Since 1962, The Rolling Stones have been one of the biggest British rock bands in the world and, befitting the world’s most popular and acclaimed artists, have taken to the Royal Albert Hall’s prestigious stage on multiple occasions.

We’ve taken a look back at their immortalised performances, and the band’s fascinating history here:

15 September 1963: The Great Pop Prom

The Rolling Stones’ first ever appearance at the Hall was at The Great Pop Prom, an annual show which had been staged here since 1958.

The Rolling Stones, The Great Pop Prom 15 September 1963

The mixed bill was topped by none other than The Beatles, who were appearing at what would be their final performance at the Hall’ This concert marked the first of only two occasions that the Stones and The Beatles would appear on the same bill.

The Rolling Stones, opening the show, performed from a small platform in the centre of the arena. Bass guitarist Bill Wyman remembers:

‘We opened the show, and The Beatles watched us. They told us years later that they were very nervous with the reception we got.’

The Rolling Stones at The Great Pop Prom, 15 September 1963, programme

After The Pop Proms, The Rolling Stones played the Hall twice more in 1964 at charity events, however it was not until 1966 that the band would make their debut in a headline slot.

23 September 1966: The Rolling Stones

Their concert on 23 September 1966 was their first gig in England in more than a year. Launching a 21-date tour of Britain, this Royal Albert Hall show would go down in history as one of their most explosive.

Opened by Tina Turner (making her Royal Albert Hall debut), The Yardbirds and Peter Jay and The New Jaywalkers, the auditorium was buzzing with excitement for The Rolling Stones’ arrival to the stage. During their opening number Paint It Black, several hundred of the fans rushed towards the stage, a few breaking the police barricade. A mini-riot ensued. This incident would be memorialised in the promo video for Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? (1967), which uses footage from the chaotic concert.

‘Standing in a flowered jacket that glittered as with pearls or sequins, with his head between his legs and his arms outstretched, [Mick Jagger] looked more like a gymnast in fancy dress than he ever did. Certainly the Stones generate great excitement… and we were treated to all the visual goodies that usually accompany one of their shows – sobbing fans pouring on to the stage in hundreds and the beautiful [Stones’ manager] Mr. Oldham waving his expensively suited arms decorously in the air.’
International Times, 14 October 1966


Peter Blake - Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall

See if you can spot the Stones in the Hall’s Sir Peter Blake’s mural masterpiece entitled Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall – a fascinating ‘who’s who’ history of the past century-and-a-half of culture, seen through the prism of the Hall’s legendary stage.

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