Some Assembly Required
Photo by Dan Addison
By Dan Addison
It all started with trucks. Seventy-seven, to be exact, filled with the most elaborate stage I’ve seen at any rock show. Security was tight everywhere. I had trouble getting close enough to catch a glimpse, even though, as the news photographer at U.Va., I wanted to document as much of the Rolling Stones’ setup as I could.
Two days before the show, I headed over to Scott Stadium. Tres Thomas, the rep for the Rolling Stones, gave me permission to take pictures for U.Va.’s archives on one condition: the images wouldn’t end up on the Internet.
The night of the show, I was escorted to the front of the stage, along with other press photographers. We were instructed to look away from the band when they came out so we wouldn’t get burned by the fire that marked their entrance. As the first pops and whistles roared at my back, I could see the astonished expressions on the faces in the crowd. Next, I felt a rush of heat at my back, as the flames shot up from the stage.
Only then did I turn and get the Stones in my camera’s crosshairs.
What an adrenalin rush to see the band at point-blank range! First Ron was in front of me; then Mick, gyrating and throwing his arms in the air; and then, Keith. I tried to get a few photos of Charlie, but he was too far away.
For song number two, we were led 50 feet back, where we could capture the whole scene. I took another dozen or so shots before this exciting photo shoot came to an end.