I heard a quirky little news item on the radio (online) tonight which made me a little nostalgic for the UK. The leader of Blackpool Town council, Christopher Thistlethwaite (actually that wasn’t his name, it was the name of a class friend at school but it sounds very Lancastrian), has just issued a civic decree renouncing the 44-year ban placed by the Town Fathers on the Rolling Stones preventing them from performing in the town. Eh?
By all accounts the Stones performed at the Empress Ballroom (from its title you’ll not be wrong in thinking that the town lives in the past a little) back in ’64 and their fans ‘went hysterical’ tearing the place apart and causing £65 worth of damage. So Blackpool Council in its wisdom banned the Stones from ever appearing there again. Since then the Stones have gone on to become the greatest rock band in the world ever, notching up world -wide earnings over those 30 years of something like £1Bn. Blackpool meanwhile has gone on to become the hen-party capital of northern England and lost the chance of a shot at a super casino. Makes you wonder who got the wrong end of the deal eh?
It seems that there’s a new film about the Stones premiering at the Odeon Leicester Sq this week which is being simultaneously showcased at all their cinemas in the UK. The Blackpool Odeon realised the ban would deny them the chance to show the screening and appealed to the Council to rescind its 30-year ruling. The head of the Council was interviewed on the programme and he said with all sincerity that they (the Council) were prepared to ‘forgive the Stones’ if the band were prepared to ‘forgive Blackpool’. Oh joy. I wonder if Keef is in a conciliatory mood? Maybe he’ll take the view that ‘It’s only Blackpool Rock but I Like It, Like It’. Then again I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Wild Donkies wouldn’t drag him away up north’!
ps Blackpool’s very nearly my home town so I feel ok about taking the pizza, ok!