Passion! That's what it's all about! It's Thursday morning the 18th of June. I am on may way from the cancelled Bilbao show, supposed to be on later today, but cancelled late afternoon yesterday due to Mick's laryngitis. My northbound travel is for the next shows in Werchter, Belgium, as the train through France stops at the station in Bordeaux. Many football fans from Scotland joins us on the train, and later on more fans from Brazil, with samba songs joins in. They all talk about their national teams, their players, the love of the sports, and their heroes. It's a passion. Just like loving the Stones.
This is my 5th day on the train this week, following the Nuremberg show. The travel through Austria to Italy was a waste, as the Milan show was cancelled on the day of the show, on Tuesday 16th. Then it was on though Switzerland and France to Spain and Bilbao, and again cancellations.
This tour has been a test on the patience of Stones fans across the continents. First Mick got a minor laryngitis in Philadelphia last year, and they had to change the secret MTV "10 Spot" show from the 14th to the 25th of October. But no official shows were affected, as the New Jersey shows went on as scheduled.
Then we all waited for the unconfirmed Madison Square Garden shows to happen in December, but they were changed into January. No big problems.
Then the bigger trouble started to happen. Mick got a more problematic laryngitis (sore throat) in Quebec, as they started up just over the New Year, and they had to postpone the shows in Syracuse and Toronto. Then the horrible winter storm in Montreal the same week forced that show out of the schedule too. The fans had to wait, but the shows were on in April, as a late add-on to the tour.
The Japan and South America concerts went on quite nicely, and without any trouble. Well, Ronnie may not agree, as he was on a boat trip in Brazil before the Rio show, when the boat stroke fire, and he had to be rescued by another boat (with paparazzi press photographers following him!). Nobody got hurt, but the boat they were in is now history. Luckily Ronnie was unharmed.
Then it was time for Berlin and the European Tour start. The very same week-end as they were about to leave for Berlin, Keith were up on a ladder, aiming for the now famous book in his library, when he happened to fall badly, injured ribs and his chest, and eight shows got cancelled/postponed. Fans in Germany, Spain, Croatia and France had to re-arrange holidays, travels and plans.
Then, just as the new tour start in Nuremberg was announced, the bad news about all four UK Stones concerts being cancelled was out. The UK fans are still crying. And as the Nuremberg show went by, I had the same creeping feeling I had in Philadelphia last year, that Mick's voice were in big trouble.
Well, Mick was fine for the Werchter, Belgium shows, in fact he was perfect. And so were Keith, Charlie, Ronnie and the rest of the band. And for the passion - enjoy the summer in Europe!
It's Only Rock'n Roll is a non-commercial, non-profit Stones magazine
published quarterly by editor Bjørnulf Vik, Norway.
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe 1980-1998.
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It's Only Rock'n Roll no. 33 - June 1998 - ©
The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe