The night The Rolling Stones bombed in Dayton

Or so said the night’s scathing review, which panned ‘anti-barber bundle from Britain’


The Rolling Stones held their first concert in Dayton in 1964.

Apparently, it was horrible.

“Boys Bomb Again” read the subhead of a concert review written by Gee Mitchell, the Dayton Daily News amusements editor.

The band, which had formed only two years earlier in England, was touring the United States.

Just three weeks before its Dayton performance, the band made its first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show performing two songs, “Around and Around,” a Chuck Berry blues classic, and “Time Is on My Side.”

The television show brought them national attention, but that acclaim had not quite reached Hara Arena on Nov. 13, 1964.

The review is brutal, and the accompanying headline “Rolling Stones Gather No Customers Here,” seems almost ridiculous today considering the influence on music and culture the band has had.

Here’s a look back at, in Gee Mitchell’s own words, that disastrous concert.

ROLLING STONES GATHER NO CUSTOMERS HERE

By Gee Mitchell

Daily News Amusements Editor

(Published Saturday Nov. 14, 1964)

The Rolling Stones gathered neither moss nor customers in Dayton last night.

Fewer than 1,000 of the 6,000 seats provided in Wampler’s shiny new Hara arena were occupied for the appearance of this latest anti-barber bundle from Britain.

What the Stones’ audience lacked in numbers it strove valiantly to make up in lungpower.

But most of the enthusiasm had to be triggered by the loose-hipped antics of Mick Jagger, the group’s lead “vocalist.”

And the Stones didn’t really give their faithful much opportunity. They were on stage less than 20 minutes, did eight numbers — or whatever designation is given the component parts of their brand of noise.

The shortage of demonstrative spontaneity was especially noticeable when the Stones arrived at the arena.

Some of the 20 or 30 feminine fans had been awaiting them for a half-hour or more. Yet, there was scarcely a squeal as the unkempt quartet skipped through the entrance.

Ordinarily the Stones are comprised of five members but one Brian Jones, nominal leader of the group, is ill in a Chicago hospital.

Young Phil Gary of Columbus, who promoted the show, wasn’t in what would be considered robust health, either.

He figured to take about a $5,000 bath on the deal since the Stones were working on a flat guarantee, cash in hand before they went on.

There was, too, a marked difference of opinion between promoter and performers as to who was responsible for the financial flop.

Gary’s trump card in this hassle was the fact that the Stones had bombed in both Ft. Wayne and Cleveland before coming here.

Back home in Britain the Stones, according to their advance publicity, are second only to The Beatles in popularity.

Except for unanimously shunning barbers the group has utter disdain for uniformity, even to the point of working in whatever costume they happen to be wearing when it’s time to go on.

This little idiosyncrasy gives them the rag-tag appearance of a combo recruited from hither-and-yon along their route.

Apparently in England, the difference between first and second place is approximately the same as the margin by which the New York Yankees ordinarily dominate the American League.

The difference in popularity on this side between the Stones and The Beatles indicates that there are after all, some things even teenagers won’t buy.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Lawmakers: More to be done in addressing opioid crisis
Lawmakers: More to be done in addressing opioid crisis

Ohio is arguably one of the hardest-hit states in the country when it comes to the opioid crisis, and Butler County is one of the hardest-hit in Ohio. The state is second only to West Virginia when it comes to drug overdose rates, and Butler County has the fifth-most number of unintentional overdose deaths in the state, according to the Ohio Department...
Man flees on foot after crash in Miami Twp.
Man flees on foot after crash in Miami Twp.

Springboro Pike has reopened following a the crash on Springboro Pike Saturday. All lanes except for one are open following a crash on Springboro Pike. According to a sergeant with Miami Township Police, a woman was turning left onto Springboro Pike from Knoll Ridge Drive when the suspect traveling south swerved into the middle turn lane and struck...
Dayton school leaders set their priorities to avoid state takeover

Creating pathways to leadership, establishing parent groups for all of Dayton’s 27 public schools and avoiding state takeover will be among the priorities for district leaders in the next three years. That’s according to the four-hour conversation Dayton school board members had Saturday at the board’s downtown office as they work...
Carlisle appoints former candidate to vacant council seat
Carlisle appoints former candidate to vacant council seat

The second time was the charm as a Carlisle resident was appointed to a vacant seat on Village Council. Nicholas Lamb was selected by council from a field of seven applicants to complete the unexpired term of former councilman Jonathan McEldowney, which ends on Dec. 31, 2019. Last December, Lamb unsuccessfully applied to complete the final two years...
Dayton Art Institute hoping for ‘record-breaking turnout’ in 47th Oktoberfest
Dayton Art Institute hoping for ‘record-breaking turnout’ in 47th Oktoberfest

The Dayton Art Institute kicked off its 47th year of Oktoberfest on the first weekend of fall this afternoon and is hoping for record-breaking numbers.  This year’s event includes live bands playing a variety of music, more than 60 artisans for shopping and of course plenty of food and drinks associated with the season. “We got lucky...
More Stories