Guitarist and singer Ryan Adams played his “Exile On Main St.” Rolling Stones tribute on May 5 at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, an event I wanted to attend until I saw the ticket prices.
They were too much for me, but a day or two after the show, I had regrets.
I enjoy watching tribute concerts on TV and this could have been my first time to go to one at the Saenger, which has also hosted shows honoring the music of Dr. John, the Neville Brothers and The Band. The Stones are one of my favorite bands. “Exile” is one of the favorites in my record collection. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities.
Perhaps I should have paid $70 for a presale ticket when I had the chance. It might have been worth it. I heard fans received free Morning Call beignets outside the Saenger after the concert.
My night included a stop outside Aztecas Restaurant and Cantina in my hometown of Gulfport, Miss., to hear a rock band play Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” at a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
About 75 miles from Gulfport, producer Don Was and a group of New Orleans musicians joined Ryan Adams and members of his band for “Exile on Bourbon St.,” performing cover versions of all the songs on the Stones’ 1972 double album.
I learned that an editor and a writer from the Gulfport Sun Herald, my former employer, were there and I messaged the editor after I saw her concert video clip on Instagram.
“I’m happy for you. I’m unhappy for me,” I said.
Then it dawned on me that my brother, Mike, and I saw the Stones in June 1972 at the Municipal Auditorium in Mobile, Ala., and the concert featured songs from “Exile,” which came out in May.
Trust me, I’ll never forget seeing the Stones and the singer who opened for them – Stevie Wonder. It just took time for me to connect what is now six days ago to 46 years ago.
Damn, the summer of ’72 was far superior to Ryan Adams because it was the real thing. In a post-Beatles world, it was the Stones playing on their “Exile” tour, their first concerts since Altamont in December 1969. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman were young. Mike and I were younger.
I was 20 years old and just starting my Boogie rock-music fanzine. Mike was an 18-year-old football player just out of high school.
The Stones’ set list included six “Exile” songs: “Rocks Off,” “Happy,” “Tumbling Dice,” “Rip This Joint,” “All Down the Line” and “Sweet Virginia.”
Then there were the bonus tracks, the non-“Exile” gems such as “Brown Sugar,” “Bitch,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Midnight Rambler,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Street Fighting Man.”
This was the Stones at their peak..
Looking back, I’m happy for me. I’m happy for Mike, too.