• WATCH: Rolling Stones visit Seattle in 1981

    By: Casey McNerthney

    Updated:

    Roughly 70,000 fans are expected to pack CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night for the Rolling Stones No Filter Tour. 

    The Stones first played Seattle on Dec. 2, 1965. The show was at the Seattle Center – later KeyArena and now the future home of the city’s NHL team – and produced by Seattle DJs and concert promoters Pat O’Day and Dick Curtis.

    “When the Stones came to town, the Stones tried to see how radical they could be,” O’Day said in 2003

    They arrived at Boeing Field after playing a show the night before in Vancouver, B.C. 

    Customs were waiting for the plane “at that old Boeing terminal building down there on Airport Way.”

    Keith Richards took his suitcase and heaved it against the wall, where it popped open and stuff fell all over the floor because he’s screaming, “If you want to search our bags, search this,” O”Day said. 

    “It was all for the show. Could they get headlines? Could they raise a raucous because they were British kids that were over in America and they just said how outrageous can we be and get away with it?” 

    The Stones have made multiple trips to Seattle, including a 1997 show at the Kingdome and two shows there in October 1981. 

    We dug into the KIRO 7 archives -- now preserved in partnership with the University of Washington Special Collections – and our coverage of the Stones’ 1981 arrival and concert is below.


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