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Fact #193495


Short story:

When The Rolling Stones play at Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, they encounter a local band, The Sands. Other artists on the bill are Patti Labelle And The Bluebelles, The Vibrations and The Rocking Ramrods.

Full article:

Larry Butterton (vocalist, The Sands):The Stones were coming to Raleigh. We had to go and see 'em and get front row tickets. We played a gig at the only Holiday Inn in town which was on U.S. 1 North, and somebody told us they were gonna stay there. So, the day of the concert, November 10th, 1965, I drove my dad's car to school, which was a big deal, and I remember we went out to the Holiday Inn, but we couldn't get anywhere - couldn't find out any information. So we drove to the airport. And Steve's dad worked at the airport, so I parked the car and Steve and I and whoever else was with us went in.

Steve Gaj (guitarist, The Sands):I went to see my dad, and he was a Federal Aviation investigator, and he said the official car from the airport was gonna have to meet that plane or inspect it or something when it landed. He said we could ride out in that car to meet the plane and we said, 'That's great!'

Larry Butterton : You've gotta remember, Raleigh-Durham Airport was dinky back then. We said, 'We've got to meet 'em! We've got to meet 'em!' And we rode out in a '62 Chevrolet station wagon. I'll never forget it, and the guy says, 'All right, you sit here and don't get out of the car until the plane comes in.'

So, we're sitting there and a '65 black Buick Riviera pulls up behind us and Charlie Brown, the local DJ gets out... Eddie Weiss. That's OK. We knew him.

Steve Gaj : We had played on shows that he emceed, and he knew us.

Larry Butterton : And on the passenger side, Keith Richards got out, and we just went 'WAAAGH! I can't stand it!' So, we got out and kinda ran over to him, shook his hand, and he was very nice; a pleasant guy. I kept looking at his hair - 'Look at it... it's down to here!' But we started talking about music and guitars and on and on. After we got past the fact that we were actually talking to one of The Rolling Stones, we talked for about thirty minutes about the South and where they were and where they'd been.

Back then they had quit making Gibson Les Pauls. I worked part-time at a music store in downtown Raleigh, Poole's Music, and they had a Gibson Les Paul for sale, an old one. When we told Keith this, he got excited. So, the plane came in and Brian got off. Brian Jones got off the plane and, 'Wow!', I remember he had on red corduroy pants which I thought was so cool.

He got together with Keith and they were talking, and Keith says, 'These guys say there's a Gibson Les Paul in this town!' And they got together with their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, and I remember he pulled $300 out of his pocket and said, 'I've got $300 American here.' This guy's walking around with $300 in his pocket! It was just amazing.

They got into the car and went to downtown Raleigh. We found out later they actually went to Poole's Music because we had said this, but they had sold the guitar a couple of days earlier. But you gotta get the picture! They went to downtown Raleigh, on Salisbury Street, with hair down to here... and they went into that store, man, in 1965!

In the meantime, a band from Boston got off the plane, the Rockin' Ramrods, and they were nice, and there was a black group, The Vibrations, and Patti Labelle And the Bluebelles. Finally, Mick got off, and I went up to him and said, 'Welcome to Chuck Berry country!' And Steve's going, 'That's so uncool. Why would you say such a stupid thing?', which it was, but Mick talked to us fifteen, twenty minutes - very nice; had a firm handshake. He talked about the blues and, again, the South and where they were.

I remember asking him, 'Can you play some of your blues stuff (at the show)?', and he said, 'No, we have to play our hits.' Bill and Charlie got off the plane. I never did get to meet Charlie, but Bill was very nice. Got his autograph. He got in the back of the police car with Mick and Charlie. And we followed 'em. We're riding down the road, squealing like 16 or 17-year old kids. Steve says I kept flashing my bright lights at 'em. I hope that's not true. I may have done that. So, we get to Reynolds Coliseum where they were gonna play, and they got out and ran inside... but there was nobody to chase 'em. I guess they were used to everybody chasing them and tearing their clothes off.

The show started, and The Embers opened for 'em...

Steve Gaj :That's probably how they were able to sell tickets to it!

Larry Butterton : Yeah, I guess the place was three-fourths full. There was no screaming or anything. There was polite applause when they came on, and they played for 35 minutes. I remember they played that Otis Redding song, That's How Strong My Love Is. They played Satisfaction, The Last Time,
Not Fade Away...

Steve Gaj : Get Off Of My Cloud...

Larry Butterton : There was one point where Mick was singing and Keith had a break -- and we were right down at Keith's feet. All there was was a barrier about as wide as that table, and it was no big deal - and Keith wasn't playing, and he looked right down at Steve and I and he said, 'Eh, 'ow ya doin'?' and then he started playing again. And no one would believe us!

Nobody believed we met 'em. I even have autographs. I've got Brian Jones' autograph! Brian had... which guitar did he have?

Steve Gaj : I think he had the Vox Teardrop. I think they changed some, used different guitars.

Larry Butterton : ...and Keith was playing that Epiphone, like he used on Shindig!. Mick had on a brown coat - the same one he wore on the plane. The whole experience was just tremendous!
(Source : not known)