“Getting Stoned in Argentina”

You know what? I got stoned all last week.actually, only three times…

some old friends came to town

we did some midnight rambling,

searched for honky tonk women

and tumbled a little dice

and later, to our surprise…

ANOTHER old friend of 30+ years showed up

he played his tambourine

as we revisited the old highway 61

and got tangled up in blue…

we couldn’t always get what we wanted

but we learned if you try sometimes,

you’ll find


The Rolling Stones’ visit to Argentina last week was a big deal for the
porteños, young and old. Their comings and goings while they were in
Buenos Aires occupied text and photo space on every morning newpaper’s
front page and I quickly realized that ever-familiar lips & tongue logo
(designed by Andy Warhol in the early 70’s) is much more visible and
recognizable here than say, Mickey Mouse’s ears! When we first arrived
in Buenos Aires, it struck me as a little bit odd – all of the decals in
rear windows of cars that said things like, “Rolling Stones University”
and “Stones Rule!” “Los Rolling”, as they are affectionately called by
the Argentines, certainly have here one of their largest fan bases.
“What a great market share they have here,” remarked Bill Thomas, the
new President of Mead Johnson International , “…but if you think about
it, it IS just like a large corporation selling a product.”

If I see “Los Rolling”
listed on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange,
I will defintely purchase shares!

When tickets for The Rolling Stones first went on sale, Darío, our dog
walker who is in his early twenties and always wearing a Rolling Stones
T-shirt (if it’s not a San Lorenzo futbol jersey), asked me if I was
going to see Los Rolling: “¡ Por cierto!” I told him and then asked
where was the best place to be in River Plate Stadium to see them in
concert. “¡En el campo con los chicos! he replied, with a big grin and
jumping up and down and waving his arms back and forth to illustrate the
wild fun he was going to have.

Well, maybe TOO much fun for me. I have seen video footage of popular
rock concerts here and knew better. I asked Darío which night he was
going to attend. ALL THREE he told me. I thought he was crazy and little
did I know at the time, that I would eventually do exactly the same!
What started out as two – then three – concert dates, ended up as five
over the period of one week.

For fear of having to squeeze onto el campo con los chicos, I called
Ticketmaster as quickly as possible. I asked the voice on the other end
of the phone for THE BEST seats available: “¿En el campo con los
chicos?” he asked me, in a manner that it was a really stupid question
and WHERE else, for gosh sakes, would ANYONE want to be? NO! I told him,
I am taking my grandmother and I need a nice seat with a GREAT view!

The Ticketmaster guy was not a lot of help and couldn’t understand why I
didn’t want to be on the field, up close. I reluctantly bought two of
the most expensive tickets and prayed that they would be good seats and
away from any warring factions of rival futbol fans. Since it was the
first or second day of ticket sales, I figured my chances were good.

That was back in February. My tickets arrived at my door by courier and
I put them in a safe place and anticipated a great upcoming concert.
Then it happened. On the Thursday before The Stones’ first Saturday
night performance, I choked on my coffee when I read the front page of
the morning paper:


I looked at the edition’s date to make sure this wasn’t some cruel April
Fool’s joke. It wasn’t. Six days too early for that. I knew they had
been negotiating with Dylan earlier this year for a possible free
concert…I read on with excitement (and some disappointment). Then, as
a result of my misinterpretation of the article in Spanish, I thought
the paper was saying that if you were already holding Rolling Stones
tickets, you could go to any outlet and exchange them for the new date.

The early bird always gets the worm. I immediately called Ticketmaster
and they told me that I COULD NOT exchange them. Go to Musimundo [retail
music store] – maybe they will do it. I rushed down to the Musimundo in
Alto Palermo (a big shopping mall). A long line was forming at the
concert ticket booth. It was growing longer by the second. When it was
my turn, I told the guy I wanted to change my tickets for the new Dylan
date. He told me I couldn’t do it. I argued and showed him the newspaper
article. He read it and tried to explain that what the promoter was
actually offering was additional tickets to the Dylan concert at the
SAME price for all Stones ticket holders. I still argued and at that
point, he decided to find someone in the store who spoke English to
fully explain the matter. “Come with me,” he said, as he walked around
from behind the counter. He was the only person manning the ticket booth
and I heard sighs and restless shifting from the growing line of people
as I followed him to the computer department. There another guy
explained to me in English that there was no way they could do the
change but if I wanted to call the promoter, I might have luck with
them. I followed the ticket guy back to the booth. What-the-hell, I
thought, I’ll buy two more tickets to the Dylan concert. I told the guy
I wanted two tickets in the same general vicinity of my original seats.
He told me that in order to purchase the new Dylan/Stones tickets, I
needed a photo copy of the original tickets. I looked at the VERY long
line and asked, “But you can’t make a copy for me here?” A chorus of
impatient groans and ¡por favors! came from the queue of chicos del
campo behind me. The ticket guy assured me I could go get a photocopy
and come back to the head of the line. He told me of a place in the

Argentina is full of sadistic architects who like to design shopping
malls to torture shoppers. I laugh about this all of the time because it
is as common a complaint from expatriates as is the complaint about the
Argentinos’ lack of observation of anyone driving behind them and not
knowing what those little yellow stripes in the road are. The mall
complaint is as follows:

If you are in a shopping mall and want to go down to another floor, I
can guarantee you that that escalator over there is going UP! In the
States, they put escalators in pairs – side by side (one going down, the
other going up) – OR – at least opposistional (as in a Sears or JC
Penney). In Galerias Pacifico, in downtown Buenos Aires, the mad
architect makes you walk in a big circle by EVERY store on each floor
before you find the correct escalator! All of the malls are like that
and even at Unicenter (the big mall near our previous house), I never
seemed to learn the system, despite going there twice, three times a
week for a year. Murphy’s law rules in the mall. Relax, take your time –
you’ll eventually find the right one…

So, a little trip down to make a photocopy turned into a forty-five
minute diversion. I was having a bad day and all of the little pet
peeves were surfacing like another one I am about to tell you:

[OK, guys, FACE IT – this is going to be a long story, and if you
haven’t figured out by now to print out copies of my stories and keep
them by your favorite toilet, I will advise you to do so now – before we
go any further…]

Parking is different here too. Many of the parking lots are underground
“playas” (literally translates to “beaches”) as the porteños refer to
them and the spaces are much smaller than what I am normally used to. Of
course, the cars are smaller, yet the parking space/car size ratio here
is smaller than what I am generally used to. That applies to length as
well as width. You will notice that everyone backs into their parking
space. I thought this was the Argentine’s way of trying to appear
efficient or maybe it was a quick escape method – in case the tax man
was lurking behind you in the depths of some dark downtown playa.
Through trial and error, I soon figured out that the postioning of the
cement wheel stops [anybody have an official word for these things?] in
each parking space makes the back end of your car stick out more if you
pull in head first. Generally, there is more car protruding from your
rear wheels than there is car protruding from your front wheels. The
solution is to back in – like everyone else. It doesn’t necessarily take
an enginner to arrive at this conclusion.

OK, so I am heading over to the Musimundo store at Alto Palermo (the
SECOND worst escalator torture center in Buenos Aires) and I go into the
underground parking there. It is almost full but I see a space; I BACK
into it and I am puzzled when I hear a crushing metal noise; I get out
of the car to see what I ran over. Nothing. Then I look up and see a
low-hanging air conditioning duct that severed my car’s radio antenna
(stationary, electrically controlled – not flexible) when I backed into
the space. The parking lot is dark and in small letters, I see painted
on the duct: “Clearance – 1.9 meters”. Robert, you idiot! WHY weren’t
you reading that in your rearview mirror as you were backing in?

I am finally going back up the correct escalator with photocopy in hand
and thinking about all of the design idiosynchrosies and the general bad
day that was forming. Back at the ticket counter, I walked up to the
front of the line. A whole new crowd of los chicos looked like they were
rumbling in their back pockets for that switchblade to slit my throat.
As the looks behind me got meaner, I tried to establish eye contact with
the ticket guy so he would say something like, “put down your weapons,
boys – this guy was here earlier – he’s OK!” I think the ticket guy was
purposely avoiding acknowledging me so that I would feel a little
uncomfortable and look like one of those assholes who habitually breaks
into lines. The ticket guy finally nodded to me and I handed him my
“proof of purchase” and more money for two more tickets. I wondered HOW
I was going to sell 2 tickets in two or three days. As he gave me the
new tickets, I told the ticket guy that it was worth $50 to him if he
could sell my original Monday night tickets for me. He perked up,
reached into his wallet and pulled out a fifty peso note, thinking I
wanted to sell the tickets for $50. Rather than try to explain again in
Spanish, I gave up and turned towards the long line of impatient faces.
I asked the guy immediately behind me if he wanted to buy two tickets
for Monday night. “¿El Campo?” he asked. No, I told him – Palco Bajo. He
shook his head. I went out the door where the majority of los chicos
stood quietly. No one was anywhere near a smile. I held the two tickets
up and spoke in a loud voice:

“Dos entradas disponible para el concierto de lunes…”

“Palco Bajo..”

No bites. Not even a response either way. The looks got meaner and there
was a faint sign of recognition as if they were all thinking, “Hey!
Isn’t that the stupid gringo that was holding up the line?”

In a softer, rather timid voice I added:

“buen precio…”

A few people quietly shook their heads but most just stared straight
ahead – like zombies – towards the front of the line.

In my best Argentine accent, I sighed a good, resignful “Bueno…” and
made a beeline to the playa. Another annoying practice here is havibg to
pay your parking ticket before you go to your car. This usually
involves going in another direction than where your car is parked. I
was still a bit pissed about the antenna, so when I paid my parking
ticket, I told the parking guy my misfortune, and told him that I wanted
to talk to someone about being compensated for it. He directed me to the
office of security – a long haul back into the mall (the Bob Dylan in me
unconsciously made that little rhyme!)

A security guard sat behind a desk. I explained what had happened. He
told me to hold on – he would call another security guard to go look at
the antenna. As I waited, I sorted through all of the receipts
(Argentines give you at least three receipts, it seems for everything
you buy) and tickets (two sets of concert and one parking) and tried to
organize everything going back into my pockets. I noticed my car keys
were missing! Some of you may know about my bad luck with car keys…

The guy behind the desk looked up from his unsuccessful radio calls and
asked me what kind of car I had. The timing on this question was
incredible because at that exact moment, I saw my keys hanging with a
bunch of other keys on a board behind him. Someone must have found them
somewhere! A Rover 620si, I told him, “As a matter of fact, I lost the
keys, but I think that is them,” pointing to the very keys in question.
I was dressed American style that day (sloppy casual in the eyes of
porteños). I didn’t match the car I was driving – like the time I was
getting in my car (dressed American style) and a guy came up and asked
me if it was OK to park his car where he just did: I must have had a
confused look on my face as a result and he asked me if I, in fact,
worked for the parking lot. The look on my face answered his question.
(By the way, his little question is a perfect example of the fine art of
insultation, porteño style.)

So the guard gives me this funny little one-eyed, disbelieving look and,
lucky for me, I have the car’s green card (equivalent of a title) in my
wallet. I show it to him and he gives me the keys but still looks like
he doesn’t believe me and I could see him making mental notes of the car
thief who was posing as a stupid gringo. The other security guard comes
up and I had to explain to him the antenna problem once again. He then
wanted to go look at the damage. We made the long haul back to my car. I
showed the guy how it was impossible to see the writing in the darkness,
let alone – the duct itself. He agreed and asked what I wanted to do. I
want the management to pay for the damage, I reiterated. He looked at me
like we were on Mars and I had just asked him for an Eskimo Pie.

As Vicky and I have learned from past experience, lawyers are
a-dime-a-dozen here in Argentina. In fact, I would be willing to bet
that there are more lawyers than there are taxi drivers and remises
combined! That’s alot considering everytime you cross ANY street in
Buenos Aires, you have to wait for a minimum of three taxis to drive by
you – and that is on the quiet, out-of-the-way streets! Those lawyers do
not like to sue even if WAS the other guy’s fault. As a result, lawyers
are extremely worthless here and you end up paying for mishaps (no
matter whose fault it is) out of your own pocket. People have car wrecks
here and get out to say a few few harsh words back and forth and look at
each other’s damage. It takes only a few minutes while everyone else is
honking their horns at you. Then you shake your head, like the other guy
is a real imbecile who doesn’t know how to drive, and get into your car
and drive off. [NOTE: I know those of you that live here will add, “And
that’s only if THEY STOP AT ALL!”]

The security guard told me that he didn’t think it was possible that the
mall management would take responsibility. But he told me we could go
back to the office and fill out a report. I asked him what good would a
report do me if they weren’t going to pay? He looked at me like we were
on Mars and I had just asked him for a worthy, Argentine lawyer.

I told the guard nevermind and got into the car and drove off in a bit
more of a bad mood. I got to the automated gate and my parking receipt
had expired. I pushed the little speaker button and a voice came through
with the clarity of the drive-in speaker at any Wendy’s. Four cars had
appeared out of nowhere and were all honking their horns. If this was
LA, I thought, I would now be reaching into the backseat for my Uzzi. I
got them to back up and I pulled up behind another car in front of the
cashier’s office. We were both blocking the aisle. There was also a line
at the cashier’s office. I kept backing up and looking over to make sure
no one was trying to get by. I told the cashier what had happened – I
had a problem with the antenna, went to the office of security to
explain, and my time had run out. He looked at me like we were on Mars
and I had asked if there were any parking lot cashiers with IQ’s higher
than Eskimo Pies. You idiot, I thought, YOU were the one that told me to
go talk to the security office in the first place! Sometimes NOTHING
seems easy here. Rather than communicate through an audible speaker at
the gate and have a way of raising the gate from the cashier’s office as
a result, the cashier had to telephone someone to come to the office to
meet me and manually put a key into the gate to let me out. I waited for
a fraction of an eternity and nervously kept checking my car to see if I
was blocking anyone. I wouldn’t have left the car parked there if I knew
it was going to take this long.

While I waited, I watched a woman walk up to my car and get in. All of
my patience had worn out with Bozo The Parking Lot Clerk and I rushed
over to the passenger side window which was down:

“Señora, por favor, este es MI coche…”
“¡Ay perdon!”

I gave her one of those Mars looks as she removed herself from my car
and then I went back to see whether or not Bozo had located anyone or
if I was going to have to crash through the gate myself. A guy dressed
neatly in a nice suit and looking as if he were a lawyer for a large
shopping mall walked over jiggling a set of keys. He let me out. I
thanked him without incident and drove off.

River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Vicky’s rating: 9
Robert’s rating 10.1
(Griswald Average: 9.6)

And this was BEFORE the Bob Dylan date with them this coming Saturday!
Judging by last night’s standards, the April 4th Dylan/Stones concert
will probably hit a solid ’12’!

(Vicky originally rated it a ’10’ but changed her mind due to the sound
quality. I told her that was due to stadium acoustics and it couldn’t
get any better for a stadium)

Incredible concert! I have only seen the Rolling Stones twice before –
this was by far the best. I even think it was the BEST rock concert I
have ever been to…PERIOD!

Vicky and I were a little worried about the violence factor – the paper
had announced earlier that no futbol jerseys, team banners, or anything
that could be used as a weapon would be allowed in. Then, as we walked
towards the stadium, the sight of a multitude of policemen in riot gear
was not very comforting. We both had our doubts…

Actually, the crowd was really good. There were no problems. Watching
THEM was just as much as part of the show. I estimated that one in
every three people had Rolling Stones T-shirts on. There is definitely a
superb fan base here in Buenos Aires. The crowd added to the overall
concert – you could tell that Mick and the Boys really were enjoying
themselves here in Buenos Aires. The band got a big charge out of the
numerous moments during the concert when the fans sang – in unison – a
song especially for The Rolling Stones. Darío (Stinky’s maestro) taught
me the lines so we can sing along on Saturday. Darío is attending THREE
concerts out of the four (possibly five) and wouldn’t be anywhere other
than down on “el campo con los chicos!”

The only bad part of the show was when Meredith Brooks opened for the
Stones. She came on after the local band, Las Pelotas, played. Before
she even walked on stage, I thought I heard booing. She came out and
sort of curtsied to the crowd to show that she was wearing the
blue-and-white striped Argentine national futbol jersey. She started
into the first song and I was surprised to see all of the debris –
mostly plastic cups flying on stage. The debris got heavier and an
occasional coke can would fly by. Even though I am not that familiar
with her music (she’s American, I’m pretty sure), I felt pretty bad for
her. It really got to her too – she was missing words and notes in the
second song. The band members had to dodge the debris and you could tell
this wasn’t going to be a memorable concert for poor Meredith. She
finished the second song abruptly and – obviously very bothered –
unstrapped her guitar, pulled off the jersey, wadded it up and threw it
on the stage floor. “I have a message from Keith:,” she said to the
crowd, “STOP THROWING THINGS!” With that, she stomped on the futbol
jersey and stormed off stage. The crowd acted as though nothing had
happened and happily awaited for the next act. I turned to Vicky, “Maybe
they didn’t understand her English?” “GOOD for HER! I really liked her
response to them!” Vicky replied.

I seriously doubt poor Meredith will be playing on Saturday. We found
out a similar incident happened to her on Sunday night. She looked like
she was on her way to the airport. Vicky and I don’t blame her. Tough
audience but really good if they like you. I asked a young girl sitting
next to me, “Do you think they will do THAT to Bob Dylan?” “Oh NO,” she
replied, “we LIKE him!”

The Rolling Stones’ part of the show was loaded with surprises and to
not spoil any of them for Bill, Sharon, Luis, Daly, Ken & Andrea, I will
do the full review of both concerts on Sunday.

Here’s an update on poor Meredith Brooks’…
Buenos Aires Herald, Wednesday, April 1, 1998

[front page, with photo]

“Not everybody must get stoned”

By Marcelo Garcia For the Herald

Looking drawn and shattered, US folk star Meredith Brooks yesterday
spent most of her day showing her black eye to the media and blaming
some “Argentine people who still lack education and respect” for ruining
her lifelong dream of opening a Rolling Stones show.

On Monday night, Brooks endured a rainfall of coins, bottles and stones,
until she was finally forced to leave the stage after being hit in the

“I keep trying to take the highest road,” she said gesturing a dim smile
during an interview with a group of journalists at the luxurious Caesar
Park Hotel in the city centre. “First I just wanted to run away, but I
guess God did not want me to play for the Stones, he maybe wanted me to
speak up against atrocities.”

Brooks, whose debut album “Blurring the Edges” sold over one million
copies in the US, was especially invited by the Rolling Stones to open
their shows in Latin America. Even after being booed during her
45-minute set on Sunday, she put on an Argentine national soccer team
jersey and faced the Stones-hungry crowd once again on Monday. But she
was only able to play two songs.

“Playing for the Stones was like a lifelong dream to me, but I can’t
even be angry with the people who ruined it. I saw their faces: they
were stoned, drunk, dirty, they were like animals,” she said almost
bursting to tears.

Although the first reports indicated that Brooks, who came to Buenos
Aires with members of her family and a group of friends, had asked to
leave the country as soon as possible, she finally decided to stay and
tell the media about her views on the incident.

“I know something about the country’s history of dictatorships and
violence which has been very hard to overcome, I know the US has made
Latin America poor and that Argentina is a (rich-poor) segregated
country. But that does not justify violence.”

Brooks claims to be brave enough to give it another try tomorrow for the
Stones’s third concert in Argentina. “I might wear a football helmet on
stage,” she said, sparking a short outburst of laughter. Reports
indicate, however, that organizers will not let her play again.

Brooks also said that the Rolling Stones felt offended by the attack.

“Many believe that the Stones think that Argentina is great, but that is
not what they told me.”

But she also hinted that the Stones did not support her as much as they
should have. “If I had been the Stones, I would have stepped onto the
stage and said ‘this is not right, you must stop this, you want this
concert to continue, you let her finish her set.’ But they are the
Stones, I know they can’t care that much.” Sources close to concert
organizers told the Herald that the band is willing to take her on their
European tour to express their apologles.

“I am a celebrity with a big voice in many parts of the world and I will
keep talking about this,” she concluded.

Oregon-born folk star and Grammy award winner Meredith Brooks, who was
hurt by rock-and-roll hooligans during the Rolling Stones’ Monday show
in Buenos Aires.

The stage crew cleared Meredith’s Brooks’ equipment off the stage and we resigned to listening to recorded music instead of live music for the next forty minutes while they got ready for The Rolling Stones. Vicky and I were a tad bit nervous about a possible riot until we looked around at all of the Argentine faces – happily waiting for The Rolling Stones to come out and probably unaware they just ran an artist off the stage – and probably out of town! Los chicos del campo were already pouring water over themselves. Stagehands were hired for that sole purpose of keeping the temperatures down. They were still throwing shit. This is when I developed my theory on why:

You see, Argentines have NO sports that call for passing or throwing! It is that simple. No (real) football, no baseball. Basketball is slowly changing that but look at the two most popular sports – soccer and rugby: Soccer doesn’t allow use of hands and although rugby is sort of like football, you don’t really pass – you toss, underhanded. There is a “National Baseball Stadium” that they hide somewhere out near the airport; taxi drivers point it out to you but other than that, I have heard nothing of the sport. NO WONDER these poor Argentines get so excited about throwing things. Just think of the fun they would have at an American County Fair – tossing quarters for teddy bears!

The lights finally went out and the curtains opened to reveal a huge, round screen that had an image that resembled the earth as seen from space. Black lights and smoke added to the atmosphere. The Babylon temple now looked like a spaceship. Eerie, minimalist space music played as electrical charges that resembled lightning – along with lasers – struck the screen. This went on for a few minutes until one last more powerful than normal bolt of electricity struck the screen and…


Multiple, deafening explosions came firing out into the audience on a horizontal path! The crowd roared with startled excitement, before their roar even had a chance to subside, Keith Richards’, cool, sunglassed image appeared on the giant screen as he belted out loud familiar notes on his electric guitar. A second roar of recognition ricocheed back from the crowd. Of course, we all recognized it immediately:

This was a GREAT way to open the concert and a perfect way to greet their fans. There they were – in fine form – The Rolling Stones! The energy of this song set the tune for the whole evening!


3. ‘TAKE ME UP’ ??








11. saa song











River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bob Dylan came out with his band – a lead guitarist, bass player,
drummer, and a guy who doubled on guitar and pedal steel guitar. Bob
had his electric Fender to start…

They opened with

Dylan’s band definitely had a country flavor. The Argentines loved it. I
think our country music is almost similar to their folk music and they
make a connection there. The vocal acoustics were bad at first.

2. Lay Lady Lay

3. COLD IRONS BOUND ?? “Twenty Miles…town

This one featured the pedal steel guitar and definitely was more country
than normal. Every time Dylan sings a song, it seems like he changes it.
Here he sounded like he was saying, “…JAHHSSSSSSSS like a woman” . He
also sang in an almost comical, mock crying voice. This one was one of
the better performances and one of my favorites of the evening.

Dylan has been playing this song consistently on all of his tour dates.
This song was upbeat and had more of a rock drive.

The band grabbed all acoustic stuff to continue with:

6. COCAINE BLUES (acoustic)
The bass player showed his talents on
an acoustic bass…

7. MR. TAMBORINE MAN (acoustic)
Dylan played this as part of his acoustic set and did it slower than
normal. Bucky Baxter played mandolin. Another one of my favorites of the

8. TANGLED UP IN BLUE (acoustic)
Another important song in Dylan’s past that he is playing at all dates.
Dylan not only changes his sound – he sometimes changes lyrics at his
own whim. Here he sang “Truck driver’s wives” instaed of “Carpenter’s

The band returned to electric and continued with:

I barely recognized this song despite it was one of my favorite Dylan
songs when I was growing up. Bob changed it all around on me!

Probably my most favorite of the evening. Here, Dylan’s band was very
reminicent of The Band and Dylan’s earlier work with them.

A driving rock sound that sounded more like Johnny Winter’s version than
Bob’s. Still very good. Bob & his band finished out the evening with
this one. Then they left the stage.

I told Vicky that he would come back out for an encore and do a couple
of his new songs and finish up with “Rainy Day Women”. She asked me how
I knew: I told her that I got it from all of his posted set lists on
the Internet for recent concerts. Vicky commented on how it seemed
nowadays, encores were now automatic requirements.

Bob never came back out. The Argentines even did their little song for
him and everything…”He didn’t even say ‘goodbye’,” Vicky worried. “No,
he will come out and join the Stones,” I told her, “you can count on
that! I think the Rolling Stones are on a tight time schedule…”

The roadies rolled Bob’s stuff offstage. A guy walked by me, heading
back to his seat, carrying two green hamburgers: “You couldn’t PAY me to
eat one of those damn burgers,” I told Vicky. Just then a vendor
carrying a full rack of them passed through the crowd saying,
“Milanesas! Milanesas! Milanesas!” (Milanesas are breaded veal cutlets
that are either eaten by themselves or in sandwich form.)

“This has gotta be the ONLY place in the world where you will see
THAT!” I told Vicky.

Once again, we had fun watching the crowd. The “chicos del campo” were
already soaking wet from the buckets of water that were continually
thrown out upon them to cool off. We were high and dry with the rest of
the old farts. Hard to believe considering it was a very fresh night – I
was wearing a T-shirt under a long-sleeved shirt. peaking of old farts,
Saturday’s crowd was MUCH older than Monday’s. I’m sure this was due
toDylan’s presence. One local politician, who is probably old enough to
be my grandmother – or else she is living proof that too much sun
tanning is not good for the Argentines – showed up AFTER Bob Dylan.
Everybody was standing up and looking up into the higher rows of seats.
I thought it was a fight. Then I saw her and recognized her. She missed
Bob Dylan; Surely she wasn’t a Rolling Stones fan. I think the old coot
was merely vote hunting. These Argenitne politicians would show up for
dinner with Paula Jones if they figured they could get votes out of it.

Just as Monday night and the entire Bridges To Babylon tour, this is the
dramatic opening tune.

The old 60’s hit made infamous on The Ed Sulivan Show when a young Mick
Jagger was made to change the lines to, “Let’s spend some time
together”, by CBS executives. Things have DEFINITELY changed, I would
say! During last night’s performance, Jagger ran back and forth along
stage runways that ran out into the audience from either side of the
stage. He flirted with the crowd and dodged flying clothing.

>From their latest “Bridges To Babylon” CD
One of the Stones’ big classics of the late 60’s. Ronnie Wood and Keith
Richards blazed on their guitars. Lisa belted out soulful background
“Vamos a bajar un poco,” Mick said as the audience slowed down. Mick
played keyboards.

The horn section, featuring Bobby Keyes on baritone saxophone, really
shone on this classic 70’s tune.

¿Quiere cantar conMIIIGO?” Jagger said, proud of his Spanish. They did a
lively version of the song with Argentina on backup vocals….”woohoo
HOO hoohoo woohoo HOO hoohoohoo woohooHOOhoo…”

10. ROLLING STONE (with Bob Dylan)
Dylan stepped out onstage and the crowd roared. Bob and The Boys
immediately went into “Just Like A Rolling Stone”, with Bob and Mick
alternating on verses. Although the performance was great, it seemed a
little bit of a forced situation for Bob. At times he had a sour look on
his face and looked as though he were a grumpy little old grandfather
forced to have his picture taken at the family reunion. The Rolling
Stones have recently (1995) re-popularized this old Dylan classic on
their excellent, bare-to-the-bone, album, “Stripped”. So, it was no
surprise when Mick got a little more noise when it was time for his
verse. Also, Mick was in very fine form on the harmonica and that won
even more applause.

Bob filled his part of the deal and left after “Just Like A Rolling

MICK: “Ok, Bob…I’m gonna let you sing the line: ‘


(off bridge)


River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bob & band came out once again. Bob was dressed in a black coat and a
white shirt with a Colonel Sanders western tie. They started with:

It was great to hear that the sound problems with Bob’s voice had been
resolved. The band sounded good and this was one of the better songs.

Hey Bob, you did your homework! Yes, they speak Spanish here…Actually,
Bob’s voice sounds very good and this song is definitely one of the
better ones. Good pedal steel guitar.

>From “Time Out Of Mind” played again for the second night.

An excellent performance with really good guitar work thrown in.

Bob is starting to have fun. He is more animated and actually smiling.
More good guitar playing. Good pedal steel guitar solo. I think this
song must be a personal favorite of Bob’s – I noticed he played it a lot
on this current tour.

6. ROVING GAMBLER (acoustic)
The start of the acoustic portion. More country sound and a big response
from the crowd.

7. MASTERS OF WAR (acoustic)
A good song but not for a mostly non-English speaking crowd.

8. TANGLED UP IN BLUE (acoustic)
Bob is letting loose and relaxing. Here he plays harmonica for the first
and only time. One of the best performances of the evening.

Back to electric instruments. The crowd is very enthusiastic. Along with
Tangled Up In Blue, this is one of the best songs for the evening.


uh-oh! The dreaded last song. I tell Sharon she can count on this being
the last one…

My hunch was right. Dylan and band left the stage. The crowd cheered and
after a few minutes, the lights came on and the road crew was already
packing up Bob’s equipment.

Rolling Stones

The lights went out and the space ship noises and black lights came on.
The crowd went nuts. I told Sharon that if she wanted to call her cousin
at a good point in the concert, THIS was the time. Sharon called Brenda
in Canada and held out the cellular phone. “Hold on tight,” I warned
her, “it may get blown out of your hand!” Sure enough, the explosion
happened and after the initial shock, Sharon’s face lit up in amazement
as Keith Richards’ guitar blazed the oh-so-familiar notes.

Mick Jagger immediately fell into his running back and forth from stage
left to stage right. What a performer!


Probably Lisa’s best performance with background vocals in this Stones’

Mick Jagger played acoustic guitar.



Mick on harmonica.

Jagger ad-libbed the line, “We’re gonna bring a case of Argentine
wine…Hey, let’s go mess and fool around…You know, like we used to.”

Once again, the lights went out and Bob Dylan mysteriously appears for a
duet on this song with Mick Jagger. Tonight’s version is more of a
disaster, albeit a really cool distaster! Both singers seem to have
different aggendas in deliverance, however, Mick seems like he is more
concerned with accommodating Bob. Bob definitely seems happier – I guess
by now he knows that he won’t meet the same fate as poor Meredith did.
Towards the end of the song, the singing (on both ends) is so confused
that Bob actually seemed to be laughing and making fun of his own
singing. I told Sharon it reminded me of the times at parties (and after
many drinks) when Sharon (on guitar) and myself (my best Bob Dylan
immitation) would try to sing Dylan songs together. We never really
coordinated on the lines (or the harmonies – she’s the great singer, not
me) but we had a lot of fun doing it!

Keith on vocals once again. Jagger has disappeared. A very cute redhead
came out to help sing backup vocals on this song off of Bridges To
Babylon CD. I later found out it was Leah Wood, Ron Wood’s daughter.

Another song featuring Keith Richards on vocals.

The band briefly leaves the stage and the lights go out. The black
lights and spaceship music come on. It’s bridge time once again. This is
a very creative part of the show and I enjoy watching the boys casually
skip over to the smaller stage with the bee-bop jazz playing in the
background. The view through my binoculars is excellent – you can see
the looks on individual faces in the crowd – people lined up around the
bridge and small stage. Once again, the small stage is adorned with
flying bras. I told Vicky that the Argentine girls must have worn two
bras – I never saw any missing. Later on, in fact, some of the missing
ones were caught on camera for the big screen.

The “club set” began with:




The Stones returned to the main stage to the beat of a drum sampling for
the intro into “Sympathy For The Devil”. Jagger tagged behind with his
Tzar outfit on.


This was probably the best performance of the evening. Full of energy
and solos. Afterwards, Mick asked the crowd, “¿Quiere un poco mas?” and
they went into…






The final Sunday’s concert was excellent despite the minor sound
problems. The Rolling Stones proved they REALLY WERE “The World’s
Greatest Rock’n Roll Band”! It was very thrilling to see that they had
more younger fans in attendance than older ones.

For me, it really was like seeing old friends once again. After 30+
years of listening to their music, I feel like they are a part of my own
personal history. Mick, Keith, Ronnie, and Charlie came out arm in arm,
smiling and waving goodbye to their Argentine friends. Vicky said
earlier that her only favorite bands while growing up were The Young
Rascals and The Rolling Stones. She had never seen The Stones before and
ironically, we saw The [used to be ‘Young’] Rascals right before we left
Puerto Rico for Argentina. Now Vicky can say she’s seen The Rolling
Stones three times! Sharon noted that, although she had always liked The
Rolling Stones, she never really paid them much attention. She got to
know them very well during the short span of their final concert here.
“They’re very charasmatic,” she said, “…very likeable guys.” She went
out the next day and bought several CD’s by them.


All of my Griswald Adventures are absolutely true. But I am almost tempted to buy this one from Sharon so I can say it was us. It really sounds like one of our classic adventures! Anyway, here it is:

Bill & Sharon Thomas, along with their children, Brandon, Carly, and Justin, are quickly moving to Evansville, Indiana (Bristol-Myers Squibb / Mead Johnson headquarters) as a result of a recent promotion for Bill. It happened all so suddenly and the next thing we knew, we were giving them a congratulatory/farewell dinner while they were busily unloading their house. They were temporarily housed in the Sheraton. Monday evening was supposed to be their last night here. Bill had already left for Lima, Peru for a meeting and Sharon and the kids were supposed to meet him there and go on to Cuzco and Mach Picu


Mac Rebbenack in the 4/10/98
Goldmine magazine, concerning his invention of the Dr. John persona for his
“Gris-Gris” LP in ’68: “The reason that gave me the balls to do it was hearing
guys like Sonny Bono singing and Bob Dylan singing. I figured, well, if they
call that shit singing I can do that.”

A Smiling Bob Dylan & Mick Jagger at River Plate Stadium

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