GSMS 1 – The Rolling Stones

Exile on Green Street

w/ Goats Head Soup

January 11, 2003 – The Lucky Dog Music Hall

Lucky Dog recalls the night The Stones rolled in

Thursday, January 9, 2003

By Scott McLennan

WORCESTER– Just as it takes the Roman Catholic Church an extraordinary amount of time to elevate someone to sainthood, the Lucky Dog Music Hall finally is getting around to acknowledging its stage as hallowed ground: the Rolling Stones played on it on Sept. 14, 1981.
For those not up to speed on Worcester lore, here’s a recap: Before launching a 1981 world tour, the Rolling Stones holed up in Long View Farm Recording Studio in North Brookfield for several weeks of rehearsals.goatsheadsoup

The band decided to shake off its cobwebs with a nightclub concert, and the surprise gig occurred at Sir Morgan’s Cove in Worcester, forebear to the Lucky Dog Music Hall. Once news of the “surprise” leaked out on rival radio stations, something like a kazillion people clogged Green Street, pluming out from the club’s door in hopes of being one of the lucky 350 allowed in to see the spectacle.

To some, it was Worcester’s finest moment.

But in a way, many in the local music community grew to resent the Stones’ appearance at the Cove, because it tended to overshadow everything else that has since happened musically in the city. When the Cove was sold, its new owners intentionally changed the club’s name to sever links to the past — and even removed the old Union Jack marquee that came to represent the one-night invasion from what many consider England’s greatest band.

Then along came Greg Munro.

The local photographer was just 16 when the Stones were at Long View, but he trekked out to the studio barn nightly in hopes of hearing tidbits of the rehearsals or maybe catching a glimpse of the godlike musicians. He also was among the throng on Green Street trying to get into the Cove, and was among those left out in the rain.

Munro eventually became a photographer and traveled around the world practicing his craft. When he returned to Worcester, he found his way into the Lucky Dog and has since become the club’s house photographer and Web site designer.

“I was always disappointed there was nothing there commemorating the night the Stones played there. I got tired of hearing how people were sick of hearing about the Stones. When they asked me to do the Web site, I said fine, but there’s going to be a Stones section on it,” Munro said. He kept prodding — “In Worcester, it’s better to own the bar the Stones played at than to own the bar the Stones didn’t play at,” was his logical argument — and finally persuaded the Lucky Dog to establish something permanent on its walls.

That led to Saturday’s “Exile on Green Street” event at the Lucky Dog, 89 Green St., Worcester. An all-star band of locals plus another 30 guest musicians will perform three sets’ worth of Rolling Stones songs at the show, which happens to fall on the eve of the Stones’ return to the FleetCenter in Boston, where the band launched its most recent tour back in September.

As part of the Lucky Dog’s annual post-holiday renovation-refurbishing period, when the club closes for a week, a new Stones gallery was built along the wall between the stage and back bar. The exhibit will feature news clippings and photos from the 1981 show, including some work by photographer Ron Pownall, who is believed to be the only photographer in the club on that historic night in ’81. The display will be unveiled Saturday and heralded by the music of Goat’s Head Soup. Taking its name from the title of a 1973 Stones album, Goat’s Head Soup consists of Tim Hansen on vocals, Billy Claire on guitar, Roger Lavallee on bass and guitar, John Donovan on bass and guitar, Steve Mossberg on keyboards, Duncan Arsenault on drums, Gabe Rollins on percussion and Craig Rawding on harmonica.

Joining the band as it moves through its 42-song set will be Al Arsenault, Michael Thibodeau, Phil Chipman, Iris Lyons, Mike O’Connell and members of 9volt Superhero, Alienest Outfit, Average White Boys, the Ballbusters, the Crybabies, the Curtain Society, the Deadites, the Deal, Bewkenheimer, Gutta, Hothouse, Huck, Huxley, Joe Rockhead, Little White Lies, Lucubro, Mossberg, Old Man Hansen, Snakes & Ladders, Schekta, Starr Faithful, Sumo, Thinner, Vibrotica and Widemouth.

“What’s great is that we got musicians from every kind of band interested in doing this,” Munro noted.

The Rolling Stones section of the Lucky Dog Web page ( has been fleshed out with pictures, a history lesson and commentary from Gil Markle, who ran Long View when the Stones were there.

Sensing that the theme night will be a hit, Munro is helping to organize a Beatles bash sometime in April (not that the Fab Four ever hit the Cove, but it sounds like fun).

And what are the odds that Sir Mick and raggamuffin Keef will swing by the Lucky Dog on Saturday?

“Well, I know they’ll be in Boston on Saturday,” Munro said. “But trying to reach anyone in their organization seems impossible. I think I’d have an easier time calling the White House and getting a hold of President Bush.”

Goat’s Head Soup performing Satisfaction

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