JFK Philadelphia 1978 (Dog N Cat DAC-078)
JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, PA – June 17th, 1978
Disc 1: Opening, Let It Rock, All Down The Line, Honky Tonk Women, Star Star, When The Whip Comes Down, Miss You, Just My Imagination, Respectable, Beast Of Burden
Disc 2: Far Away Eyes, Love In Vain, Shattered, Satisfaction, Sweet Little Sixteen, Tumbling Dice, introductions, Happy, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash
The Rolling Stones’ 1978 Some Girls tour is terribly uneven. Some of the shows rank among some of their best, while others are decidedly mediocre, but many collectors claim this to be the last of the Rolling Stones’ legendary tours. Philadelphia was the fifth of twenty five shows and, given the venue, the biggest one to date. The tape for this concert is very good and clear enough although a bit constricted. It sounds like the taper pointed the microphone towards one of the speakers. Although some audience comments and conversations are audible, they are not distracting. The tape first surfaced on vinyl back in the late seventies on JFK Stadium (Phoenix Records 44771).
The only previous compact disc release is JFK Stadium (Vinyl Gang VGP-336) in 2003, which duplicates the title and cover artwork complete with reverse negative photo and is copied from vinyl. The Dog N Cat has very good sound quality and is from the cassette. They mastered the tape so that the treble is emphasized and there are some pops in the very high frequencies, but generally the sound is very stable. “Tumbling Dice” is in lesser sound quality and sounds like it comes from a different source as the rest of the concert. One assumes it is from the same show, but there is no clear indication one way or another. The edit between sources is very smooth and nice handled. There is another cut in the tape after “Love In Vain.”
This was a very hot and muggy summer day in Philadelphia, and tensions were running high in the stadium. An attendee to the show remembers: “We got in line early to try and get as close to the stage as we could. We were on the east side of JFK with about 10,000 other people wanting to be in the front row. People were upset that it was taking so long to open the doors. There was a garbage truck stuck in the middle of the crowd just trying to get out. People were throwing stuff at him. Many the back of the truck, smashing bottles of the side.
“Then some dude got on top of the back and started dancing. At first people cheered then it became target practice. Somebody nailed him right in the forehead sending him off the truck. He fell off the opposite side so we have no idea how bad he was hurt. We did see first aid work their way through the crowd. It had rained before the Stones played and I remember Mick Jagger running out on stage, slipping and falling down. He had a fever and they played a short set. As we were running for the car I remember people being pissed about the length of the show. After the show fans trashed the stage because they were pissed off.”
It takes a while for them to warm up and the opening numbers are delivered at a brisk pace, but the band delivers an effective show. They play all but three songs, “Some Girls,” “Lies,” and “Before They Make Me Run” from the new album, something they didn’t do before nor since. Even more interesting is how, after four older songs, they are all bunched together in the middle of the set. Jagger teaches the audience to sing the chorus before “Miss You.”
Afterwards he says, “We’re gonna do more songs from Some Girls. This is called ‘Respectable.'” It is a fun track and the audience get into it, and afterwards he says, “Are you respectable? No you don’t look it. A disrespecting bunch. We’re gonna do one called ‘Beast Of Burden.'”
“Far Away Eyes” is another fun number, and is followed by a great version of “Love In Vain.” Wood plays the slide solo and people by the recorder sing along. About half way through a jet plane is audible flying over the stadium. Mick introduces the final new song of the set by saying, “Shattered, splattered, shit on.” There is a short delay in getting the equipment ready so Jagger sings the chorus in monotone, “shidoobee, shidoobee, shattered shattered” while waiting. Immediately Richards leads the band into “Satisfaction,” which is played for the first time on the tour and only appears five times (Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Paul, Boulder, and the final show of the tour in Oakland).
“Are there any sixteen year old girls. You have any sixteen year old girls? This one’s for you.” They play Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” which the Stones played live for the first time two days before in Passaic, New Jersey. Mick changes “Pittsburgh, PA” in the lyrics to “Philadelphia, PA” to the audience’s approval. The next three songs, “Happy,” “Brown Sugar” and “Jumping Jack Flash” finish up the show and the band quickly leave the stage. “Good night, good bye, and we’ll see you next year” is Jagger’s parting words. The tape fades out soon afterwards so the commotion mentioned above isn’t present on the tape. Philly turns out to be an average show for the tour.
A small number of dates had an encore of either “Satisfaction” or “Street Fighting Man,” but there is none on this day. JFK is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with thick color glossy inserts. DAC also resurrect the design with the band and title name printed vertically on the front cover, something they used for the 1981 soundboards they were releasing several years ago. At least the front cover of Mick Jagger is taken from the correct tour and isn’t in reverse as the VGP cover is. Overall this is a good sounding tape from a good show from a great tour and may not be an essential title to own, but is definitely interesting to listen to.