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How The Tribune Saw The Rolling Stones

Given the unsurprising squareness with which the Tribune greeted the Beatles, I thought it would be interesting to look up the paper's early coverage of the Rolling Stones.

The band's first mention in the Trib, as far as I can tell, was this article by Louise Hutchinson on June 12, 1964:

Barber Gives Scare To Five Fuzzy Singers

Rolling Stones Roll Out Of His Way

The visit of the Rolling Stones, who say they are singers, ended abruptly yesterday on North Michigan avenue. A barber came along.

There are five Rolling Stones, all from London. All wear tight trousers and haggard looks All of them slouch. Each look unkempt. And they wear their hair, they vow, two inches longer than the Beatles.

And that's where Larry Koznatz comes in. Koznatz is a barber in the Sheraton-Chicago hotel.

The Rolling Stones were slouched in five folding chairs in front of Tribune Tower's Nathan Hale Court. Squealing teen-agers, incredulous adults, and members of the press surrounded them.

"Let me hold a scissors to their hair," Koznatz said to Andrew Oldham, 20, who also wears his carrot-colored tresses long and is the quintet's manager.

"No," said Oldham furiously. "Stay away from them."

Koznatz grinned, then walked closer.

Stones Roll Away

"Yeah," the crowd roared.

"Get him out, get him out," Oldham directed at a bewildered aid. "If he goes near them, we walk off."

Koznatz walked closer. One by one the Rolling Stones uncoiled, stepped thru the crowd, entered a cab, and sped off into traffic.

Just before this, police arrested Julia Gomez Martinez, 26, of Bogota, Colombia, who arrived in Chicago yesterday from Miami. Carl Sattell, 4432 N. Wolcott av., a Tribune photographer, was on his way to lunch when he saw the crowd around the Rolling Stones. As he watched, he felt his wallet being lifted. He reached back and grabbed the hand of Mrs. Martinez. The wallet then fell to the sidewalk. She will appear today in Felony court.

The singers leave today for Detroit. They will not perform in Chicago just now. But they do have two appearances booked for Carnegie Hall in New York City.

On July 5, 1964, Martha Olson from Northbook got this missive published:

Beatles Surpassed

Three cheers for the Rolling Stones. They have accomplished a feat which I thought impossible. Yes, they have changed my whole life.

Until the Rolling Stones had their great "publicity push" I was a stanch Beatle fan who faced ridicule and degradation from family and relations.

After the Rolling Stones' nation-wide television appearance, my "Beatle world" has taken on a rosy glow. I am no longer laughed at. Neither do I cry in anguish at night. Now I can scream praises of the Beatles from the roof-tops.

Thank you Rolling Stones. You have been able to convince the world that no one, not even the Beatles, could be more repulsive than you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Still, the Trib seemed to be softening. For example, on January 10, 1965, the paper's Sunday magazine published "The Exciting Story of My Six Sensational Days on the Road with the Rolling Stones."

Here's how the paper described the article to readers:

This story began with an eight-page letter from 21-year-old Jeri Holloway, a Shreveport, La., girl who came north to follow the Rolling Stones on their rockin' rollin' midwest concert tour last November. Jeri covered four states, attended four concerts, missed one, checked into the same hotel with her idols (and got trampled in the same lobby), worked her way backstage after one of the Stones' concerts, talked to them, and took lots of pictures. She had the time of her life! But there was on disturbing note: The press gave the Stones less notice than their No. 1 fan thought they deserved. So Jeri decided to report the tour herself. When we'd read her detailed, colorful letter to the Magazine, we telephoned Jeri long distance with a few questions and a request for the pictures she took. They arrived the next day with a second eight-page letter. The result is this kaleidoscopic account in Jeri's own words.

I can assure you there is nothing kaleidoscopic about Holloway's rudimentary report. But perhaps a step forward for the paper.


On February 7, 1965, columnist Larry Wolters reported in "More Screeching, Screaming To Come" that:

Mayor Daley may not know it, but Chicago's young rock 'n' roll fans have renamed that triangular plot at Wacker and Wabash [officially Herald square] "Liverpool square." Every Saturday, when WLS holds its open house for youngsters at its nearby studios, several hundred of them gather there to whoop it up for the Beatles and other Liverpudlians.

That column off-handedly mentioned the Stones.


Finally, for our purposes, Frances Borzello reported for the Trib on February 13, 1965 that "London Teen Fashion 'Crazy.'"

The article was accompanied by a photo of one Patti O'Drain, of Lyons Township High School, modeling a "Modern Juniors' version of the London look."

And it ended this way:

But I wouldn't want to leave you with the impression that the girls are hogging the fashion picture. The men, my dears, are glorious. Either great dandies in what amounts to updated fine English tailoring [the Beatles are the best example of this] or else the Rolling Stones look, with even shaggier hair and shiny black plastic jackets.

Of course, Borzello was a Londoner, not a Chicagoan.


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 13, 2014

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