4

For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: The Stones Play, Rain or Shine, at Cotton Bowl in '81

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

I see here I can buy back my misplaced Rolling Stones-at-the-Cotton Bowl concert tee for $139; quite the ... bargain? Better still: You can relive the show absolutely gratis -- at least, the Halloween '81 gully washer that gave way to the next day's bright-n-shiny seen in this blinding clip.

Given the Stones' earlier appearances here -- rehearsing at the Sumet-Burnet studios in June '72 before the next day's two-fer at the Tarrant County Convention Center, which ain't far from the July '78 show at Will Rogers -- I can't believe we've yet to revisit the band's two-day layover at the Cotton Bowl. No doubt you were there on October 31 and November 1, 1981, with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and ZZ Top opening and Jōvan sponsoring. I went second day -- my first concert without a parental guardian, having just turned 13 one whole week earlier. (I was, after all, now a man, cough.)

The band sounds even better now than I remembered. Doesn't hurt that the quality is soundboard you-are-there, no doubt a result of the entire tour having been filmed and recorded for the Hal Ashby-directed doc Let's Spend the Night Together. Those '70s shows mentioned above are raw, sleazy, pounds of grit and mounds of ash -- the party and the hangover. But by '81, Keith Richards had dried out and straightened up -- he hadn't sounded that good in years. As Robert Palmer noted in The New York Times only a few days after the Dallas dates: "He looks healthy, he is playing brilliantly and his backup vocals are often so lusty that they drown out Mr. Jagger, who is working harder to hold up his end of things as result." You can hear it two songs in, "When the Whip Comes Down."

Incidentally, the name of this rather famous boot? Fuckin' Wonderful. That's a Mick Jagger quote, heard after "Jumpin' Jack Flash," when he says: "Thank you very much, Dallas, you're fuckin' wonderful." Yes, Dallas, you are.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.