Rolling Stones 1964 Newsreel

(Source: Open Culture)

Just four days ago, the Rolling Stones celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their first concert, which happened on July 12, 1962 at London’s Marquee club. Articles have quoted lead singer Mick Jagger as describing the crowd that evening as the kind of audience they’d expected as a band: “college students having a night out,” an “art-school kind of crowd” who “weren’t particularly demonstrative, but they appreciated and enjoyed the set.” But the Stones’ demographic would soon both shift and expand dramatically: “A few months later we were playing in front of 11 year olds who were screaming at us.” You can witness this very phenomenon in the 1964 newsreel above; perhaps all of the kids lined up outside the theater aren’t quite that young, but we’re definitely not looking at a collegiate crowd. Still, what this full house (“in fact,” the narrator says, “it could have been filled ten times over”) lacks in maturity, they make up for in raw enthusiasm.

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