Rolling Stones in Rugby - The Rugby Observer

Rolling Stones in Rugby

Rugby Editorial 18th Sep, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

IT has been 50 years since one of the most influential rock bands in history took to the stage in Rugby.

The Rolling Stones performed at the Rugby Granada Theatre on Friday February 11, 1964, playing two shows on the same day – one at 6pm and another at 8pm.

They were not even the headline act at the theatre – which closed in 1976, was demolished in 2011, and which is currently a car park – sharing the bill with the likes of singer John Leyton and The Swinging Blue Jeans.

The Stones played concert halls up and down the country between 1963 and 1965 and author Richard Houghton is keen to hear from people with memories of the concerts. He is particularly interested in the social history of Britain around the time the Stones exploded onto the scene.




A Stones’ fan himself, Mr Houghton is writing a book chronicling the early years of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts, as they started to make their mark as a band.

Although they had played 300 shows in 1963, they had yet to achieve a top ten hit.


The ’64 tour saw them come of age, and by the time the returned to Rugby to play the Granada again on Saturday March 13, 1965, again playing two shows in a day, they had scored two number one singles in the UK – It’s All Over Now and Little Red Rooster – while The Last Time was in the charts and on its way to becoming their third chart-topper.

Mr Houghton said: “They were also projecting an image as the sort of band that your parents would not approve of – the antidote to the Beatles.”

Although they were not the headline act on the 1964 tour, they still managed to excite the crowd with a dynamic performance as they started to gain a reputation as a live band.

Mr Houghton added while no definitive set list for the performance existed but they would have probably played a dozen songs including blues and R&B classics such as Poison Ivy, Walking The Dog, Cops And Robbers and Roll Over Beethoven.

Mr Houghton added: “The country was going through a huge period of change after the post war austerity years and the Stones and their fans were part of that change. I’m hoping that your readers can paint a picture of what it was like to be a concert goer in 1960s Britain through their recollections.

“I’d love to hear if people have any more stories and to hear what else they remember about going to the concerts – what they wore, what they had for tea, whether they missed the last bus.”

Anyone with information or stories from the 1964 performances can contact Richard by email, [email protected], or write to 32 Manor Avenue, Preston, PR2 8DN.

The poster for the Rugby concert featuring a middle order Rolling Stones. (s)

A flyer for the concert in 1965 highlighting the impact the Stones were starting to make. (s)

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