Fairmont San Francisco. One thing is for sure, at $109-$125 a night it was by far the cheapest Stones hotel on the Licks Tour! Thank God for that, since we Stones fans are sorely lacking in funds from all the shows we have seen.

    Mick, then Charlie, Keith and Ronnie all entered the hotel by the main entrance, the backing band followed suit shortly after. I had a 2 second word with Keith regarding the skull chain of mine he had been wearing during the first leg of the tour. Said hello to Ronnie & Jo as well. Welcomed Chuck, Blondie and Shelley to Pittsburgh. Hadn't seen the Stones themselves in a hotel since Philly back in September. Later we saw Ronnie & Jo go for dinner and return, as well as many of the backing band. Mick must have snuck out, but we saw him return later in the evening.

    On show day the boys left for rehearsals around 4:15-4:30. Mick again was taken out the basement entrance, while all the others went out the main doors. Keith got an ovation from the crowd in the lobby. This is the first time I have seen so many non-guests allowed in a hotel where the Stones were staying. People lined the lobby with cameras & pens and several succeeded with photos and autographs. Even the hotel staff came out of the restaurant and bar to catch a glimpse of the boys.

    The Pittsburgh weather was...well, it was Pittsburgh in January that's for sure. By showtime it was snowing like crazy and there was a windchill of -5 degrees. We froze our asses off just walking across the street to the Mellon Arena. The show was sold out, and on a night like that I sure wouldn't have been wanting to hunt down scalpers, though I did see them lurking about.

    We picked up our tickets at Band Will Call and headed to the VIP Lounge, where we met Chuck and some people from the local media. We missed Ryan Adams as the opener, which I wouldn't have minded seeing, but who can pass up free beer right? After a pit stop at the bathroom, we headed to our seats in the second row Keith's side. Fabulous. The best seats I have ever had for an arena show. That doesn't count front row scalper tickets at Veteran's Stadium in 1997, or when a friend allowed us to sneak into the front row in the First Union in 1999. These were legitimate second row, WOW.

    We almost held our breath excitement as the lights went down and Keith stepped out of the darkness a few feet from us, ripping into Street Fighting Man. God, they are so CLOSE. And Keith looked SO good. We pinched outselves. The first few songs were a blur, since it was hard to take my eyes off Keith at such an up close and personal distance. I think Monkey Man is where I finally snapped out of it and began to catch my breath. Mick was mimicking a monkey in front of us! When I saw them grab the acoustics, I wondered what the tune would be, and then the first notes of Angie were played. Mick forgot a few lyrics, but who cares. Then they whipped into Live With Me, and the Let It Bleed set, my favorite Stones album...and the best version of Midnight Rambler I have ever seen played on the main stage. An extended jam ensued, with Keith teasing Mick, and Mick teasing Keith...we were incredulous. At some point near Tumbling Dice my friend caught one of Keith's picks in mid-air, which had been flying out to the first 5 rows by the dozen it seemed.

    Mick & Keith Lick Pittsburgh 01-10-03
    Photo Pittsburgh Tribune Review

    Ah, time for Keith's set. I will never forget how beautiful he looked in that one blue spot light that surrounded him during Slipping Away. "Hello Pittsburgh, I told ya I'd be back". Thank God for that. Gimme Shelter was a treat as usual, and Lisa showed off a new outfit and a new short haircut to go with her superb vocal talents. Can't You Hear Me Knocking was a kick-ass version, I particularly liked Bobby's sax solo and Mick's harp. On Honky Tonk Women we danced for Keith...oh yeah.

    At the first strains of Satisfaction we headed to the B-stage, getting in the front corner on Keith's side. Of course, I had yet another skull scarf for Keith (#8 since 1997). Other people enjoy giving scarves to Keith now too, but it became my trademark. Even other people in the entourage have requested my scarves, and have a few of them. In fact, on this particular night I was told by Keith's personal assistant that he would love to have my scarf and therefore it was sent to him after the show ended. I also got a few more Keith picks for my collection at the B-stage.

    After the B-stage set ended, we headed back to the main stage and were in the corner on Keith's side in the front row. I happened to know the venue security guy who left us stand there. It would have been nice to have 2 songs on the main stage as encores, but this is the way they have been choosing to end arena shows this tour. We got covered in a swathe of red confetti circles during Jumping Jack Flash. What a show! Better than Pittsburgh '99 IMHO.

    We headed back to the hotel, walking one mile in the snow, and were almost frozen solid when we arrived. We chatted with Blondie, Bernard & Chuck and everyone seemed to have been pleased with the set that night. I was told that Keith indeed loved my scarf,called it the prize of the evening and had it hanging over his lamp in his room. Needless to say, I was thrilled. We stayed up till they closed the bar and closed the lobby down around 3am.

    My scarf hanging on the lamp at the Fairmont San Francisco

    The next day we hung out at the bar again and were able to see the entire entourage leave for the airport (onto Boston). That was after 3 hours of loading luggage. The backing band left at 2:45pm, and the Stones themselves followed a 1/2 hour later. Mick was again snuck out the basement door. Thankfully, Keith always uses the front door. Blondie was riding with Keith that day, so when I saw him come down the elevator I knew Keith wouldn't be far behind. We stood to the left side of the elevator doors and when Keith came out, he looked my way. Keith was purposely asked to stop and was told that I was the one who gave him the scarf. I walked over to him, he put his right arm around me and he murmured "Thank you darling" and then he gave me a kiss on the lips! I said "Love ya baby" and they headed for the van. Unfuckingbelievable. Someone took a photo, but it wasn't anyone in our group...I'd love to see that! It was a lifetime dream come true for me. After 22 years of being a fan, I finally met Keith Richards! It was well worth the wait. THANK YOU KEITH!!!!!!!!!

  • January 8, 2003
    Tour resumed in Montreal. Mick was a bit under the weather, but things went very well and fans and the band alike were happy with the show.

    2002 Licks Tour News Page

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