THE ROLLING STONES - SYDNEY 1973

August 8, 2022 – 6:31 am

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THE ROLLING STONES
Sydney 1973 [no label, 1CD]

The Rolling Stones Master Cassette Upgrade From Waz From Oz Archives. Live at the Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; February 26, 1973. Very good audience recording. 49th anniversary edition from Doris Death’s Master Cassette.

Thanks to wazza50, Doris Death and audiowhore for sharing the show at Dime.

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The Stones hadn’t performed in Sydney since February 18, 1966.

The 1973 Australian tour was announced by Paul Dainty Organization in November 1972, the Australian media went into overdrive, it was full of Stones this, Stones that. Tickets for the February 26, 1973 Sydney show went on sale on December 9, 1972 for the sum of A$5.20, cheaper than for the Cat Stevens (A$6.60) & Joe Cocker ($A6.20) Australian Tours, a Paul Dainty Spokesman spewed forth by saying “It’s not that the Stones are cheaper than Cat Stevens & Joe Cocker, they just have a better organized business”, & they don’t like to see kids ripped off, so they’ll discuss things & try to cut down costs.” How the Stones’ better organized business strategy has changed since then!

The February 26 show made Australian show business history by selling out faster than any other act. With another spokesman from the Paul Dainty Organization saying “Nobody, but nobody has ever sold out Randwick Racecourse before”. A second show on February 27 was put on sale and also sold out. Statistics state there were 25,000 punters each night, but this has to be higher as many folks scaled the walls or found other ways of getting in without paying a red cent. The Stones held the Randwick attendance record until 1986 when Pope John Paul (minus George & Ringo) threw a meet & greet for the faithful there.

Ruby & myself got up at sparrows fart that Sunday to go to David Jones Ticket Office in the city to fetch our tickets. Also, there that day unknown to us at the time was Doris Death AKA Pete who a few months later would become a good friend & fellow concert goer with us. It’s his recording you are listening to, he donated me his master cassette decades ago.

At that time the Stones tickets for the show were the biggest sized concert tickets we’d laid eyes on. They had the now famous Australian 1973 tour poster printed on them, every show on the tour had the same design but each was printed in a different colour, the first Sydney show was red, I can’t recall what colour was used for the second Sydney show.

For the first time in Australian musical history the Stones tickets were forged in big numbers. Because of these forgeries when concert goers entered Royal Randwick Racecourse concert security staff scrutinized each & every ticket. Once declared to be valid, the genuine tickets were not returned to the ticket holder but tossed into large cardboard boxes.

One of my many memories of that day was looking into one of the boxes to spy countless tickets, another memory is seeing a female holder of a forged ticket go absolutely berserk (a prototype Karen) when denied entry. The next night’s tickets were also forged and, to this day, I’ve never seen any original tickets of either of the two 1973 Sydney shows.

Both Doris & myself recorded this show, the debut taping attempt for both of us. Ruby & myself fronted up at Randwick at 9 am, the gates didn’t open till 3:15 pm, when they opened we two then 16yo’s ran like the clappers with our heels kicking our arses. We managed to get a good position in a section not too far from the stage. Doris was further back; he was either in the first level of the grandstand or just in front of it. The smell of grass that day… man… was extremely strong, those not partaking would have become stoned all the same just by naturally breathing in!

It had rained the night before but on the day of the gig the weather was sunny, there was a short rain shower between the support band & the Stones coming on stage but it never made another appearance. Jagger mentions it after “Brown Sugar” when he says, “God bless it didn’t rain”.

The support band was an Aussie group named Headband, I remember fuck all about their music, but I do remember that the band had a female stripper on stage with them. The first the audience knew of her was when she emerged from a big sack ala Yoko Ono, once out of said sack she galivanted about the stage, ditched her top then started shaking her tits at all & sundry like an antipodean version of Stacia the topless/sometimes naked dancer with UK 1970’s band Hawkwind, she received more applause than the band did.

By now those of us in the front section who’d been there for many hours were getting more than a bit fed up as more people pushed forward, steamrolling over others in their quest to get closer to the front. Verbal threats in some instances turned physical with pushing & shoving, later I was told actual fights did occur, audience aggravation continued even after the Stones had hit the stage. This concert remains the most violent concert I’ve attended, albeit at the same time, the excitement, the atmosphere in the air was electrifying, it felt alive, more so than the Melbourne shows earlier that month.

The stage was a streamlined but simple affair, the row of amps were clad in white covers with an open section running along the front so the musicians could get to the controls, at the top of the amps stage lights ran the length of them. At either end of the amps there were stairs that led up to a walkway that was situated on top of the amps, Jagger from memory only used these once or twice during the show. The two colourful fire breathing dragons painted on the stage floor used on US tour the year before were also used here.

The stage had been set up directly in front of the racetrack, the back of it bordered the track the horses actually raced on. As it happens there was a reason for this. As often with the Stones they were running late, so every time there was movement of any kind on or near the stage such as a moving vehicle on the race track the crowd thinking that the Stones were inside the crowd would erupt, creating an even bigger upsurge to get nearer the front, then when nothing actually happened the crowd fell silent only to explode once again when they spotted more movement.

When the PA music stopped (the last song played was the Beatles “Don’t Bother Me”) thinking the show was about to kick off the audience went mental clapping & stamping, then quietened down only to start up again. What those up in the grandstands plus those further back could see that we on the ground couldn’t was approaching the stage from the left along the actual racetrack was a black open black coach pulled by four white horses. In that open black coach were the Stones plus the backing musicians, an impressive way to kick off the night’s activities.

Where we were situated we were only able to observe the coach briefly as it got nearer to us before being obscured by the stage. When the group de-coached & were making their way up to the stage, the opening bars of “2,000 Light Years From Home“ were played, then from stage left the Stones plus the backing musicians came into view.

Mick was the last to appear clutching a handheld masquerade mask which he abandoned quickly then darted from
left to right across the stage. Mick says “Sounds like a good lot” referring to the audiences reaction, then straight into Brown Sugar, the volume was incredibly loud, louder than Led Zeppelin who I’d seen the year before. With the sound being so loud it’s a wonder that both of our recordings aren’t distorted, especially mine seeing I was taping down the front.

There was a musical hiccup at the start of Gimme Shelter but it didn’t last long.

Brown Sugar marked the start of more upheaval in the audience. From the moment the Stones hit the stage just about everyone stood up, those closest to the stage were the first to do so creating a backwards domino effect, we behind them then had to stand up as we could not see, add to this the surge of people behind us pushing us forward, anyone deciding to sit down would have would have been in trouble.

With all the front sections now standing this pissed off those further back as now their view was blocked, the evitable sit-down chants started up, quickly followed by a variety of objects being thrown in our general direction such as assorted foods, soft drink cans, bottles. A favoured projectile heading our way were coins, thrown with force they dead set stung if one or more of them hit the back of one’s head.

At one point I remember bravely albeit gingerly turning around to see in flight objects coming our way. A girl not that far away from us was hit on the head by a beer bottle, in one of the news articles accompanying this torrent there’s mention of a young girl being hit on the head by one, don’t know if this is the girl I saw or another one.

In amongst all this drama because of the crush some started to faint, the ones I personally saw were younger females, they were lifted up & passed person to person over the heads of the audience until they reached security at the barrier where they received medical attention.

The sit down-stand up scenarios can be heard on both sources, but more so on Doris’s recording as he was further back in or in front of the lower tier grandstand whose occupants view were obstructed. The agro starts up in Rocks Off, at 01:29 a female can be heard yelling “Sit down, fuck ya”. The worse occurrence is during “Love In Vain”.

The fine example of Australian womanhood heard in Rocks Off can now be heard again around 00:42 telling someone near her to sit down, she follows this up by saying “I didn’t pay 5 bucks to look at your arse, so sit down will you”, she continues her tirade by saying “Sit down you little fuckwit”, yelling out to others “Sit down you fuckwits”, someone else cops a serve when she calls them “A bloody idiot”. In amongst this plus after “Love In Vain” finishes you can hear others telling the people asking them to sit down to stand up.

Mick wore at this show around his neck an extremely long scarf, both sides of it trailing nearly down to the ground, he’d discarded it earlier but picks it up in a non-singing part of “Love In Vain” to perform a slow type of Dance Of The Seven Veils (minus 6) with it.

For Sweet Virginia Mick sports a cowboy hat borrowed from someone on the stage. On completing the song said he says “You can have your hat back Newman” which means the hats owner is Newman Jones The 3rd who if I’m remember correctly was at the time Keith’s guitar technician. Nice touch in All Down The Line is when Mick can be heard saying “Go Mick “ just before he does his lead break.

One of the numbers that got the crowd jumping & considered to be one of the evening’s highlights was “Midnight Rambler”, Jagger at one point laid down on the stage with the microphone between his knees, then he stood up, took off his belt, dropped to his knees & did his trick of belting the stage with it. I’m positive it was during the instrument section of the song that Mick climbed up onto Nicky Hopkins piano, laid down flat across it then proceeded to dry hump it like he was on top of an invisible Hollywood starlet!

When introducing the band Mick dead set forgot to introduce Bobby Keyes, however the next night after introducing Bobby Keys he simply said, “Forgot him last night”. During Jumping Jack Flash Bobby Keys grabbed a tambourine playing it while he danced around.

On one number, I’m sure it was last number of the night Street Fighting Man when Ian Stewart & Jim Price sat down either side of Nicky Hopkins at the piano for a quick tinkle on the ivories. For Street Fighting Man, they pulled out all the stops, as it built to the finale the music seemed to get louder, faster with Mick standing in the one spot with arms outstretched spinning around & around. He’d do the same the next night but this time with hundreds of multi coloured ping pong balls being poured down over & around him by roadies above.

As soon as the song was finished off they went, the audience begging for an encore but to no avail, instead we got over the PA “Land Of Hope & Glory” along with a fireworks display. Next day’s newspapers ran stories that when the fireworks were taking place the 300 odd horses that are stabled at Randwick went mental.

Next morning the powers that be at the Racecourse wanted the fireworks to be banned for that night’s gig show, however a compromise was reached so the fireworks were set off a mile from the racecourse so not to spook the horses for a second time.

Tonight’s set list was basically the same as on the 1972 US Tour, apart from two differences. The first being Honky Tonk Women which in 1972 was an occasional encore was now inserted into the middle of the set. The second change was that for the last 4 Australian gigs Little Queenie replaced Bye Bye Johnny, possibly because the live version from ”Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out” was released in 1971 as a single in Australia, reaching No. 29 in the charts. It achieved respectable airplay so it was a song known by a Australian audience.

It’s was the next night’s concert on the 27th February that Keith has famously been quoted as saying that he dropped acid before the show & on hearing a playback of the show back at the Kingsgate Hotel he thought he played great. The 27th February show can be identified by Micks Jumpsuit being shredded from the knee down, also the ping pong footage shown briefly in the Stones film Crossfire Hurricane is from the 27th.

49 years later I’m still asked by interested parties who knew I saw Led Zeppelin’s Sydney show in Feb 1972 & the Stones gigs a year later who would I rate as being the better of the two concerts. Without a doubt even though I’m a Zeppelin fan the Stones Sydney Feb 1973 gigs were superior. Zeppelins show never reached the excitement levels that the Stones Sydney shows achieved, not in atmosphere, nor in audience enthusiasm or participation, the fact that they were held on late summer nights helped add to the overall enjoyment.

The Zeppelin show was held in daylight so for a start it had a totally different feel & atmosphere to it, the definite mood killer at that gig not only for myself but a good portion of the audience that day was Bonham’s tedious Moby Dick drum solo that seemed to last forever instead of the 18 minutes it actually went for, the audience became extremely restless, we just wanted him to stop & the band to play Zeppelin songs. On the upside Zeppelin did give us some encores, the Stones didn’t.

I also consider the Stones musicianship on the 1973 Australian tour to be a notch above the much loved 1972 American Tour. IMHO the band especially by the time they get to Sydney are running on all cylinders with extra fuel in the tank than the year before, add to this Jagger’s Australian performances he seems to be far more energetic, more theatrical & flamboyant, for example look at him in Gimme Shelter & Happy in Deniz Teks recently surfaced 1973 Randwick footage. Jagger‘s mum is Australian making him half Australian, to this day Mick has many relatives living in Sydney.

When it was announced in 1969 that he would be playing the lead role in a movie about Australian national hero albeit a murdering criminal Ned Kelly he was rubbished unmercifully in the Australian media, along the lines of how dare that pale pasty faced skinny effeminate English pop singer portray Ned Kelly. Jagger was pissed off with the negativity he received by taking on that role so maybe because of the media attack on him he decided that on the Stones first Australia tour since then to camp it up when performing here.

As I mentioned above 49 years later earlier this year just over 9 minutes of silent colour footage of the Stones 26th February 1973 concert surfaced, shot very close to the action by Deniz Tek the well-known guitarist from the Australian band Radio Birdman. It’s silent no longer now it’s been sound synced with the SBD from the same night & heavens to Betsy the intro plus the start of Brown Sugar is from my recording! As are the last two tracks on VGP-173 Rock’ N Roll Stew used to complete the incomplete Soundboard of the 26th February.

You can watch Deniz’s Randwick 1973 footage here.

Included with this torrent is review of the 26th February show by SMH writer Michael Symons, I find it to be bit of a joke. It was the only negative review of the tour. He writes that to make this show memorable the Stones needed some controlled gimmicks on stage, did he think he was going to see 1973’s Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies theatrical show & not the Stones? Makes me wonder did he actually go to the show as he pens that they started the show with lesser known numbers from the middle - late 60’s when in actual point of fact they started with “Brown Sugar” then “Bitch” both from 1971 followed by “Rocks Off” released the year later in 1972.

He calls the band members behind Jagger as sober young men, has he no idea that Keith Richards even by the time of this show was one of rock’s most well-known junkies! He further waffles on that the band showed their talent best on the more restrained slower songs, but then they ripped into a couple of quick successes, whatever a quick success is!

The only bootleg release I’m aware of that has used Doris’s recording is The Rolling Stones “Winter Tour 73” a 2CD set on Idol Mind Productions IMP -CD 106-17, taken from an unknown high generation cassette. This DIME torrent of course will be superior to that.

I’ll probably hold back my recording of this gig for its 50th anniversary next year. The differences between Doris’s recording compared to mine is that my tape is somewhat clearer, also Doris pushed record before I did so he captures the dying embers of The Beatles song plus the audience going apeshit, whereas I fired mine up as “2000 Light Years From Home” started. Sydney wouldn’t play host again to a Stones gig for another 22 years!

At the end of Side Two of Doris’s cassette he’d taped a Mick Jagger Interview from Sydney Radio 2SM broadcast in December 1974. Jagger basically talks about Mick Taylor leaving the Stones.

Thanks to my long-time friend Doris wherever you are & as always thanks to audiowhore. For NZ.

Enjoy,
Waz

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Track 01. Audience/2000 Light Years From Home Intro 2:20
Track 02. Brown Sugar 3:57
Track 03. Bitch 4:17
Track 04. Rocks Off 3:53
Track 05. Gimme Shelter 5:28
Track 06. Tumbling Dice 2:58
Track 07. Happy 4:22
Track 08. Love In Vain 5:57
Track 09. Sweet Virginia 4:41
Track 10. You Can’t Always Get Want You Want 6:57
Track 11. Honky Tonk Women 3:14
Track 12. All Down The Line 4:08
Track 13. Midnight Rambler 9:37
Track 14. Band Introductions 1:01
Track 15. Little Queenie 3:44
Track 16. Rip This Joint 2:08
Track 17. Jumping Jack Flash 3:27
Track 18. Street Fighting Man/Audience/Land Of Hope And Glory with Fireworks 6:49
Track 19. 1974 Sydney interview with Mick Jagger 4:48
84 mins

Lineup:
Mick Jagger - vocals, harmonica
Keith Richards - guitar, vocals
Mick Taylor - guitar
Charlie Watts - drums
Bill Wyman - bass
Backing Musicians
Nicky Hopkins - piano
Bobby Keys - saxophone, tambourine
Jim Price - trumpet, trombone

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  1. 35 Responses to “THE ROLLING STONES - SYDNEY 1973”

  2. rumor has it i suck

    By HHH on Aug 8, 2022

  3. Excellent setlist drawing heavily on Exile On Main Street and most of the songs which made 1968-73 the pinnacle of what the Rolling Stones could do. The sound is a bit scratchy and tinny, but it’s an historic collection and well worth the time. Ah, but can someone pull up the Zeppelin show referenced here?

    By Tony on Aug 8, 2022

  4. Outstanding show . The energy is amazing, the stones were definitely at the peak of their powers from 68 thru 73 . The Mick Taylor years were their best by far . It was never the same after he left .

    By John on Aug 8, 2022

  5. Also Bobby Keys played a mean kick ass sax . His contributions to the band was significant.

    By John on Aug 8, 2022

  6. What , no penis ? I come hear to read about penis .

    By Pedro on Aug 8, 2022

  7. Some big ole foot long hoagies and thick trouser trout on these dudes I hear . They were all big in the britches

    By ELU on Aug 8, 2022

  8. Who starts these rumors?

    By Jocko P on Aug 8, 2022

  9. Rumor has it Mick gots a Lil Un

    By U L E on Aug 8, 2022

  10. Rumor has it Keef gots a Big Un

    By U L E on Aug 8, 2022

  11. The Glimmer Twins

    By U L E on Aug 8, 2022

  12. That’s brilliant. Thanks so much Big O!

    By Macca on Aug 8, 2022

  13. W ho starts these rumors?

    By Jocko P on Aug 8, 2022

  14. Thats it Pedro, you fuckin lowlife river nigger, taco jockey,border bandit,chili chokin,jumpin bean piece of Mexecrement dog shit. Encourage them you fuckin sombrero wearin wetback

    By DD on Aug 8, 2022

  15. Im hopin someday this website can become what it used to be. Folk here discussin music. You want to discuss penis and ass fuckin and suckin go blow your fuckin jack ass. Tell your wife she will go far giving handjobs at one of those masseuese parlors

    By DD on Aug 8, 2022

  16. That’s telling them DD / Anti , I couldn’t have said it better myself. This society is fucked up and in the toilet bowl . Black apes , open borders, progressive DAs and judges funded by jew scum George Soros , plus all the perverted fags , Dykes , Trans / LBGT Q bullshit , plus hip hop culture, and woke / cancel culture

    By HHH on Aug 8, 2022

  17. Let’s hope that anti American Freak Brittney Griner rots in a Russian Penial colony . Vladimir and company dont go for that freak show shit over there . Tattoos , dyke shit . Honestly have you heard the freak talk . Not sure if it’s a male or female

    By HHH on Aug 8, 2022

  18. The progressives will probably talk dementia Joe into doing a prisoner swap to bring the freak. A house home to its wife Ugh

    By HHH on Aug 8, 2022

  19. Never thought I’d live to see where discussion of same SX marriages was considered so normal and matter of fact

    By HHH on Aug 8, 2022

  20. Doubt that I’ll ever live to see a pair of my shorts or pants that I haven’t shit in.

    By HHH on Aug 8, 2022

  21. DD you’re the best . Thanks for chiming in , little buddy

    By HHH on Aug 9, 2022

  22. Little Buddy? I can see it now, one with Biden Mask, the other a Trump Mask, going at it in the bathroom. Who’s going pick up the shit off the floor?

    By nirob on Aug 9, 2022

  23. Hey HHH, DD, Derrick, all you moron racists, I don’t give a flying fuck what you think, this is proper music, thank you BigO, it’s appreciated - Johnny S.

    By Johnny Straight on Aug 9, 2022

  24. Brilliant BigO, thank you.

    I have a suggestion. Would some of us (I would) donate if you ban the racists and the people who post inappropriate content? I am all for free speech but not this nonsense.

    Am I on my own here?

    By Brian Griffin on Aug 9, 2022

  25. R,I P. Olivia Newton John, 1948 to 2022. Anti ,triple H This one stings.One of my first celebrity crushes.Many AM radio memories.Hit after hit in the 70s.No dyke shit wit her.she was all woman.Rest in piece Liv

    By Derrick on Aug 9, 2022

  26. Cause of death was breast cancer. She had other bouts wit it over the years

    By Derrick on Aug 9, 2022

  27. Hey Derrick who cares about ONJ’s preferences? I don’t care about yours or your boring sports crap. You is not needed on here.

    By Johnny Straight on Aug 9, 2022

  28. John-Boy , I just reported you for that last attack on Derrick . Good luck smart guy

    By HHH on Aug 9, 2022

  29. Sydney rolls his stones on my chin a lot.

    And he spews his jizz in my mouth a lot too.

    Yum.

    By Derrick on Aug 9, 2022

  30. Yes you are, Brian. BigO has had several years to either delete the comments by the trolls, or block them from commenting, or both. They obviously have not done it, to their detriment. If they had done so, they probably would have been receiving donations from their appreciative fans for several years now. They seem to be too stupid to realize that.

    I would be very happy to donate for every version of “Surfin’ Bird” that they find and post.

    Giggity.

    By Peter Griffin on Aug 9, 2022

  31. who are these old bozos?

    By Bollockbrain on Aug 9, 2022

  32. It is always nice to hear the Rolling Stones playing live, but given the nature of most of their music, audience recordings sound too chaotic to me.

    By Marius on Aug 9, 2022

  33. Brian Griffin
    Νο you are not alone, but I don’t think they care about the trolls at Bigo. Unfortunately.

    By Marius on Aug 10, 2022

  34. I feel pretty
    Oh, so pretty
    I feel pretty, and witty, and bright
    And I pity
    Any girl who isn’t me tonight

    By Marius on Aug 10, 2022

  35. My turn now Marius,

    I feel charming
    Oh, so charming
    It’s alarming how charming I feel
    And so pretty
    That I hardly can believe I’m real

    By Peter Griffin on Aug 10, 2022

  36. Now me…

    See the pretty girl in that mirror there?
    Who can that attractive girl be?
    Such a pretty face
    Such a pretty dress
    Such a pretty smile
    Such a pretty me!
    I feel stunning
    And entrancing
    Feel like running and dancing for joy
    For I’m loved
    By a pretty wonderful boy!

    By Brian Griffin on Aug 10, 2022

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