The Rolling Stones European Tour 1973
|Tour by The Rolling Stones|
One of the Stones' more lurid tour posters.
|Associated album||Goats Head Soup|
|Start date||1 September 1973|
|End date||19 October 1973|
|Number of shows||42|
|The Rolling Stones concert chronology|
The tour followed the release of the group's album Goats Head Soup on 31 August. It began at the Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria on 1 September. It then saw, in large halls to mid-sized arenas, West Germany, England (including four shows at the Empire Pool in London), Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Belgium, finishing on 19 October with the band's fourth entry into and thirteenth show in West Germany, at the Deutschlandhalle in West Berlin, which would turn out to be Mick Taylor's last live performance with the Stones until 14 December 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri, and then until Taylor's guest appearance during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 shows. Altogether 42 shows were played in 22 cities, with two shows in a day a commonplace.
This was the Stones' first trip to Europe since the European Tour 1970, and was part of parallel three-year cycles of touring the United States and Europe.
Without all the ballyhoo, media attention, and jet set hangers-on of the group's 1972 American Tour, the 1973 European Tour was seen as having less drama — the biggest pending issue was the resolution of Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg's 25 June drugs and weapons bust, which hung over them until a 24 October £205 fine from the Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court resolved it — while showcasing consistently good musicianship. Songs like "Brown Sugar" and "Gimme Shelter" were well received and Billy Preston's organ and clavinet added a contemporary and funky edge to the "classic" Stones sound, although the tour's relatively conventional delineation between rhythm (primarily Richards) and lead guitar (primarily Taylor) parts were later criticised by Richards. By the time of the group's following Tour of the Americas '75, Ron Wood would be in the band and Richards' preferred interweaved approach would be restored.
No live album was released from the tour, although a recording of the first 17 October show in Brussels was headed towards official release but pulled back for legal reasons. As Brussels Affair (and some other names such as "Bedspring Symphony"), it has been a popular bootleg in superb stereo sound, and is often considered a 'lost classic' of bigger importance than some of the official Stones' live albums.
In November 2011, the Rolling Stones launched a web enterprise, www.StonesArchive.com and released the second 17 October Brussels show with two tracks from the first Brussels show as "The Brussels Affair" worldwide as a digital download in FLAC or MP3 format and as a box set. 
The Rolling Stones
- Mick Jagger - lead vocals, harmonica
- Keith Richards - guitar, vocals
- Mick Taylor - guitar
- Bill Wyman - bass guitar
- Charlie Watts - drums
- Billy Preston - keyboards, backing vocals
- Steve Madaio - trumpet, flugelhorn
- Bobby Keys - saxophone (until 30 September 1973)
- Trevor Lawrence - saxophone
- Manuel Kellough - percussion (some dates)
- Marshall Chess - trumpet on Street Fighting Man (some dates)
Tour support acts
Opening for the tour's shows was Billy Preston and for him, Kracker, the first band ever to be signed to Rollings Stones Records. Part of the opening show by Preston was released on Preston's 1974 album release Live European Tour, which featured Mick Taylor.
Tour set list
The standard set list for the tour was:
- "Brown Sugar"
- "Gimme Shelter"
- "Tumbling Dice"
- "Star Star"
- "Dancing with Mr D"
- "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" (not on all shows)
- "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
- "Midnight Rambler"
- "Honky Tonk Women"
- "All Down the Line"
- "Rip This Joint"
- "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
- "Street Fighting Man"
This set list was pretty stable once established, however, during the first view shows Goats Head Soup tracks "100 Years Ago" (Vienna and Mannheim) and "Silver Train" (Vienna, Cologne, London 1st) got a trying out, as did "Bitch" and "Sweet Virginia" in Vienna. All of the pre-Goats selections had been played on the 1972 American Tour as well, and pretty much in this order. Completely absent was anything from before 1968 in the Stones' catalog. Indeed, on 18 August, before the tour began, Jagger had been quoted, "The only thing I don't really enjoy about playing live is having to perform the old numbers, even though that's what a lotta people wanna hear us do."
|1 September 1973||Vienna||Austria||Stadthalle|
|3 September 1973||Mannheim||Germany||Eisstadion am Friedrichspark|
|4 September 1973
|7 September 1973||London||England||Empire Pool|
|8 September 1973
|9 September 1973|
|11 September 1973||Manchester||Kings Hall|
|12 September 1973|
|13 September 1973
|Newcastle upon Tyne||Newcastle City Hall|
|16 September 1973||Glasgow||Scotland||Apollo Theatre|
|17 September 1973|
|19 September 1973
|23 September 1973||Innsbruck||Austria||Olympiahalle|
|25 September 1973||Bern||Switzerland||Festhalle|
|26 September 1973
|28 September 1973
|30 September 1973
|2 October 1973
|4 October 1973
|6 October 1973
|7 October 1973
|9 October 1973||Essen||Germany||Grugahalle|
|10 October 1973|
|11 October 1973|
|13 October 1973||Rotterdam||Netherlands||Ahoy Rotterdam|
|14 October 1973
|15 October 1973||Antwerp||Belgium||Sportpaleis|
|17 October 1973
|19 October 1973||Berlin||Germany||Deutschlandhalle|
- Mentioned in several interviews over the years, among them in Guitar Player magazine 1977.