Following is the Schedule A for the Rolling Stones Euro Tour 197o that lists the pending dates:
Following is the Schedule A for the Rolling Stones Euro Tour 197o that lists the pending dates:
Sadly I have to report that Barry Fey has died. I spoke with Barry for the first time in over forty years on November 14, 2012. I had offered to send him a copy of the call sheet I posted in the On the Road with the Rolling Stones post as well as a part of my original appendix which listed his date seen below. He sounded great, rehashing old times and proud of the success of his book. Sad day.
I was at a party honoring Albert given by Joan Churchill and Haskell Wexler. Great seeing them all.
In the photo–Haskell Wexler leaning over the couch to discuss camera lenses with Albert Maysles, as I look on…
Please let me know what you think about my including the actual documents, such as the following call sheet for the first day of the 1969 Rolling Stones US Tour, in my book. Send me a message via the Send Me a Message link.
The following call sheet (page 1 of 15 pages) was created by Bill Belmont for Chip Monck and me. These were the orders for the first day of the ’69 United States Rolling Stones Tour:
See, a crossing guard kid can end up hanging out with the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Sam Cooke and many others. Civic duty pays off or else it’s having an uncle in the business.
I thought it would be cool, being a crossing street guard. I got a badge with an over the shoulder belt, I ‘worked’ outdoors, I aided in the safety of children, I helped my school and got my teacher’s respect. You would think I would look at that picture with pride but I look at it and think, “so that’s why I always think I’m fat.” I never got that image out of my subconscious.
Okay, so this isn’t my typical on the road story but it does, indirectly, result in a special moment with John Lennon and I, that I may share with you, at a later time.
LIVERMORE — They say if you can remember it, you weren’t there.
Even so, the March 27 screening of the film “Gimme Shelter” at the Vine Cinema in Livermore was a trip down memory lane for audience members who’d actually witnessed the free concert at the Altamont Speedway on Dec. 6, 1969.
The sold-out showing was presented as a fundraiser by the Livermore Heritage Guild; Ron Schneider, the Rolling Stones’ tour manager that year and the film’s executive producer, was the evening’s honored guest. Lively spectators, more than a few dressed in hippie regalia — beads, tie-dye shirts and fringed jackets — applauded every time Schneider appeared on screen.
“They say you never bring a knife to a gunfight,” Schneider said in introducing the film. “At Altamont, the knife won.”
Woodstock, and this was going to be our Woodstock,” DeLeon said. “I was right there when all that action was going on. It was intense.”DeLeon, who grew up in Hayward, could be seen dancing at several points in the film. She had met her friends at the stage and was trapped up front for the concert’s duration.
“There was so much activity, a lot of tension and fights,” she recalled. “It was scary.”
Carl Silva, 61, of Livermore said he and his friends had abandoned their car and hiked a mile over the hills to the concert, finding themselves in the middle of a human deluge. He grooved to Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Santana, but then things started getting “wild and crazy.”
“All I could see from where I was at was the dust around the stage from where fights were breaking out,” Silva said. “The Hells Angels were keeping people away from the stage, but they were doing it violently.”
Others who had been at Altamont disagreed with the film’s portrayal of Altamont as a complete disaster, and wondered what was left on the cutting room floor. Kevin Ryan, 62, of Pleasanton, was there watching on the hills far from the stage. A longtime Stones’ fan, Ryan said from his vantage point he couldn’t see the violence in the front and enjoyed the music with his friends.
“We all had a great time,” Ryan said.
No one in the audience reported witnessing the concert’s darkest moment, the stabbing death of 18-year-old Meredith Hunter by a Hells Angel. Shown at the film’s climax, the footage of the incident drew audible gasps from first-time viewers.
Even leaving Altamont had its scary moments, as Schneider revealed in the post-screening Q&A. In the helicopter ride to the airport, the pilot told the cramped passengers the copter was overloaded and he’d be forced to land it like a plane, which he’d never done before.
“We made it,” Schneider said. “But it was a little hairy.”
Schneider also explained how “Gimme Shelter” had been cobbled together. It was filmed over the course of a week; the cameramen hired at the last second, one of them an aspiring director by the name of George Lucas. It wasn’t until on the plane back from Altamont that the deal for a feature film was made, for an investment by Schneider of $133,000. Filmmaker David Maysles and editor Charlotte Zwerin edited the movie for six months, while Schneider negotiated with the studios.
“I’m still proud of this, and I can always enjoy watching it,” Schneider said. “It’s always great to listen to the Stones.”
For Schneider, the screening also confirmed accounts he’d heard, that many who were there saw Altamont as a positive experience.
“It’s a microcosm of society,” Schneider said of the concert.
Stop by and say hello…
Picture this. The year is 1969. The Rolling Stones’ tour bus is cruising down the California highway heading to the next show. The band is exhausted, but there’s still a buzz on board from the jabbering of young, hip long-hairs who make up most of the traveling party. The Rolling Stones are infamous for taking on strays for their voyages, and the ’69 tour was a prime example of that.
It would be hard for anyone to stand out through the fog and smoke of this grass menagerie, but somehow one woman does. Charlie Watts is a live-and-let-live kind of guy, but his curiosity is piqued. He leans over to Sam Cutler, the Stones’ touring manager, and asks, “Who is that woman over there?”
Cutler goes to check it out personally and returns seconds later with a strangely logical answer. He waves toward the young, heavyset man sitting in the window next to the lady and tells Charlie, “That’s John Jaymes’s mother.”
Charlie, who never misses a beat, fires back, “Well, who the hell is John Jaymes?”
It’s a great question. Who the hell was John Jaymes? I will try to tell you.
“Fans of the film Gimme Shelter might remember John Jaymes as a portly “promoter” with muttonchop sideburns who took center stage as the Altamont concert approached. He can be seen in one scene discussing the security concerns of the free concert with California lawyer Mel Belli who helped plan the show. And he can be spotted fleeing the melee with the band in a helicopter after everything broke down.
I became instantly obsessed with John Jaymes while I worked on 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of the Rolling Stones. I had the honor of sifting through the audio of many of the interviews to find and transcribe tasty rock and roll nuggets that would fit nicely in the overall narrative. That’s all I was meant to do, but I couldn’t help myself from getting distracted. This guy John Jaymes just kept showing up in the interviews. And each time he did, the next story was more interesting the last.
No one would identify any official role with the Stones, and when they mentioned his name, it was always to blame him for something or other. But I was confused: how could he be blamed for anything if he wasn’t even supposed to be there? I had to dig some more.
I reached out to many of the people who were on the ’69 Tour including Ronnie Schneider, Stanley Booth, Ethan Russell, Michael Lydon, Sam Cutler, Bill Belmont, Chip Monck, anyone that I could get to who might know who Jaymes really was.
At the mention of his name, each one of them seemed to recoil, still either furious or fascinated or both. And everything I learned seemed to contradict what I thought i already knew about James. Let me explain. . .
Belmont believed he worked for Chrysler. Schneider intimated that he was with the mob, Cutler thought he was an FBI agent. Russell thought he was gross. Monck refused to acknowledge his existence. And Lydon saw him as a literary character, a tale waiting to be told. But of them all, only one of them claimed to know how Jaymes actually got on the tour.
Bill Belmont, who was the band’s equipment manager in ’69, told me that at the last minute the Stones had lost their ground transportation for the tour, a potentially crippling problem. So he and Chip Monck went to the studio of radio legend Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow. Brucie suggested Jaymes as someone who might be able to help them out.
Jaymes claimed to work for Chrysler and promised the Stones a fleet of cars, which he promptly delivered by promising Chrysler that the Stones would do some free ad work for them in exchange for the transportation help. The Stones believed Jaymes. Chrysler believed Jaymes. The cars were delivered. The tour went on. And at some point Jaymes’s mother Grayce came along for the ride.
I was thrilled to solve a mystery of the Stones tour that their manager Ronnie Schneider couldn’t even answer. Then, I asked Chip Monck to confirm the story. Uh oh.
Monck said that he had never met Cousin Brucie. Cousin Brucie said he’d never even heard of John Jaymes and didn’t remember any of it. Oh well, back to the research.
In an amazing twist of fate, it turns out they were all right in their own way. Jaymes was tied to the mob while working with the FBI and conning Chrysler. He was a gross literary figure, and he didn’t exist. You read that right; there was no such person as John Jaymes. His name was just an alias a lifetime impostor named John Clifford Ellsworth donned for a few years. So who was John Clifford Ellsworth? Well that’s a story for another day. . .
But in the short term, if you want to read more about him, you can check out my essay on page 117 of 50 Licks.