by Ed Edelschaap and Adri Steenland
Two Dutch Stones fans (Ed from Rotterdam and Adri from Gouda) would like to tell the IORR readers about their efforts to be able to see the Stones in Paradiso. Together with 2 other fans they booked a hotel in Amsterdam and were busy almost night and day in their search for information and the place to get tickets. Their efforts were rewarded. This is the story:
Ed: 'On May 17 I heard the first rumours about the Paradiso shows. At first I just couldn't believe it. But the next day the story hit the TV and the newspapers.'
Adri: 'As soon as I realised that Paradiso was more than a rumour, I booked a hotel in Amsterdam and took a few days leave from the office. I thought we had a better chance if we stayed in Amsterdam. On May 24 I went to Amsterdam with my girlfriend Marian and that same afternoon we were able to take pictures of the Stones as they left the "Amstel" hotel.'
Ed: 'The rumours about the concerts were confirmed in the evening of May 24 on Dutch TV. But Adri missed that important information because he was hanging 'round the "Amstel" hotel. I came to Amsterdam on May 25 and told Adri the concerts were confirmed. Our big worry now was: where can we obtain tickets for the shows?'
Adri: 'There was an official statement by the Stones management on the walls of Paradiso about the ticket sale. It would start Friday morning, May 26, at 10 o'clock. The spot where remained a big secret. We tried to figure out where the place could be. According to the endless rumours there were about 7 possible locations in Amsterdam.'
Ed: 'The Stones management had announced that the place of the ticket sale would be made public on local radio at 10 o'clock Friday morning.
That morning we had breakfast in our hotel around 8 o'clock and we still didn't have a clue where to go. Our friend Martin decided to order a taxi, to be able to drive to several possible locations and "hope for the best". Only minutes before we left the hotel at 09.15 hrs. we got a phonecall from a friend. He advised us to go to "The Melkweg" because one of the morning papers printed that information.'
Adri: 'The funny thing was that "The Melkweg" wasn't mentioned once until now as a possible spot for the place. The taxi driver brought us there and shortly before 09.30 our group of 4 fans were in the queue with some 200 people in front of us. We held the taxi standby in case we were in the wrong spot here. We asked several people in the row why they were standing here. The answers were not very encouraging: everyone just gambled...
Many people had portable radio's to be able to hear the news about the place at 10 o'clock.'
Photo below: Martin Kers (radio), Adri (glasses), Ed (cap), at the May 26 Melkweg queue in Amsterdam.
Ed: 'You can imagine how glad and relieved we were when we heard on the news we were standing in the right spot. As soon as the news had hit the radio, hundreds of people came running from both sides of the street towards "The Melkweg". After maybe 10 minutes the whole street was covered with some 2000 Stones fans. Shortly after 10 the doors were opened and people were allowed inside, in small groups.'
Adri: 'The police was nearby but they didn't do much to keep people in control. Everyone pushed toward the gate, people could easily have been hurt. We finally went inside around a quarter past 10. The pushing here inside just continued. Towards 10.30 we finally got our ticket. The price was only 25 guilders (£ 10,00) and everyone got a wristband. A broken wristband would mean no admittance to the concert, so black market was impossible.'
Ed: 'People who chose for the Friday show got an orange wristband, for the Saturday show the wristband was blue and it was completed by a small red ticket. Shortly after 10.30 we were outside, with a wristband, and we just couldn't believe we had been so lucky.
We celebrated our efforts of the past days and the luck of today with coffee and a pastry. Around noon the first fans already queued outside the Paradiso.'
Adri: 'We walked to Paradiso around 6 p.m. and there were only about 20 or 30 people in line in front of us. Several TV stations had camera crews here and the 'NOS' team had a short interview with Ed (that was broadcasted later that evening).
At 8.30 p.m. the doors were finally opened and we walked in. The security was very tight, everyone's wristband got inspected properly. I walked to a spot in front of the stage, the hall was still empty. Ed went upstairs to the balcony. Paradiso was draped with curtains and they had built a second balcony. What really amazed me was that the hall remained half empty until shortly before the concert. There were a lot of camera's everywhere.
At 10.15 p.m. the Stones were announced and seconds later Keith was standing in front of me, only 2 meters away from me...
Only when they started Not fade away I began to realise how privileged I was to be here. The sound however was not very good here in front of the stage.'
Ed: 'I had chosen the balcony for a better view and the sound was excellent from up here. I was really surprised by the songs they played. First however a few well-known songs from the Voodoo lounge tour: It's all over now, Live with me and Let it bleed.
But who could have dreamt to hear the Stones play The spider and the fly. I was amazed. Then came a few acoustic songs: Beast of burden and Angie. Then a couple of country songs: Wild horses, Sweet Virginia and Dead flowers.'
Adri: 'The biggest suprises, however, had still to come. Shine a light was a highlight but the real sensation of this evening was Like a Rolling Stone, the first time ever to be played live by the Stones. It fitted them perfectly and the crowd went wild. I realised I witnessed a historic concert.
After Connection Mick introduced the band but he forgot Charlie. The crowd didn't forget him however and they yelled 'Charlie, Charlie, Charlie'. Mick seemed embarressed and Charlie finally got the proper introduction. '
Ed; 'Keith played 2 songs: Slipping away and The worst. In the song Gimme shelter Mick duelled with Lisa. She pulled Mick's T shirt out of his pants and the crowd just loved it. After All down the line another surprise: Respectable. As far as I could remember this song wasn't played since 1978. Every now and then the Stones made a small mistake. Rip this joint had a re-start but the crowd didn't mind. It was clear that the Stones enjoyed playing very much and they were really at their top. They finished with the encore Street fighting man and left the stage shortly after midnight.'
Adri: 'After the concert I stayed for a while in the Paradiso club and met several of my friends, everyone was so happy. I also met Ed here and we talked about the concert and how we had enjoyed it and we soon agreed: This was the most memorable evening of our life!!' Greetings from Ed (48, fan since the early 60's) and Adri (45, fan since the mid 60's).
It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 26 June 1996 - © The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe