Just when you thought that it was safe to assume I had used up all my music magazines from before 1976, I have a little surprise for you – starting with this article from the tail end of 1968. Just half a year after the “summer of love” and with a band clearly at the top of their game with a great album soon to arrive, inspiring a lot of other rock bands that would make their debut in the 70s. Here`s a report from a “wild party” celebrating the occasion!
Stoned at lunch!
With pie-in-the-eye on the menu
By Keith Altham
LAST week the nice Rolling Stones threw a lunch party for all the ladies and gentlemen of the musical Press at the Elizabethan Rooms of the Queensgate Gore Hotel in order to promote their newly escaped album (by kind permission of Decca), called ” Beggars Banquet.”
Unaccustomed as they are to receiving free handouts from the Stones, a most impressive array of editors, reporters and writers arrived for the feast served in ye olde English manner by ye younge English wenches in ye good old low cut blouses!
I noticed quite early on in the proceedings that much of the top brass appeared to be seated exceedingly near mine Rolling hosts, which included those naughty Decca men who would not release the Stones wicked album sleeve. Ye olde Mick scuttled about the tables, referring nobley to Lord Harlech and others as ” our honoured guests,” and when I somewhat ungraciously enquired, with some suspicion, what was afoot he smiled beneath his battered tramp’s hat and quoth ” Don’t worry, I’m saving one for you!” But what was puzzling me was the nature of his game.
Lambs to the slaughter
Like lambs to the slaughter we were fed from wooden platters and the leavings were scraped on to an alms dish for the poor of Kensington, when they find him! Much mead was drunk and our cups overfloweth’d while we sat lulled into a sense of false security. The candles flicker along the dark oak panelled walls and evil waited quivering for sin!
From the head of the table Mick arose to make a speech — a tramp shining, if there ever was one! ” Well, I hope you’ve all had enough to eat and drink (a few drunken lines of ‘For ye’s a jolly good fellow’ from the diners). And I hope you’ve all enjoyed yourselves (reaches for small cardboard boxes which he begins to open). But we didn’t invite you here just to eat and drink and enjoy yourselves, did we?” The last remark was accompanied by a crust pastry pie filled with ” crazy foam ” (not meringue or cream or custard. It all wipes off your suit y’see. Tell that to the dry cleaners).
You meet the strangest people under dining tables! BBC ” Top Gear ” producer Bernie Andrews and I looked out from beneath ours at the ” slap-stick hell ” released by the Stones. Some rejoiced in the revelry and howled with glee as their missiles stuck in the hair and faces of associates, only to be struck themselves. Others took it with good humour — some executives dragged foamy fingers through their hair and assumed cracked grins at the damage done to their Savile Row three-piecers – ” monarchs surly at the wrongs sustained to royal visages — queens gleaming through the splendours last decay ” (borrowed from Bill Wordsworth).
It was a pity that poor old John Peel, at present suffering from jaundice, could not be there to see the ” beautiful and the damned,” but then Bernie Andrews would be able to give him an eye witness account from beneath the table cloth.
The only really sour note to the proceedings seem to come from one aggrieved personage holding his eye, who felt that the least the phantom hurler could have done was to remove the pie from its hard cardboard box before throwing it at him. Thus proving dearly beloved, that he who sups with the devil should have a long spoon.