The WMMS Rolling Stones Orgy and their concert at the Coliseum, 1981

Here’s a recently-discovered video from WKYC-TV, which takes us back to November 16, 1981 when the Rolling Stones opened their first night of a two-night engagement at the Coliseum in Richfield.

Popular fifties and early sixties rhythm and blues singer and songwriter Etta James was the opening act. 

Their 1981 tour was the first to sell advertising rights.  Jovan Musk paid the band $500,000 for co-sponsorship rights.

The Stones were touring in support of their Tattoo You album, which not a new album but an anomalous compilation of outtakes from previous album recording sessions, dating back to the Goats Head Soup, Black and Blue, Some Girls, and Emotional Rescue albums.  Only two new tracks were recorded for the album, “Heaven” and “Neighbors,” and even the latter song was a re-recording of a track originally planned for Emotional Rescue.  The track “Heaven” featured only three Stones – Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts.

Whenever the Rolling Stones came to Cleveland, we broke format and did non-stop hours of their music – including rare and unreleased tracks.   We called it the WMMS Rolling Stones Orgy

When the Stones played their two WMMS World Series of Rock dates at Cleveland Stadium in summers of 1975 and 1978, we went non-stop Stones from Friday night through early Sunday morning. 

For their two Coliseum shows, we went all-Stones at 4 PM and at the conclusion of each concert as the Coliseum crowd returned to their cars for the long drive out of Richfield, we played back the 26-song set in the same order they were performed in concert.

And, of course, the number one Buzzard Radio Stones fan Betty Korvan got one of the nights off to see Keith and the boys do their damage.

On the newscast, WKYC anchor Dave Patterson introduced the story, which was reported by Kevin Coakley.   Their news writing was the stuff the generation gap was made of.

Three of the venues the Rolling Stones played in from the sixties through the nineties were demolished: The Cleveland Arena, the Coliseum in Richfield, and Cleveland Stadium.  Only the Akron Rubber Bowl, where the Stones performed in 1972, remains intact, for now.

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