Mick Jagger still owes me a cigarette

Rolling Stones autographs unearthed from Ritz Ballroom gig in time for anniversary celebration.

Denise Jones was just 17 when she saw The Rolling Stones for the first time, on 14th September 1963 at King’s Heath’s old Ritz Ballroom. “My boyfriend and I went there regularly to dance. We remember seeing Jerry Lee Lewis and The Beatles there. But there was a really special excitement when The Rolling Stones played. The audience stopped dancing and just listened. They played their hit single Come On and a number of other Chuck Berry songs including Roll Over Beethoven and Brown Eyed Handsome Man.

“The Ritz had a bar beneath the dance floor where you could mingle with the musicians. I was standing at the bar when Mick Jagger asked if he could cadge a cigarette off me. He still owes me one back but he did get the group to sign a fan club postcard signed by the whole group and gave it to me”.

Now satisfaction is guaranteed for Denise and all other Rolling Stones fans as King’s Heath Walk Of Fame has organised a mini festival on 30th September to celebrate the 55th anniversary of that historic gig.

The Ritz gig was one of the band’s first outside London and their first ever in Birmingham. The day after, they returned to London to play at the Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. And when they returned to Birmingham the following year they played the much larger venues of the Hippodrome and the Town Hall. They then went onto become the greatest rock and roll band in the world, selling over 200 million albums.

From 3 to 6 pm some great local musicians including 2 Stoned, Acoustica, Acoustic Sunset, Goodall, Harmonica Bob and Oz, Layla Tutt, Matilda Pratt and Mr Apollo will perform their interpretations of classic Rolling Stones songs at Fletchers Bar & Eatery directly opposite the burnt down ruins of the old Ritz Ballroom.

Doors will then open at 7 pm at the award winning Hare and Hounds for an evening concert starting at 7.45 pm by The Stones, one of Europe’s leading Rolling Stones tribute bands regularly playing at festivals and concert halls throughout Europe

Tickets and further information can be obtained from www.kingsheathwalkoffame.org.uk www.skiddle.com wor in person from the Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road.

Joint organisers Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker said, “York Road will be rocking on September 30th to the sounds of the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world. Hot on the heels of the success of the annual Kings Heath Street Party, satisfaction is guaranteed to all those who come on down to Fletchers Bar and then the Hare & Hounds to help commemorate The Rolling Stones Birmingham Debut. This will be yet another day to remember”.