50 years after riot, publisher asks Rolling Stones to return
A newspaper publisher is asking the Rolling Stones to return to town 50 years after they cut short a show during a thunderstorm, leading fans to rampage.
Ted Grant, publisher of the Daily Item in Lynn, said in an open letter published Tuesday that "a lot has changed" since the band was last in town, on June 24, 1966, and he wants the British rockers to finish the set that ended when they left the stage during a storm at the Manning Bowl stadium. Angry fans broke through barriers, prompting police to use tear gas, and the Stones pledged never to return to the city, 10 miles north of Boston.
"We ain't too proud to beg," the Item's chief executive, Beth Bresnahan, said Tuesday.
The newspaper has reached out to Stones management trying to secure an interview with one or more members of the band for a story it plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the show but hasn't heard back and will continue to try, said Bresnahan, a Lynn native.
Item reporters have tracked down several people who were at the show that night for the story.
Grant, who wrote that he wasn't at the show because his mother wouldn't let him out after dark, points out that the working-class city now is very different. It has a sparkling new concert venue, replacing the now demolished Manning Bowl, and plenty of new restaurants.
Grant even offered to pick up the band's members from the airport and treat them to coffee, dinner and a round of golf. He even said he would let them crash at his house. He had just one request — play "Monkey Man."
Bresnahan said it's no secret that Lynn has a reputation, referring to a famous poem that starts out "Lynn, Lynn, city of sin ... ."
"But it really is a city seeing a rebirth," she said. "We've got a lot of new restaurants, businesses, housing, and people are looking to make Lynn their home. We're at a great spot in time."
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger sang "You Can't Always Get What You Want," but the people of Lynn hope that's not true.