Rolling Stones Come To Worcester 40 Years Ago To The Day


Photo: Ron Pownall

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) –Worcester became the rock and roll capital of the world 40 years ago to the day.

The Rolling Stones played an extremely packed secret show at Sir Morgan’s Cove Nightclub on September 14, 1981 for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I was smashed against the stage,” said legendary photographer Ron Pownall. “I had a mark on the front of my thighs.”

Hired by the radio station WAAF, Pownall was the only photographer allowed inside Green Street club that night.

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Sir Morgan’s Cove held a capacity of about 350 people and nearly 500 people were estimated to be inside on that particularly humid night. This created some difficulty for Pownall to take pictures.

“I wasn’t nervous, but I was frustrated,” Pownall said. “It was so hot my lenses kept fogging up.”

However, Pownall was still able to snap some amazing shots of the band performing for the first time in three years.

“Newspapers all over the world were calling me up looking for pictures,” he said.

Stones’ front man Mick Jagger was quoted saying the band needed Worcester that night to get back in shape.

WBZ’s Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) spoke with Pownall about how the band made a little music history happen that night:

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