Pressure group call for smaller venues, cheaper tickets, no openers and classic performances if Jagger and co play anniversary tour

the Rolling Stones

Backlash: the Stones

A group of pissed off Rolling Stones fans have listed six demands they want to make of the band if they hit the road this year to mark their 50th anniversary.

Speculation is rife that Mick Jagger and co will tour the world one last time to play for their followers, many of whom have been fans since the outfit formed in 1962.

But if plans are put into action, the Rolling Stones Liberation Front have called on their heroes to stop treating crowds like ‘suckers’. They describe themselves as “non violent, non profit guerilla unit” – but maintain they’re prepared to act to emphasise their points.

The RSLF’s demands are:

1. We want smaller venues
2. We want lower ticket prices
3. We want a setlist overhaul
4. We want the elimination of the horn section and backup singers
5. We want the expulsion of all opening acts
6. We want all fans to take responsibility for themselves

The outfit’s statement explains: “We believe the Rolling Stones have stopped challenging themselves.

“The time has passed for gargantuan mega-arena spectaculars. Hardly anything good comes from these soulless shows. The best part of the last fifteen years of Stones shows has always been the time they play three or four songs on their smaller stage. How much more of a hint do they need? 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.”

It follows that with smaller productions could come lower prices, the RSLF argues. “It’s unacceptable to charge up to $350 for a single ticket. The Stones do not need the money – but we need our money. A band needing to charge $85-100 for upper balcony seats is no longer in touch with their fanbase. We demand ticket prices be no more than $30m and without any service charges.”

The fans are determined that, if a tour takes place, it should feature a variety of less-performed songs from the Stones’ back-catalogue, the absence of opening acts and the absence of an extended on-stage lineup.

“There is no reason why the Rolling Stones need to stick to roughly the same 30 songs for every tour,” say the pressure group. “We believe they have drifted too far from the true and basic rock’n'roll aesthetic. The horn arrangements are needless and the use of back-up singers is now irrelevant.

“There was a time when they would bring an opening band talented enough to challenge the Stones themselves, who, in turn would have to step up even further. We ask you: how challenging can it be to follow Third Eye Blind, Johnny Lang or the goddamn Spin Doctors? Cut the fat – less is more.”

But it’s not all the band’s fault, the RSLF admit, citing “fans willing to do the bidding of their favourite band, no matter the cost.

“How many suckers does it take to fill an auditorium? Ask the Rolling Stones.

“We urge all self-respecting fans to heed our warnings and join our ranks. We’ve bought the albums, the cassettes, the CDs, the DVDs, the Blu-rays, the remasters, the reissues, tickets to the movies and the concerts, and anything with the tongue logo on it.

“Now it’s time the Rolling Stones give back – or we will push back.”

Related stories: