The Rolling Stones St James Park Newcastle 1982

The Rolling Stones
St James Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, June 23rd 1982
Support Acts: J Geils Band, George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Setlist: Under My Thumb; When the Whip Comes Down; Let’s Spend the Night Together; Shattered Neighbours; Black Limousine; Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me); Twenty Flight Rock; Going to a Go-Go; Chantilly Lace; Let Me Go; Time is on My Side; Beast of Burden; You Can’t Always Get What You Want; Little T&A; Tumbling Dice; She’s So Cold; Hang Fire; Miss You; Honky Tonk Women; Brown Sugar; Start Me Up; Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Encore: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones were on tour across Europe again in 1982, some 6 years after their last UK appearances, in support of their album, Tattoo You. UK Fans had waited a long time for this tour, and anticipation was high. The tour took in a mix of venues from small concerts halls in Scotland, to stadiums in Newcastle and London. I queued for hours outside St James Park to get tickets for the Newcastle gig. People slept all night outside the ground and the queue weaved its way around all the surrounding streets. After a few hours in the queue I managed to get tickets for the gig. This was the first gig at the Newcastle ground and the local fans were determined to give the band a good reception. Support came from George Thorogood and the J Geils Band, who had recently had a hit with their single Centrefold. The Stones started with Under My Thumb, which was quite unexpected for me. I’d become used to them opening with big hits like Jumpin’ Jack Flash. The show was quite long, although not as long as their Knebworth set. We started off sitting in the stand opposite the stage, and spent some time wandering around the pitch. The gig was general admission, so you could wander around the stadium freely. The Stones played well, but not great, and the sound wasn’t too hot. I missed the intimacy of the City Hall gigs.
Reports from the time suggest that there was friction in the band, particularly between Mick and Keith, and the shows got mixed reviews. This was their first mega tour of Europe, and followed on from a massively successful US tour, which was the biggest grossing tour of 1981. This was the start of a pattern for the Stones, of stadium gigs, based on a massive stage show, every few years.

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17 responses to this post.

  1. …and I was first in the queue! A couple of mates and I were walking into town the night the ticket sales were announced. Seeing that the ticket office at St.James Park was to open the next morning, we nipped back up to Fenham, grabbed some sleeping bags & a thermos of coffee, went back and sat down outside the ticket office. Before long a queue had started to form behind us & shortly after that Journal & Chronicle reporters arrived to take our pics. We were 1st year students at the Poly and were to miss some important field trip the next day. We turned up the following day to tell the tutor we’d all come down with food poisoning, only to witness him pulling out the clip from the Evening Chronicle with me giving a Jagger handclap for the photographer…! Strangely enough, all three of us failed and got chucked off the course at the end of the year…

    I really enjoy this blog – it seems that we went to the same gigs (I used to come up to the City Hall from Middlesbrough through the late ’70’s). Thanks for the memories!

    Reply

    • Posted by AD on July 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      I was also there with a mate who’d got us a couple of tickets; Stones were the best band/gig I saw while living in Newcastle for three years and that inlcudes seeing The Who at City Hall. Also remember fireworks at the end.
      We were 2nd year students at the Poly, I can’t recall all the stuff we saw at the Student Union & City Hall, but they were good times

      Reply

  2. Posted by Graeme on April 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    During a session at the pub I heard that the tickets were going on sale the following day. None of my mates were up for an overnight queue, so I started to walk to the Toon (from Forest Hall). Luckily I got picked up by one of my old teachers who dropped me off at St James’. I wasn’t too far back in the line so I was happy but I was a bit cold. In those days we thought you could get haemorrhoids from sitting on the ground, so I asked the lasses behind me if I could sit on the edge of their plastic sheet. They were champion and I spent the rest of the night gratefully snuggled up to a couple of warm nurses (no hanky-panky).
    The queue was one the front page of one of the local papers (? The Journal) and I was the bedraggled hippy in a donkey jacket on one of the left hand bends. I don’t suppose anyone has the pic?

    Reply

  3. Posted by Beej on August 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I was there too – George Thorogood were great too. There with my mates from Bede college – Chippy James, The Bison, probably Cod and Chips, Taddy, maybe Hockitt and Tommy??

    I think I had the white rutting troos on… didn’t pull though!

    – Beej

    Reply

  4. Posted by Tony Poolan on November 21, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I was there. Thorogood was OK, J. Geils pretty average. My overarching memory is of Mick running from one side of the stage to the other consistently – would have killed me even then! That and You Can’t Always Get What You Want. There has been and always was friction between Mick and Keith so that report doesn’t surprise me. They were much better than I expected as Black and Blue and Emotional Rescue weren’t great albums (Some Girls was better but not to me anyway as wonderful as a lot of other people thought?)and I knew that a lot of Tattoo You was cobbled together from years of old demos. Not bothered with their stuff to be honest since apart from reissues – still love the period from the 60s to this gig and am still deep down a big fan.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on November 21, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Hi Tony Many thanks. I still believe that in many ways the Stones are the embodiment of the “greatest rock’n’roll band in the world”. Still as good today Cheers Peter

      Reply

  5. Posted by Tony Poolan on November 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Well Peter I have bought the From The Vaults stuff and I was very surprised at how very good they were at Glastonbury. I still like them – their more recent stuff doesn’t do a lot for me – but they have such a great back catalogue.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on November 21, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Tony. Yes the Stones were pure class at Glastonbury. For me it doesn’t get much better than seeing the Stones play Paint it Black, Jumping Jack Flash, Gimme Shelter or Sympathy for the Devil. Hope I get the chance to see them again Peter

      Reply

  6. Just a note to say that I think that this gig was the first time they used a centralised sound system which was suspended in the middle of the stadium and connected to the musicians and lyrics by wireless! Just saying! that may be a reason for the bad sound as well as Keef being out his face!

    Reply

  7. Posted by Ian on October 15, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Couldn’t miss this one, even though we’d bought tickets for the following weekend’s Wembley show, which was announced well before the Toon gig. I seem to remember my girlfriend got the tickets at HMV on Northumberland St. I kind of remember it being dull and overcast (drizzle?) the tickets said no cans or bottles so a few nutters showed up with poly bags full of lager and cider ! Excellent bill with Thorogood and the J Geils band. I thought the Stones were better in Newcastle than at Wembley – though the London tube strike may have coloured my recollection a bit!
    I’ve seen the Stones in the US a couple of times in the last 2 years and they’re better than ever. In 2013 with Mick Taylor they were very good – although Keith’s solos were a bit iffy.However just this summer I took my kids to see their Dad’s favourite band in Raleigh, NC – They were probably the best I’ve ever seen them and Keith was .. well Keith but his playing was back to par. My girls danced all night, and so did I.

    Reply

  8. I was living near Glasgow and we camped outside HMV in Glasgow to buy tickets
    The day before the gig we hitched to Whitley Bay and then took the train to town …
    Straight into the pubs and we were wrecked before going into the ground !
    I kinda came to towards end of J Geils set and was ok for the stones
    I seem to remember going to a club that played stones music all night afterwards and of course the best bit was the chip stotties !

    Reply

  9. Posted by John Johnstone on August 17, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    This was a great gig, I thought that the Stones were on fire during that gig, comparable to the Knebworth 76 show. I remember the huge queue for tickets and having a couple at the Forth before the gig. I was working at Douglas House in the morning of the gig and could hear the band warming up, really set me up for it. I thought that George Thorogood put on a good show but the J.Geils Band were average (apart from Freeze Frame)

    Reply

  10. Posted by Tony Poolan on November 20, 2016 at 2:22 am

    It was a great day but the Stones were always a bit ramshackle live. The most staggering thing was the ground Jagger covered running back and forward across the stage!

    Reply

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