Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 28, 1976)
Wednesday, january 28, 1976
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Editor's note: This week, Rolling Stone magazine
named Hhe Rolling Stone Tour of the Americas '75 the
most important musical event of last year. Deb Gray
attended the Stones concert in Kansas City and wrote this
Journal. Her report appears six months after the concert,
ut rock concert mob mentality, be it in June or January,
By Deb Gray
June 9, 1975: It was 6 a.m., another dawn in Lincoln,
Neb. I can watch the darkness pale to murkincss. With the
light come shapes from another time-prairie grasses, can
cerous explosions of shrubbery, pubescent elm trees out
side my window. "
This is not a setting for a Laura Ingalh Wilder novel,
this is my backyard wild with growth all spring. I m here
in my kitchen, sitting on a radiator and pulling wads of
masking tape off my feet-the remnants of a newly-painted
kitchen. . , . - -
It is the Tuesday morning after a weekend of safe,
wholesome decadence. The weekend of 6675, when I
and some 53,000 others heard the Rolling Stones in
Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium.
The squeaky-clean Chevrolet ad that portrays this
country as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie doesn t men
tion rock concerts. There's something weird and over
whelming, but very American, about the whole scene.
What a levclcr; all are equal ... the successful and the
poor, the hip and the straight, who unite for a few hours
to escape middling lives. . , , , . t ,
There's still the American spirit of leisure at rock con
certs, but it's more hedonistic. These people would prefer
a horseradish-covcred hotdog, flaming cherncS1ubilee
existence over a predictable apple-pie life. It s the moment
that matters. Get it while you can.
Other pcopla will play a part in this journal Especially
S'wanski, who has been my roommate for the last two
years. S'wanski is the only product of a full-blooded
Polish couple-"a thoroughbred Polack" she calls herself.
It was her idea to go to Kansas City in the first place.
May 20, 1975: Jim Lewis, lab technician at Lincoln's St.
Elizabeth's Hospital, feared for his life. A passenger in a
sunset-orange VW bug traveling down 16th Street, Lewis
said every tiling cams apart after the radio ar..n.oi!r.c?mnt.
It had started with a pregnant whisper then crescendoed:
"Ladies and gentlemen. . . On Friday, June 6. . . in Arrow
head Stadium in Kansas City. . .THE ROLLING STONES!!"
The driver went berserk. One hand steering, fishtailing
the VW through lanes of rush-hour traffic, the other hand
dumping a purse onto Lewis's hospital whites. Find a pen
cil, paper, hurry, for God's sake, get it all down. . . NOW,
the first time around. Any of hundreds of thousands of
Stones freaks across the Midwest could snatch up the last
By the time S'wanski stumbled into our house she was
reduced to a babbling pulp of monosyllables. . . "Stones
... Kansas City. . . ten dollars". . . she thrust a scribbled
upon check blank under my nose for emphasis.
"I dunno ... ten dollars is a lot of money for a con
cert," said my other roommate, Barb, who -with her
Virgo blood-has negative ideas about laying down $10 to
See anybody. "
But, my God, this wasn't just anybody. This was the
Rolling Stones. More than a group, survivors of a cultural
and social movement. More than a concert, an event.
There has been talk that the Stones will not tour again. If
it is their last tour, saying farewell to the Stones is like
saying farewell to a part of ourselves. , ,
At 7:30 the next morning I called a friend from my
music major days and asked him if he wanted to accom
pany S'wanski and me to Kansas City. Craig was in
Wauneta, Neb., (pop. 738) memorizing Beethoven's Fifth
Piano Concerto. In his spare time he scraped paint off a
garage so he could repaint it. Wauneta doesn't have much
of a night life.
A plan was drawn up: Craig would come down Wednesday
night, we'd leave early the next morning for Kansas City.
June 5, 2 .m.: Already a hassle. I wanted to wash clothes
but no one would take me to the laundromat. I have oniy
one pair of wearable jeans (I shredded the others when I
tripped in front of 1,000 people at a local rock concert).
My remaining pair has carried me through three days
already this week. Another few days of added grunge and
sweat, and only an acid bath will peal them off.
The next morning I got my way. After washing clothes,
packing, and several side trips (back to the laundromat to
pick up my purse which I had forgotten, film, munchies),
we left. We had no map except my haphazard knowledge
of the Midwest, and none of use knew Kansas City.
We neared a junction in the highway. "Which way
now?" SWanski asked. I closed my right eye-the one
without a contact lens-and squinted the road signs into
focus. "This way," I guessed, pointing toward Rockport,
If you stay too long in Nebraska, you can delude your
self into thinking the world is flat. That's gone. Curves are
the big thing in northwestern Missouri.
But this scene also fell Into numbing predictability.
I was in a foul, self-pitying mood anyway. The novelty
of being wedged into a back seat-eating my kneecaps,
pinned in by pillow and blankets-fades fast.
I must have been working thiough some heavy karma.
That's the only cosmic reason I could give for my incred
ible bad luck.
First, I ripped my sandals at a rest stop-my $27
genuine leather sandals I had splurged on because my
cheap ones dissolved.
. ' Continued on p. 6
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