The Rolling Stones Liberation Front Issues Its Demands

Aniticipating an imminent announcement of a 50th anniversary tour, a group calling itself The Rolling Stones Liberation Front (not the Liberation Front of the Rolling Stones; that’s probably another organization; same thing for the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Rolling Stones and People’s Liberation Front for the Rolling Stones) has issued a set of demands.

They’re demanding that the Stones change the way they tour.  If those demands aren’t met, they’re threatening some kind of non-violent disruption campaign.  

Looking over this list, they’re not entirely unreasonable.  Perhaps when Keef full recovers from his recent eye surgery he and Mick and give this a once-over.

We believe the time has passed for gargantuan mega-arena spectaculars; hardly anything good comes from these soulless shows. Scale it back. Throw away the lights, the inflatables, the fireworks and the catwalks. Keep it simple. Mick Jagger no longer needs to prove himself a physically fit older gentleman, we get it. The introduction of the considerably smaller B-stage set up in the middle of the venue at the end of 1994’s Voodoo Lounge Tour was a perfect step toward this philosophy. Ask any concert goer and they’ll tell you the best part of the last fifteen years of Rolling Stones shows has always been that time they play the three or four songs on the smaller stage. How much more of a hint do they need? We demand an alternative: establish a residency in theaters for up to seven days in every city on the perspective tour. You cannot tell us, in 2012, an organization as big and experienced as The Rolling Stones cannot pull off this task. Their fan is a dedicated one, almost to a fault and the band should not worry about loyalty, the people will come to them, it is all but assured. Leave your 400 tons of steel at home. Two guitars, bass, drums and a vocal mike, that’s it; the magic is in the music not in the lights. Cut the fat, less is more.

We believe it is unacceptable to charge up to $350 for a single ticket. The Rolling Stones do not need the money, but we need our money. We believe a band needing to charge $85 – $100 for upper balcony seats is a band no longer in touch with their fan base. We demand the ticket price for the next tour to be no more than $30 and without any and all service charges. The people have been burned many times before by useless and expensive incentives such as “fan club seats” and pre-sale tickets which only lead us to frustration and bad sightlines; experience has taught us there are no special seats for the proletariat no matter how many hoops we jump through. If you are within the first twenty rows on the main floor, a Rolling Stones show is an unparalleled experience. If you are anywhere behind row 30, the show is a drag, an expensive drag.

Like it or not, this has become a worker’s struggle; it’s the masses who fill a majority of the seats at The Rolling Stones concerts. Today it is only the bourgeoisie who can afford (or are given tickets to) seats near the front; fat cats, music critics and their sloppy, clueless friends who have only a passing interest in the band. We’ve been watching them for years from our positions high above; we watch with furrowed brows through binoculars as they stare up at the stage, in the glare of the lights, unmoving and jaded. This is an outrage. We demand the Rolling Stones to go back to regular, first come/first serve ticket sales, preferably at physical ticket outlets and not via the Internet. No promos, no guest lists.

Read the other four demands here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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