Saturday, February 27, 2010

the time I didn't meet Mick Jagger

In 1965, when I was 15, my parents had some friends who lived in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. The father was in the service, the Navy more specifically. They had four kids in the same age range as my parents who had three kids and so that summer, my family went to Hawaii to stay for two weeks with my parent's friends. It was (and still is I'm quite sure) an exotic and beautiful place. My parents took us on many excursions on Oahu and the island of Hawaii.

We walked across the lava field of Moana Loa. This was a few years after it had erupted after a long period of dormancy.

We walked right up to the rim of Kilauea and peered down into the smoky sulfuric depths and looked for Pele's tears.

We saw black sand beaches.

We stopped on the road side on our way to Hilo to look at the wild orchids growing there. I heard laughter and pushed into the undergrowth a little ways and saw some teenagers swimming in a natural little spring fed pool. They called to me to join them and I did.

We went to all the famous beaches. I went surfing and quickly realized I was out of my depth.

We drove up to the mountain pass where King Kamehameha forced his enemies off the cliff and where the wind was blowing so strongly that it literally blew me over backwards (I was a scrawny kid and my calves were up against the parking rail).

I ate pineapple picked fresh from the field and it was so good that I have never been able to eat store bought pineapple since.

My mother and sister and I bought bikinis! This was before bikinis were de riguer for beachwear and were considered quite scandalous. We weren't actually allowed to wear them on the beach in Galveston when we returned but we could wear them at home around the swimming pool.

It was a most wonderful vacation.

You're probably wondering right about now what the hell this has to do with me not meeting Mick Jagger.

For some reason, my parent's friends invited me back the following summer, the summer I was 16. My parents allowed me to go, said they would pay my air fare but that I had to earn my spending money by doing the filing for my dad's lab for the nearly two months in the summer before my trip. When the time finally came, I was looking at a long plane ride from Houston to Los Angeles, a short lay over and an even longer plane ride to Honolulu. Coach class boarded first in Los Angeles and once we were all aboard, the curtain was unceremoniously closed between coach and first class and it stayed closed the whole time. I had flown several times before but not enough to think it strange that the curtain was kept closed.

Once we landed on the tarmac, we waited and waited and waited to disembark and then we waited some more. Finally, the curtain was opened and we were allowed to get off the plane. I was met by the family and a huge crowd of people. The tarmac was packed. Back then, the plane taxied near the concourse, a stairway was rolled up and you disembarked on the tarmac and walked into the terminal.

Immediately, the family, the kids who came to meet my plane bombarded me with questions.

Did you see them?”

Did I see who? And what are all these people here for?” I wanted to know.

The Rolling Stones! They were on your plane! You didn't see them?!”

Yeah right.” I responded.

No really, the Rolling Stones were on your plane!” they insisted.

No way, you're pulling my leg.” I refused to be taken in.

I didn't believe them until they dragged me over to where all the instruments and amps were being unloaded and they told me we all had tickets for the concert the next day.

So now all the delays and the closed curtain made sense. And, no, I didn't see them. At least not on the plane. But I did see them in concert the next night.


  1. Wow! But you actually travelledtogether with them!

    What a story! and the visit at your parents froends - even without Rolling Stones that must have been something.

  2. That is so cool! I think you could actually claim that you saw them. Think back, now, don't you remember seeing Mick Jagger's lips poking out from behind that curtain?

  3. You can make something that didn't happen far more interesting than most folks would make it sound if it did. Fun story, Ellen. :)

  4. Now that is funny! I would have totally missed that sighting as well. Great story!!

  5. Awesome! You flew to Hawaii with the Rolling Stones!! Excellent.

    Best post title evah!

    And you got to see Hawaii before it was completely paved over (thanks, Joni, for writing that great song about it).

    Sounds like a GREAT vacation. Very cool.

  6. I'll bet it was amazing, to see them that early on in their career. I saw them in '81 and a few years back on their last tour. What a band, great concerts, great memories.

  7. Sometimes our stories of 'near misses' are as interesting as the stories when things actually happened.

    Amazing the staying power of Jagger and the Stones - he's a grandfather and still bouncing around stages all over the world!

  8. I think they still pull the curtain on some flights. How fun is that .. I try to see if I know anyone .. when walking to the cheap seats (which aren't really cheap) No one so far ..

    Speaking of Hawaii .. I'm going for the first time this Summer. Email me some cool places to go & see. (I'm going to ~ Honolulu, Maui & Hilo)

    And, not to worry about the last post. I just wasn't in the mood to defend myself. I think I hit a nerve with her and well, she didn't understand what I was saying.

  9. I always thought of Jagger as a kind of demented Keebler elf, but Keith Richards was the guy I was going to marry. Or something. My second favorite non-family male on the planet.

    And you were THAT close to meeting him? oooh.

  10. You, Mick- like THIS (crosses fingers) Loved your holiday in my most favorite holiday places ! Loved going along with you and getting sand in my crack- Especially loved your comment over at Reya's place! Right on! You are a woman of much brain and sensitivity- I adore thee!

  11. ellen - the holiday! the bikini when bikini's were so cool but so not allowed in public! i love these stories and really if you had "met" them then what! i "met" "kiss" one time and it was so anti-climatic i was able to let my mini-fandom for them go. cool that you saw the stones concert though. in the day i would've loved to see them just for the energy. steven

  12. that is still way closer to Mick than I ever got!!

  13. See, you were in the same space and didn't know it! Aren't we lucky and don't know it.

  14. Ah, that is great. Ha! I sent this to my Dad to read. Back in the mid-sixties he partied with Keith Richards at some run down motel in Roanoke, Va. (It's his big brag story he tells everyone.)

    That was so much fun to read. :)

  15. A better question would be, what would you have done if you *had* known :)

  16. I so would have changed that story over time and been all 'yeah, Mick and I had a couple of drinks, he sang a few songs to me until we landed'...

  17. Well, I guess the Stones were one group of First Class passengers who didn't get to board ahead of everyone else. I suppose they own their own jet by now.

  18. That's wild. Ellen hobnobs with rock godz!

  19. Ahhh! All those hours on a plane with The Rolling Stones and you didn't even know! LOL

    But hey, you more than made up for it the next night. How awesome.

    BTW, you have me wanting to go to Hawaii now more than ever. :)


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.