Mick owes me a cig­a­rette! ...but fan did get valu­able slice of rock ‘n’ roll his­tory at 1960s mu­sic venue in Birm­ing­ham

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Mike Lock­ley Staff Re­porter

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

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