Rolling Stones Promoter Details The “Horrendous Ride”

When founder of the Mushroom Group and touring company Frontier Touring Michael Gudinski spoke to Music Feeds in December, he was almost incredulous that he was working with The Rolling Stones. But speaking now, the mogul’s just relieved that the tour is still going ahead.

The Rolling Stones’ heavily anticipated return to Australian shores on their 14 On Fire tour was met with tragedy almost as soon as the legendary band touched down at Perth Airport. Frontman Mick Jagger‘s longtime partner L’Wren Scott had died, and the singer was soon bound for the US.

“[It’s been] a horrendous ride for everyone involved, but obviously it’s been most horrendous for Mick himself,” Gudinski told The Music after new dates were announced. “When you’re dealing with such tragic circumstances, it’s all a matter of patience. It’s a relief for everyone involved.”

The promoter explained that while all of the parties involved desired a rescheduling of the dates, there were never any guarantees. “There’s always a danger, it’s a risky industry. The intention was always there – it takes time though… Until I knew it was 100 percent back on, it was a torturous time for all of us involved. And let’s be honest, until it’s over [I won’t relax], I know this game too well.”

Earlier today, Australian rock icon Jimmy Barnes was added to the band’s Adelaide Oval show — the first concert to take place at the refurbished venue — and Gudinski said high-profile support acts will be added to the Hanging Rock and Hunter Valley shows in a post-Easter announcement.

The promoter did not discuss the financial hit taken as a result of the cancelled and postponed dates, and the cost of returning the band’s famously elaborate stage setup back to the US. “Obviously it’s affected everyone,” he said, though he insists refunds have been “minimal” and the rescheduled dates will feature “every bit of equipment out again, there’s absolutely no compromise.”

“We were basically under siege in that hotel, with paparazzi at every door. [Money] is the last thing you think of at that time,” said Gudinski. Of the extensive and oft-speculative press coverage at the time he said, “Some of the stuff I saw online was disgraceful, but that was from a small minority.”

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