When The Rolling Stones came to King’s Heath

And if you ever threw a scarf at Mick Jagger, read on.

Rolling Stones fans from throughout the country are guaranteed satisfaction on Sunday 14 September when they descend on King’s Heath for a unique, one day, Rolling Stones Fest that will commemorate the 51st Anniversary of their first-ever performance in Birmingham, at the former Ritz Ballroom in King’s Heath.

Headlining the event will be Europe’s No. 1 tribute band The Stones performing a two hour show at 7.30 p.m. at the Hare and Hounds next door to the old ballroom.

This will follow on from an Acoustic Session featuring top local musicians at Fletchers Bar from 3p.m. to 6 p.m and then a screening of a film of the Rolling Stones in concert also at Fletchers.

Starting up in London in 1962 when Brian Jones met up with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who had been childhood friends, the Rolling Stones began as a blues group taking their name from the title of a song by Muddy Waters. For the whole of 1962 they played exclusively in the London area at small venues like the Crawdaddy Club.

But all that began to change on 7th June 1963 after they released their first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s Come On. A few months later on 14th September 1963 they played one of their first gigs outside London at King’s Heath’s Ritz Ballroom. The next evening they returned to London to play before thousands at the Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall and when they next returned to Birmingham the following year they appeared at the much larger venues of the Hippodrome and Town Hall.

Now the organisers of this year’s RollKings Stones Fest are offering free entry to the owner of a scarf thrown on to the Town Hall stage on 25th March 1964. The scarf was retrieved by James Hurst who was a friend of the group in their early days. He recalls “I met the Rolling Stones for the first time at the Alpha Studios in Aston and again at the Ritz Ballroom and became a sort of gofer for the Town Hall concert. After they played two exciting and memorable sets, I went back into their dressing room where I saw that a college scarf that had been thrown onto the stage and had been picked up by Mick was now adorning the back of a chair. After holding onto the scarf for more than fifty years, I hope that it can at last be re-united with its owner.”

Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker, joint organisers of the King’s Heath Walk of Fame, said “All the owner has to do to gain free entry to the Festival is to contact us and describe the college scarf. We can be contacted on 0121 443 5237 or by e mail at info@kingsheathwalkoffame.org.uk. We hope the owner will join Rolling Stones fans from all over the country in coming to King’s Heath on Sunday 14th September to commemorate the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World’s Birmingham debut. It is quite remarkable to think that they, like all the great 1960s pop groups, started off their careers playing a tiny club on a King’s Heath side street.”

Tickets for the evening concert by The Stones at the Hare and Hounds cost £8 cash in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe, £8 plus booking fee from
www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk or £10 on the door.

Tickets for the afternoon Acoustic Session at Fletchers cost £3 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £4 on the door.
Combined Tickets for both events cost £10 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £12 on the door.