Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hollywood Squares

The Rolling Stones' first television appearance in America was an unpleasant event for them, unfortunately. They were booked to record 3 songs at ABC studios for Dean Martin's old-fashioned variety show, The Hollywood Palace. The Stones immediately noticed a "strange atmosphere" on the set. According to Bill Wyman, "We were treated more like a comedy act than a band....Dean Martin, who appeared to be drunk throughout the show, persistently tried to get cheap laughs at our expense. 'Their hair isn't long, it's just smaller foreheads and higher eyebrows'" (Wyman 124).

The Stones' US Tour manager, Bob Bonis recalls, "Dean Martin was a little out of it and made an awful lot of fun of the band. The producer gave them money to go out and buy themselves uniforms. We said, 'They don't wear uniforms.' Dean Martin and I got into an argument, and Keith was about to pop him one with his guitars" (124). This sort of treatment was not atypical while they were visiting in June of '64--the band received quite a bit of contempt from many adults, including police officers, interspersed with the adoration of screaming girls.

At least on this first visit to the US, the Stones were afforded the opportunity to record at the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago--certainly hallowed ground for these English lads--and meet heroes such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon!
(Reference: Rolling With The Stones by Bill Wyman)

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