Re: Stones 1981-1982 Wardrobes
Date: December 30, 2020 13:21
CONTINUED FROM ABOVE POST
Stones roll from the covered Kingdome to the open air
By Clay Eals
Dow Constantine remembers it well. Our King County executive was a 19-year-old
University of Washington sophomore when he saw the Rolling Stones’ sixth show
in Seattle, on Oct. 14, 1981, the first night of back-to-back concerts. Among
71,000 packing the Kingdome, he was down front in what was crudely called “the
pit.” The Greg Kihn Band opened, followed by the J. Geils Band. The Stones
took the stage at 10:55 p.m. and finished about 1 a.m.
This milieu radiates from our atmospheric “Then” image, captured by Mike
Siegel, in one of his first photos for The Seattle Times. Constantine stands
near left, eying the wilder youths to his side. His subdued expression speaks
“Near the stage, the crowd was pretty aggressive,” he recalls. “You had to
stand your ground against the force of thousands pushing to get closer.” He
adds, with no little irony, “We thought it was the last time we would get a
chance to see the Stones because they were so old.”
The Oct. 14 and 15, 1981, shows also hosted scores of overdose cases, along
with a deeper tragedy. A 16-year-old girl died when she lost her balance and
fell backward 50 feet from the outside 200-level ramp onto a landing. Most
fans, and probably the Stones, didn’t learn of the death until after the Oct.
15 show. It was the first fatality in the Kingdome’s then-five-year history.
While no one inside felt moisture from the sky, as always there was — beyond
the haze and the substitution of rumbling echo for sound — the disquieting
feeling, in spite of the stadium’s enormity, of being trapped by the absence of
That was no deterrent for Constantine, a lifelong music fanatic who graduated
from grade-school trombonist to arts and music champion as an adult. He
nurtured his obsession by volunteering in 1981 at the campus radio station,
KCMU (now KEXP), eventually snagging plum DJ shifts.
Fast-forward nearly 38 years, and we find Constantine once more in the front
row at a Stones show, their 12th in Seattle, this time on the Kingdome’s
footprint at open-air CenturyLink Field. “No pushing and shoving,” he says.
“Very much an all-ages, good-vibe, bring-the-grandkids crowd.”
The Kingdome may have lasted only 24 years, but the Stones — and Constantine —
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020-12-30 13:23 by exilestones.