Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
If you were hip, you were there Thursday night. It was a night that separated the haves - with tickets - from the have nots. The Rolling Stones were in town.
Lean and mean Mick Jagger clones, rooster-coiffed Keith Richard look-alikes, females in long dresses, males in long hair, stain baseball jackets and hot pants, local disc jockeys, record-industry types, reporters with TV Minicams amid the maxi-security. They filled the 2,000 seat Warner Theater for the Stones' 90-minute concert.
Inside the theater, the mood was one of excitement as the crowd waited for the Stones' appearance. Outside, with the have-nots, it was different.
A crowd estimated at about 400 gathered in front of the theater's 13th Street NW entrance, and police said at least three attempts were made to break inside. Two arrests for robbery-purse snatching were reported. Angry shouts were directed at the lucky ticket holders as they entered.
Police whose presence was quite visible, blocked off 13th Street and began slowly to direct the crowd outside. Strains of "Honky Tonk Women" could be heard clearly at one point.
Earlier Anastasis Brown, 26, of New York, who was standing in line to enter, had her ticket snatched from her hand by an unidentified man. She burst into tears and screamed, "Get him! Get him! He stole my ticket." Concert promoters secured another ticket for her.
Jeff Carter, the president's son, was escorted through a side entrance, avoiding the crush at the front. Generally, the security was tight. No bottles or cameras were allowed inside. The specially marked tickets were examined under ultraviolet light to eliminate the possibility of counterfeits.
On the street, there was a brisk business in the sale of tickets, which were going from $50 to $250. Even a middleman who had helped introduce buyers to sellers earned $200 in 20 minutes.
One seller asked $100 for a ticket that had originally cost $10 when they went on sale Tuesday. Rod Allison of Kansas City shrugged and said, "Forget it. I can't handle it unless you take Visa."
Rubby Foreman, 14-year-old son of People's Drug Store vice president David Foreman, said his parents had drive him from Potomac to the concert. He was trying to buy a ticket and was willing to part with $100, his total savings. His parents, however, limited him to $30.
He didn't go in.
A Hari Krishna member sold red carnations to the crowd. "Mick Jagger wants every one to throw flowers at the stage," he told several buyers. Where did he hear that? "I'm just telling people that," he said.
Inside, they did throw the carnations, and they boogied from beginning to end. Several times there were attempts to rush the stage, and two girls actually touched Jagger's tennis shoe.
But another girl was wrestled to the ground by security guards after she darted across the stage.
Ninety minutes after the show got under way, it ended suddenly with "Jumpin' Jack Flash." The electrical power on the stage blew.
There was disbelief when an announcer said the concert was over, and at first the crowd did not budge. Then it began to file out. The night was over.
Tursday night's concert was the fourth stop on the Rolling Stones 44-day tour.
The genesis of this unorthodox tour was "sunstroke in the Bahamas," according to Stones promoter Peter Rudge.
"Mick and I talked about it in Paris in the fall, while the group was recording, and firmed it up in the Bahamas in January.
"After all, the Stones are really a rock 'n' roll, rhythm 'n' blues boogie band. You can't play 15 sports arenas and feel good about a tour. There's nothing to challenge you."
So earlier this year, Rudge began touring the country to scout out several smaller halls for the tour.And in an effort to keep much of the event as grassroots as possible, the group even elected to fly to most of the dates by commercial airline (although the lack of flights out of Washington late Thursday night forced them to charter a jet for this concert.)
In Washington, Rudge looked at Constitution Hall, the Kennedy Center ("They wouldn't have us," he says) and finally settled on the 2,000-seat Warner. The show was firmed up several months ago although fewer than six people locally knew of the date and location.
"The Warner has become the place and that's why the group wanted to play it."