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Unseen images of the Rolling Stones in Aberdeen in 1982 – in colour

These images from the Capitol in 1982 can be shown today for the first time.
These images from the Capitol in 1982 can be shown today for the first time.

The Rolling Stones performance at the Capitol in Aberdeen in 1982 was one of the most historic gigs to take place in the Granite City.

The Stones were back in town after a gap of 17 years.

The concert opened the Stones European Tour with tickets priced £6.50.

Many people are familiar with the old black and white images of the band on stage in Aberdeen on May 26 1982 including Mick Jagger at his pouting best.

Mick Jagger gets the crowd going during the 1982 gig at the Capitol. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

But today we can reveal never-before-seen colour photographs of that memorable concert, taken by Graham Kennedy who was sitting in the second row.

Graham, 65, who now lives in Suffolk, managed to snap away at the front of the stage and the majority of the slides have remained in a box for almost 40 years.

He decided to publish some of them for the first time in tribute to Stones drummer Charlie Watts who died on Tuesday at the age of 80.

Graham was born in Dundee and attended shows at the Caird Hall from the 1970s but was too young to see the Stones playing in the city in 1964.

The Stones kicked off with Under My Thumb and performed a packed set for 2,000 fans. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

He moved to Aberdeen in the 1970s for work and managed to get a ticket for the Stones gig when they went on sale from the Capitol on May 19 1982.

“I didn’t get the chance to watch the Stones in the 60s,” he said.

“The 70s was different and I went to see bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who performing at the Caird Hall and would always take my camera.

“I graduated and moved up north for work but it was just chance that I managed to get tickets to see the Stones when they performed at the Capitol in 1982.

Bill Wyman was still a member of the Stones for the 1982 European Tour. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

“My mate Ian Oliver was driving up Union Street listening to the radio and they announced the Stones were playing the Capitol and tickets were on sale now!

“He just pulled the car up and parked outside the venue.

“Ian got in the queue immediately and got us tickets for the second row.

“By the time news started to spread thousands of people joined the queue so it was good luck that he was passing at the same time as the radio announcement!”

The Capitol Theatre pictured by Graham before the concert. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

The £6.50 tickets sold out immediately but demand was so strong to see the Stones that they were soon changing hands for as much as £100.

Not that Graham or Ian had any desire to make a quick buck.

They wanted to get up-close with the Stones on a night where the band flew in to Aberdeen at 6pm and headed straight for their hotel – to watch football!

The band watched Aston Villa defeat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the European Cup Final before they travelled to the Capitol to thrill 2,000 fans.

The stage was set for the gig while the Rolling Stones watched the European Cup Final. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

“I remember the support band were excellent but there was a lengthy wait for the Stones because they were watching the European Cup Final,” said Graham.

“I think we had to wait the entire 90 minutes until they appeared!

“That just whipped the fans up into a frenzy.

“The anticipation was building and everyone was clapping and cheering.”

Mick Jagger performs another Stones classic on a magical night in Aberdeen. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

The band came on stage and Jagger opened with the 60s classic Under My Thumb.

Rooster-strutting Jagger was at his brilliant best and the band raced through what now reads like a greatest hits set of songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Throughout the evening several fans tried to enter the Capitol without tickets either through the front door or via second-storey windows.

Things were also hotting-up inside the venue.

Jagger performs an Emotional Rescue and lets the crowd cool down with a bucket of water. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

Jagger threw a bucket of water over the crowd to cool them down.

No wonder they worked up a sweat.

The Stones were on top form as they ripped through classics like Let It Bleed, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Tumbling Dice and Honky Tonk Woman.

The encore wasn’t too shabby either.

Stones guitar hero Keith Richards performs another solo while Graham watches on in the 2,000 crowd. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

Brown Sugar, Start Me Up and Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

Not bad for change from seven quid!

The huge speakers on stage made getting the right angle at times difficult for Graham but he captured a series of iconic shots of a truly memorable night.

So taken by the reception they received, the band even performed a song they hadn’t played since they made their last visit to the Capitol in 1965 – Time Is On My Side.

Jagger and Richards on stage with Ronnie Wood on the left and Charlie Watts on the drums behind. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

Aberdeen FC were also in attendance that night as guests of the band.

Jagger introduced Fergie’s heroic Scottish Cup team towards the end of the night.

“Funnily enough I was recently listening to the Stones live album Still Live which was recorded during the American tour in 1981,” said Graham, who was living in Aberdeen at the time of the 1982 gig.

“It was effectively the same set they played for the European leg so that always brings back happy memories whenever I listen to that in the car.

Unforgettable memories in colour of the night the Stones brought the house down in Aberdeen. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

“Looking at these pictures again also brings it all back.

“I printed out a few at the time but the majority of the slides were in a box.

“As a footnote I saw them again in 1990 at Hampden but we were on the terrace opposite the stage to avoid the crowd because my wife was pregnant at the time.

“I didn’t take a camera with me that day.”

Another classic shot of Mick Jagger from the Capitol concert. Photo: Graham Kennedy.

The band performed three times in Aberdeen in 1964, 1965 and 1982.

The Stones played the Capitol Theatre twice on May 19 1964 in a month where they crammed in an amazing 45 shows, before heading off on their first US tour.

Extra police and stewards were brought in for the two shows in Aberdeen at 6.30pm and 8.50pm with seats ranging from five shillings to 15 shillings.

Nearly 40 fans rushed a side door in an attempt to get back stage before being taken out of the theatre where they stood shouting and screaming.

Graham decided to upload the photos in tribute to the legendary Charlie Watts.

The Stones performed again at the 8.50pm show before 300 teenagers staged a sit-in protest when they failed to return to the stage for the curtain call.

The Rolling Stones returned to perform at the Capitol on June 17 1965 when their chauffeur-driven car collided with another vehicle at the rear entrance.

No one was injured and the Stones hardly noticed the bump as they raced for the safety of the venue where they performed in front of screaming girls who tore their hair, wept, waved, sobbed, and raced down the aisles and struggled with police and ushers.

But after the gig all they could talk about was the meal of sausages, eggs, bacon and chips they enjoyed in a country pub in Laurencekirk before the show.

Do you have any unseen photos to share from the Stones gig or other classic gigs in the north or north-east? Email

This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.