Wild Horses couldn't drag them away.
They came from far across the country and as near as Landover and huddled patiently in the cold rain for the Capital Centre doors to open. The lines stretched for a Moonlight Mile, radiating all around the arena, but the crowd, a mixture of all ages, was remarkably docile and well-mannered.
Mike Wynnyk, of the Maryland Park Police, said from atop his horse, Royal Aaron, "I've worked concerts for the past five years, and believe it or not this is one of the best crowds ever. We get 20-minute breaks -- I hope I can catch some of the show."
Patti Spencer, 26, drove 11 hours from Lake Placid with three friends -- without tickets. "I'm in my prime, and I've seen everyone but the Stones. They're living legends!" They wandered around hoping they would find someone to sell them seats.
Some arrived in flamboyant style, like the Stones themselves: Cyntra Carter and seven friends cruised up in his daddy's black limousine. "I've been into the Stones forever," giggled Carter, 17. "All my brothers listen to them."
A luxury double-decker bus, manned by Playboy bunnies bedecked in black from ears to tail, delivered Sherie Wright, 14, and Cheri Hunter, 15. The two Baltimore teen-agers won tickets from a Baltimore radio station.
Vicki D'Anna strutted in front of the arena dressed to kill in leopard-skin coat and black leather pants, while boyfriend Mark Tennant hunted for a pair of tickets. "I didn't tell her I didn't have tickets until we were halfway here," laughed Tennant. Both came from Baltimore.
Once inside, Stones seekers stripped off their protective sheets revealing the Honky Tonk Women and Jumpin' Jack Flashes beneath. Hats of every size and shape and flamboyant scarves dotted the halls with color. And of course, thousands of T-shirts.
"Nothing personal, but I didn't think I'd see anybody over 18 here," said 15-year-old Mark McElhenny to Fairfax science teacher Sara Rowe. "The Stones are from our era!" shrieked Rowe. "What do you mean?" "We liked them before the potheads did!" chimed in her husband, Keith, indignantly.
"I'm like day and night -- all black and white," sang tall blond Susie Seay of Alexandria, dressed in black pants, white blouse and black fedora. "I'm celebrating my birthday with the Stones. I bought seats from a scalper -- got a good deal, only $50! My little sister and I are celebrating the Stones with Dom Perignon after the show."
Enterprising vendors did a brisk business in the halls, selling Stones buttons, hats, posters, T-shirts and jerseys, ranging in price from $2 to $13. People peeled off their shirts and replaced them with the red, white and blue on black Stones souvenirs.
After Bobby Womack's opening act, the show began again as the crowd packed the halls with a wall-to-wall fashion show. People paraded through carrying huge banners welcoming the band. And people danced in the aisles in excited anticipation.
A trio of menacing beauties from Washington discussed the Stones between acts. "I've slept with Mick since I was in seventh grade," said Tina Peel, 21, of Washington, dressed all in black with shredded seamed stockings and leather boots. "My mother is a rocker, and she embroidered a pillow for me with his picture on it."
"The best part of the show is watching all these people watch me," said Peel.