The sound you just heard was Roger Waters jumping out a window.
by David Brinn and Niv Ellis
After months – even years – of speculation, Israelis can finally get some satisfaction. The Rolling Stones are officially booked to perform on June 4 at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv.
Nobody was more satisfied than promoter Shuki Weiss, who announced the long-coveted show Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv. The announcement came days after the suicide of vocalist Mick Jagger’s partner, fashion designer L’Wren Scott, which forced the cancellation of seven Stones’ Australian and New Zealand shows as part of their ’14 on Fire’ tour.
“This is a historic and very meaningful visit,” said Weiss. “In these days when we hear calls for boycotts from around the world, it’s not taken for granted that a band of this magnitude will come to Israel.”
Despite the tragedy, the Stones have retained plans to continue the tour in Europe during May and June. The Tel Aviv show marks the tour’s seventh confirmed date, including festival appearances at Holland’s Pinkpop Festival on June 7 and Belgium’s TW Classic Festival on June 28.
“I love festivals in the summertime and can’t wait for the tour to get to Europe,” iconic vocalist Mick Jagger said in a press statement issued before Scott’s death.
His guitar-playing partner Keith Richards added: “Let’s keep this show on the road… the band is in top form so I’m really looking forward to getting back to Europe.”
Tel Aviv promoter Weiss has been involved with many of the top international performances of recent years including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Depeche Mode and Metallical. He beat out other potential suitors for the Stones’ services, estimated at $6 million, including Gad Oron and Marcel Avraham. He’s been after the Stones, however, for most of his career.
“The longest negotiation I ever conducted is coming to an end,” he said. He first reached out to the band in 1988, for Israel’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
The Stones emerged alongside The Beatles in the early 1960s to become one of the most successful groups in rock & roll history with hits ranging from “Satisfaction” in 1965 to “Honky Tonk Women” in 1969 and “Miss You” in 1978. Since their acclaimed 1981 album Tattoo You, the band has not been very impressive in the studio, occasionally showing flashes of their old form like on 1988′s Steel Wheels, but generally relying on its potent live show chock full of decades-old classics to fill stadiums and arenas around the world.
After a few years of inactivity, the band returned with vengeance at the end of 2012 for their 50th anniversary, and toured extensively throughout 2013. The ’14 on Fire’ tour was launched on February 21 in Abu Dhabi and continued through Japan and China before landing in Australia last week. Before the first show on March 19 in Perth, Jagger was informed of Scott’s death and the band cancelled the remaining shows on the tour.
The Stones’ Tel Aviv show will undoubtedly be one of the most talked about in Israel’s history, rivaling high-profile visits in recent years by Paul McCartney and Madonna.
Tickets go on sale March 27, but Pelephone customers can get tickets immediately through their carrier’s website, and get a 100 shekel discount. Shuki Weiss is also giving away a free ticket to one lucky fan who posts a photo on his Facebook wall.
Lawn tickets sell for NIS 695, Golden Ring for NIS 1,790, and VIP tickets–which will include seats–for NIS 2,850.