« Checking in with Jah Works | Main | Rolling Stones in Baltimore, part 2 »

November 27, 2009

Rolling Stones in Baltimore -- 40 years later

the rolling stones in 1969This week in 1969, the Rolling Stones performed a sold-out show at the Baltimore Civic Center (now called the 1st Mariner Arena).

Now, 40 years later, here is The Baltimore Sun's recount of the show. There were fistfights and at least one karate chop to the throat, but somehow, no one was arrested. Oh, and the Stones played.

Rolling Stones Rock Civic Center

The shrieks of thousands of young females filled the Civic Center last night as the Rolling Stones, the English rock group, brought their brand of the electric apocalypse to Baltimore.

Mick Jagger, the head Rolling Stone, pranced out on the stage dressed in a red scarf, silver collar and a black costume amid the hysterical roar of the 13,000 persons who filled the Center to capacity ...

Crowd Mostly Orderly

Thousands more had been turned away in what was the Stones' first appearance in Baltimore in two years.

The crowd of youngsters was, for the most part, orderly, although one teen-aged miss leaped into the orchestra pit and nearly climbed up onto the stage before two burly guards carried her bodily to the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Jagger gyrated and leapt across the stage as he sang in an electric atmosphere of light and sound.

His four companions with electric guitars and a set of drums stood expressionless -- or benumbed -- by the giant sound which issued from a series of 9-foot-high speakers.

Swayed With Music

And in the final moments of a thunderous encore, several hundred kids climbed on their seats and began to sway in time with the music.

The Stones' act was preceded by B.B. King, who led a well-received funky blues group, and Terry Reid, who performed with another English group which was also well received.

During the B.B. King recital, a wild fistfight broke out between Civic Center guards and four youths whom they attempted to question in the mezzanine. 

At one point, a youth who attempted to interfere was held over a ramp railing by a guard who karate-chopped him in the throat. 

Councilman Robert C. Marshall (D., 4th) whose detective service works at the Civic Center, said that there were no arrests, but could not explain the incident.

No Arrests Made

About 30 youths had gathered around the struggling guard, screaming "Pig, pig, oink oink." One of the four youths, who had been sprayed with mace and clubbed over the head, managed to escape briefly, but was brought back into custody bleeding profusely from the mouth.

Captain Anton Glover of the Eastern district police said he thought the youths had been disorderly. He said no arrests were made, however.

(AP photo of the Rolling Stones in 1969. Also, special thanks to Sun archivist Paul McCardell for digging up the clip.)

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:43 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Local music, Random stuff


Oh the good old days, when you freely beat stinky hippy ass.

The article states the Stones hadn't performed in Baltimore for two years. I doubt that. That would have made in '67. I don't think the Stones played live anywhere in the U. S. in '67. I also think the incident that the article mentions where the girl is taken off stage is in the movie Gimmie Shelter. A very similar scene is in that movie.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "f" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected