The Rolling Stones on 1969 Hyde Park gig: 'There were an awful lot of butterfly casualties'

Charlie Watts recalls playing the legendary London show just two days after Brian Jones' death

The Rolling Stones on 1969 Hyde Park gig: 'There were an awful lot of butterfly casualties'

Photo: PA

The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts has spoken about his memories of playing Hyde Park in 1969 as the band get set to return there for a massive show on July 6.

The central London venue was the sight of the now-legendary concert that took place just two days after the death of their bandmate Brian Jones. Mick Jagger sported a white smock and read a Shelley poem in tribute to Jones before thousands of butterflies were released from the stage.

"I remember lots of things about Hyde Park," drummer Charlie Watts told The Sun. "Going to pick my trousers up before I went to the Dorchester. Being at the Dorchester with Allen Klein [the Stones' manager in 1969] marching about like a little Napoleon."

He added: "The butterflies were a bit sad, really. They looked good from the audience, but actually if you were near them there were an awful lot of casualties…It was like the Somme before they even got off the ground."

Speaking about Jones' death, he recalled: "Brian’s death wasn’t unexpected. You didn’t expect him to die, but he wasn’t well for a long time, a couple of years. So it wasn’t as big a shock as if it had been Bill (Wyman), for example, you would have thought 'blimey'…But he was only young, you didn’t go at that age."

The Rolling Stones will perform at the central London park as part of the Barclaycard presents British Summer Time festival. Support on the day will come from The Vaccines, The Temper Trap, Gary Clark Jr and King Charles, plus Palma Violets, Tribes, The Boxer Rebellion and more across three other stages. Tickets go on general sale at 9am Friday, April 5, priced at £95.

Speaking about the gig yesterday, Mick Jagger said: It's great to be playing the centre of London in July. It should be a beautiful evening." Moving on to talk about the last time the band played Hyde Park, when he performed wearing a white dress, Jagger continued: "It was a free concert, Brian Jones had recently died. There were a lot of nerves, it was a crazy thing to do. In the end it was a landmark concert."

To check the availability of The Rolling Stones tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.

Read More On This Artist

More News
Alice Cooper talks working with Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and AC/DC's Brian Johnson
Kanye West denies that he is an Illuminati member: 'We don't run anything; we’re...
Panic! At The Disco return with new song 'Hallelujah' – listen
Surfer Blood guitarist diagnosed with cancer
Courtney Barnett covers John Cale's 'Close Watch' – listen
Unknown Mortal Orchestra reveal new song 'Can't Keep Checking My Phone' – listen
Twin Shadow postpone UK tour dates following tour bus crash
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder performs with The Sonics for Record Store Day – watch
Neil Young debuts new band and new songs at surprise gig – watch
Beck and Karen O cover Lou Reed songs at Rock And Roll Hall of Fame – watch
Liam Gallagher declines to comment on speculation regarding possible Oasis reunion
Madonna adds further dates to the Rebel Heart Tour 2015 due to demand
Jack White: 'Treat your local punk bands as well as you treat the new blockbuster movie'
Kanye West performs 'Alors On Danse' with Stromae at Coachella - watch
Zayn Malik tweets for the first time since leaving One Direction
Alex James says he isn't friends with neighbour David Cameron: 'I should have moved to...
Christina Aguilera performs at ACM Awards – watch
Kanye West collaborator on hip-hop project with Marcus Mumford: 'It’s going to sound...
Blur premiere new track 'Ong Ong' - listen
Nicki Minaj appears onstage with Drake at Coachella but doesn't sing or say anything - watch
Museum of Modern Electronic Music to open in Germany
'X Factor' boyband Stereo Kicks 'glad to be away from' Louis Walsh

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM