Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Rolling Stones at The Belly Up, May 27, 2015

Rumors and speculation started about a week before The Rollings Stones big show at Petco Park on Sunday. Where are they staying? (supposedly the Grand Del Mar) Will they do any warm up shows? (Wednesday at the Fonda in LA, a 1200 person venue-same size as The Observatory North Park- of which 300-400 went on sale to the public the day of show for $5 + $5 service charge, which was refunded at the door) Will they do any secret shows in San Diego? The answer to this one, as we all now know, was yes.

Last night, The Rolling Stones played a private party at The Belly Up. According to CBS8, the party was paid for by Ralph Whitworth. Whitworth is the founder of Relational Investors, LLC, and has served on many boards of publicly traded companies, including serving as interim president for Hewlett-Packard (wiki).

photo used with permission Meryl/The Belly Up Facebook

photo used with permission Meryl/The Belly Up Facebook

It was fun to watch the news coverage (Fox 5, SoundDiego) and my Facebook wall throughout the day, chatting with Meryl all the while as she (and every other Belly Up employee) was bombarded with calls and texts from long lost friends. There were people pretending to be there who weren't, and the people who were kept mum until the whole affair was over and Mick and the band pulled off in their black towncars.

Of all the people that were there trying to get in, I was so ecstatic that the most deserving person of all, Tim Mays, was invited to attend. Tim gave me permission to share his Facebook post.
So I got to see the Rolling Stones at the Belly Up last night! Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a diehard, longtime Stones fan and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in a small venue. I was on standby all day and finally got a text about 8:15 which said "start heading north". I was on the road immediately and parked way down the block on Cedros and walked up to the club. It was a carnival atmosphere out front with people milling about in hopes of getting in, minstrels with acoustic guitars walking around singing Stones' songs, and every radio station in town parked on the street. I got to the door just as they were closing it and got in the club about 9pm.

The only people I knew there were folks from the Belly Up and Josh Rubinstein from DMTC (ed: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Did I mention that it was an open bar??? Don Julio 1942 all around... 
Anyway, this was one of the best shows I've ever seen - they played all the hits and a few curiosities - I Got The Blues was amazing. Mick strapped on a guitar for When the Whip Comes Down, which I had only seen them play once before, on the 1978 Some Girls tour. Paint It Black was very dark and menacing and Midnight Rambler was downright evil. Start Me Up, It's Only Rock'n'Roll, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil, Crazy Mama, Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women, Miss You, Jumping Jack Flash - all the hits.
I jumped up and down like a kid at times and sang every word for every song and had tears of joy running down my cheeks. It was truly an amazing night of music.
You can also hear Meryl talk about the show with Chris Cantore here.

No doubt this was an incredible experience for everyone who was able to be a part of it all.

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