State Library of New South Wales

Rolling Stones fans, Sydney

Gelatin silver print
© Courtesy of the David Moore Estate

The Rolling Stones' 1965 Far East Tour was their first concert tour of Australiasia. They played 16 concerts in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne before flying to New Zealand for 10 shows. They came back to Australia to continue the tour with a further seven concerts in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

The Sydney dates were 22nd January (two shows) and 23rd January 1965 (three shows) and were held at the Manufacturer’s Auditorium, Agricultural Hall at the Sydney Showgrounds. The tour was part of a package tour with Roy Orbison, The Newbeats, and Ray Columbus & the Invaders.

Ugly Looks, Ugly Speech, Ugly Manners

“In the first months of 1965 the Rolling Stones’ appeal to parents, hardly a great success to date, fell to its lowest point yet. The headlines kept coming, and they tended to be on the dark side. While touring Australiasia in the new year, the band managed to display a sort of greatest-hits collection of bad behaviour, which included fighting with photographers, trashing successive dressing rooms, dropping whiskey glasses from their hotel balcony in to the car park five floors below and, in Brian Jones’ case, smuggling in girls hidden inside the room-service trolley. Sydney’s Morning Herald didn’t care much for it, and declared the Stone to be a ‘blatantly wild bunch’ who ought to be banned. ‘They’re shockers. Ugly Looks, Ugly Speech, Ugly Manners” the paper noted.

Keith Richards confined himself to sparring with a couple of teenage male fans who chased and rammed him when, in an improbable alignment, he put out one afternoon in to a seemingly tranquil Sydney bay in a rowing boat stocked with a picnic hamper and a supply of books.”

The Rolling Stones: Fifty years by Christopher Sandford, Simon and Schuster 2012

Well behaved

Harry M. Miller, who brought the band to Australia in 1965 and 1966, recalled in a 1995 interview with The Australian that each band member was well-behaved.

"They were always first downstairs (from the hotel) waiting for the bus," Miller recalled.

"They were never late for a show. They were never short of girls but that was their business and I thought they handled it with great discretion."

The Canberra Times Thursday 21 January 1965

Rolling Stones gather security at Mascot

SYDNEY, Wednesday.—Dozens of police, Commonwealth officers and security guards will take up positions at Mascot Airport tomorrow for the arrival of five young men—the Rolling Stones.

Police and airport authorities prepared today for what might prove to be the most frenzied scenes since the arrival of the Beatles last year.

Thousands of teenagers are expected to flood the airport to greet the Rolling Stones, a shaggy-haired pop group considered to be the Beatles' main rival.

They will arrive at Mascot tomorrow at 8 a.m. to begin a 10-day tour or Australian cities.

Seven million records sold

The five Stones arc Mick Jagger, 20. Brian Jones, 20.Keith Richard, 21. Bill Wyman, 23, and Charlie Watts, 23.

In 1964 the group sold more than seven million of their records, and one record, Come On, stayed on British hit parades for three months.

The Rolling Stones have built their reputation on their mop-haired, sullen faced appearance and on their hard-driving sound.

More Moore

David Moore was a prolific photographer and produced a body of work of nearly 200,000 negatives over a fifty six year career. His images covered landscapes, social documentary, portraits and architecture. Shortly before his death in 2003 Moore selected 100 images that he thought were his best, of which this image was one. The 100 images were made into a travelling exhibition  which toured Australia from 2005-2008.