Mick owes me a cigarette! ...but fan did get valuable slice of rock ‘n’ roll history at 1960s music venue in Birmingham
DENISE Jones was only 17 when Mick Jagger cadged a cigarette from her outside Birmingham’s legendary venue The Ritz Ballroom.
In return he gave something that any rock ‘n’ roll fan would cherish – a postcard signed by the whole group.
Denise’s meeting with the legend took place at the Kings Heath venue on September 14, 1963. She was among the crowd present when the Stones took to the stage for one of their first appearances outside London.
Just three months earlier, Decca had released the Stones’ debut single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s Come On. It peaked at 21 in the charts.
Denise – then Denise Hughes – has never forgotten that magical night.
She said: “My boyfriend and I went to The Ritz 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.”
Denise unearthed the postcard on the eve of a mini-festival, organised by Kings Heath Walk of Fame – a group that honours the district’s famous residents, to mark the 55th anniversary of the concert.
The day after the Ritz date, the Stones played the Royal Albert Hall’s Great Pop Prom. When they returned to Birmingham the following year they performed at much bigger venues – the Hippodrome and Town Hall.
The mini-festival on September 30 will be staged at Fletcher’s Bar and the Hare and Hounds.
Starting at 3pm at Fletchers, 2 Stoned, Acoustica, Acoustic Sunset, Goodall, Harmonica Bob and Oz, Layla Tutt, Matilda Pratt and Mr Apollo will perform their interpretations of classic Stones songs. Tribute band The Stones will play at the Hare and Hounds from 7.45.
Tickets from www.kingsheathwalkoffame.org.uk or www.skiddle
>Right: Denise Jones got all the Stones’ autographs >Left: The Ritz ballroom in Kings Heath back in the 1960s