Category Archives: Rolling Stones

The Year Was 1972

Cuervo Gold, The Rolling Stones, The Trident, and the Origin of the Tequila Sunrise

The Rolling Stones 1972 Tour is the stuff of legend — debauchery in full swing, the epitome of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. More than four decades later, Cuervo tequila pays homage to the group’s hedonistic past in a new commercial.

The spot, which you can watch above, states the band connection from the start: “In 1972, the Rolling Stones took Jose Cuervo on tour. Rock ‘n’ roll would never be the same.” The commercial unfolds aboard a plane full of musicians, groupies and hangers-on. “The tour that became legend. The drink that fueled it,” says an onscreen tag.

According to National Geographic, Mick Jagger was first introduced to the golden elixir at a party shortly before the tour. “Mick came up to the bar and asked for a margarita,” recalled Bobby Lozoff, the man behind the Tequila Sunrise. “I asked him if he had ever tried a Tequila Sunrise, he said no, I built him one and they started sucking them up. After that, they took them all across the country.” In his 2010 autobiography, Life, Keith Richards said the 1972 road show was known as “the cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour.”

The Stones themselves don’t appear in the ad, and there seems to be more fantasy than fact playing throughout the clip. But that soundtrack has us a bit confused. As a pretty lady wanders the plane aisles handing out glasses of tequila, the Rolling Stones can be heard loud and clear. The only problem? The song playing is “Miss You,” which wasn’t released until 1978.

Artistic license, perhaps, but still a glaring mistake in the timeline. “The spot is inspired by the Stones in the ’70s, and with so much passion around this legendary band, song choice would naturally spark debate,” said a spokesperson from McCann, the company behind the ad. “As we developed the creative, we found that this iconic song best captures the spirit of that era.”

Even though Cuervo was wise to avoid reenacting any of the coke snorting, dope shooting and other less-than-family-friendly scenes from the tour, we think the commercial itself comes off a little too squeaky clean to have any real ties to the gritty surroundings of that era.

The Trident Goes Viral!

It would appear that my Tequila Sunrise interview for National Geographic Assignment with Jeff Burkhart is the basis for new series of TV ads for Jose Cuervo Tequila featuring the Rolling Stones!
The internet is all a-twitter about it. It’s on the Huffington Post , Ultimate Classic Rock. And the Wikipedia entry has been expanded extensively.
As the story goes, the Rolling Stones had a chance encounter with a Tequila Sunrise cocktail while on their 1972 U.S. tour — at San Francisco’s Trident bar to be exact — and were completely swept off their feet. They traveled around the country ordering it various bars thereafter. According to Huffington Post, Keith Richards called the tour’s unofficial name the Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour in his book Life.
2TequilaSunriseMickJagger

The Rolling Stones 1972 Trident Party

In the summer of 1972 an amazing event took place at the Trident. I was working late Monday night – the start of my work week back then, when I got a call from Lou Ganapoler, general manager of the Trident Restaurant. He asked me how long it would take for me to get the place show time ready. So I asked Lou what he had in mind. He told me that Bill Graham wanted to bring the Rolling Stones to the Trident for an impromptu private party and that he was in the process of getting Frank sprung from the Honor Farm, where he was serving a short sentence on a possession for sale of marijuana charge.

I’ve often wondered just how that conversation unfolded. I mean…here’s a guy doing his time on a drug charge and in the middle of the night he wants to get released so he can go preside over a party for a bunch of other guys famous for stirring the passions of rebellious youth and…you guessed it – taking drugs! So I told Lou…sure I can get the place ready in an hour or so – if you don’t look too closely at it…more help would be better and Lou said, “No problem…Milt was on his way down to help me.”
So I went into maintenance overdrive, swamping out the restrooms, replacing the paper, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and mopping the floor…I had a pretty good sweat worked up when Bobby Lozoff walked in about twenty minutes later to set up the bar. I had called home after I got off the phone with Lou because we needed some seasoned help to pull this off. And, let me share a word or two about one of the seasoned help named Iris…who was a tough, blond, Jewish girl raised in a small Long Island suburb of New York. She had a body to die for, and a mouth that would make a longshoreman blush – and she wasn’t a bit bashful about using either one. Never a respecter of persons, she was perfect for this occasion. I mean…all of us were used to seeing and dealing with the rich and famous – it just wasn’t all that uncommon. We had a burgeoning population of musicians, performance artists of all stripes, and movie stars…all of whom were part of our targeted clientele.

Also part of the evening’s cast was Paul Broadhurst from an upper crust English family who’d come to the US for a better life and was a great choice for the evenings festivities with all the mad-dogs and Englishmen running around…Soon after Bobby arrived and then Milt showed up, and together we whipped the club into some semblance of order. Pierre, Thomas Eng, Big John and Steve Burrus all came in to get the kitchen fired up. Basically, anyone who would answer their phone at 2:30 am was there. Josie from the Dominican Republic, Patsy Petty, Cathy Civale, Sophie Kurtz, Kathleen Delaney, Noreen, Iris, Linda and Sharlee all showed up to help out. Diane and Frank came in along with Richard, Marshall, Lisa Sharp and Dagney.  There are large tie-dyed curtains covering the arched windows on the south side of the restaurant so that people driving down Bridgeway Blvd. could not see what was going on inside.

I have a distinct memory of Patsy and Josie in the ladies room trying to decide if Josie should gosans panties for this affair. The ladies of the Trident generally dressed fairly provocatively simply as a matter of course but I do believe some of them pushed the envelope to its logical extreme that night. I know Iris and Sharlee did. Even Pierre had a tough time trying to keep the smile off his face as nipples struggled through their bonds of diaphanous lace to the light of kitchen florescence.

In due course, Bill Graham arrived with about eight stretch limos and our “guests” were shown inside. The Stones traveled with a huge entourage…let’s face it – by any yardstick imaginable they set the bar for all past, present and future standards of excess.

The point man for this motley crew of rockers was a foppish little Brit by the name of Peter Rudge. Many of the guests were wearing white newsboy caps, which was, I’m guessing, some kind of inside joke. They brought their own security team, their roadies, a few ladies and assorted hanger-oners. Frank stood prominently near the door to greet his guests, a charming Buddha-daddy guru proudly showing off his baby to a new cast of discerning characters. Once the ice was broken, he and Bill Graham and Lou retired to a quiet corner to swap “promoter stories” that nobody but themselves would ever appreciate. At one point, Frank asked me to turn on the tiny faux fireplace for the sake of “ambience”. Fingers of fog crept over the hills and down towards the Bay in Sausalito, as they did most nights, but it wasn’t cold. As I finished lighting the fireplace, I felt something hit the back of my head, so I turned around and there was Keith Richards, biting into cocktail shrimp and tossing the uneaten tails around the room. He had a mischievous grin on his face, like he was daring me to do something about it and suddenly I felt this presence next to me. I turned and found myself eye to eye with one of the most menacing looking black men I had ever seen.

Also part of the evening’s cast was Paul Broadhurst from an upper crust English family who’d come to the US for a better life and was a great choice for the evenings festivities with all the mad-dogs and Englishmen running around…Soon after Bobby arrived and then Milt showed up, and together we whipped the club into some semblance of order. Pierre, Thomas Eng, Big John and Steve Burrus all came in to get the kitchen fired up. Basically, anyone who would answer their phone at 2:30 am was there. Josie from the Dominican Republic, Patsy Petty, Cathy Civale, Sophie Kurtz, Kathleen Delaney, Noreen, Iris, Linda and Sharlee all showed up to help out. Diane and Frank came in along with Richard, Marshall, Lisa Sharp and Dagney.  There are large tie-dyed curtains covering the arched windows on the south side of the restaurant so that people driving down Bridgeway Blvd. could not see what was going on inside.

I have a distinct memory of Patsy and Josie in the ladies room trying to decide if Josie should gosans panties for this affair. The ladies of the Trident generally dressed fairly provocatively simply as a matter of course but I do believe some of them pushed the envelope to its logical extreme that night. I know Iris and Sharlee did. Even Pierre had a tough time trying to keep the smile off his face as nipples struggled through their bonds of diaphanous lace to the light of kitchen florescence.

In due course, Bill Graham arrived with about eight stretch limos and our “guests” were shown inside. The Stones traveled with a huge entourage…let’s face it – by any yardstick imaginable they set the bar for all past, present and future standards of excess.

The point man for this motley crew of rockers was a foppish little Brit by the name of Peter Rudge. Many of the guests were wearing white newsboy caps, which was, I’m guessing, some kind of inside joke. They brought their own security team, their roadies, a few ladies and assorted hanger-oners. Frank stood prominently near the door to greet his guests, a charming Buddha-daddy guru proudly showing off his baby to a new cast of discerning characters. Once the ice was broken, he and Bill Graham and Lou retired to a quiet corner to swap “promoter stories” that nobody but themselves would ever appreciate. At one point, Frank asked me to turn on the tiny faux fireplace for the sake of “ambience”. Fingers of fog crept over the hills and down towards the Bay in Sausalito, as they did most nights, but it wasn’t cold. As I finished lighting the fireplace, I felt something hit the back of my head, so I turned around and there was Keith Richards, biting into cocktail shrimp and tossing the uneaten tails around the room. He had a mischievous grin on his face, like he was daring me to do something about it and suddenly I felt this presence next to me. I turned and found myself eye to eye with one of the most menacing looking black men I had ever seen.

“I know what you’re thinking – don’t do it”, he said to me.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“My name’s Leroy and I’m the head of security for this tour.” he replied. He was built like a linebacker – a fireplug in a suit complete with the requisite white newsboy cap.

“You want a drink, Leroy?” I asked.

“Nope – workin” he replied.

“Well…how ‘bout some coffee?” I asked.

“Sure” he said.

So I went and got him a cup of coffee, anxious to defuse what could have been a messy situation. Bad behavior at the Trident was nothing new and I had, on occasion, been part of the posse delegated to remove unruly patrons from the premises. Normally, someone would have called the cops but this situation didn’t call for action that drastic and when I came back with Leroy’s coffee we sat and talked for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, the party is in full swing around us. There is a steady stream of folks going to and from the deck outside, which seems to be the designated drug ingestion station. The restrooms are also a popular meeting place and after awhile, it’s pretty clear that both the staff and the guests are getting wasted. Hell – I’m getting wasted!

The “STP” tour as it came to be known followed the release of Exile On Main Street and was the first US tour without Brian Jones. You may remember the distinctive album cover – a waist-down shot of a pair of leather pants with a working zipper embedded in it. Mick Taylor, late of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, handled second guitar duties on the tour and was conspicuously absent from the party – not that anybody missed him. Jagger himself seemed rather subdued for all the publicity surrounding his escapades…maybe he was pacing himself as the tour was only about a week into it. Frank was drinking Perrier water, wisely understanding that he was almost assured of having to provide the honor farm with a urine sample upon his return.

About 5:30 the whole thing started to wind down…the sun was going to come up soon.  it’s been a very good night but I know that there are hours of work ahead of me. Those working the day shift stayed…except for the day waitresses, who managed to get a few hours sleep before returning. Iris told me she made almost $200 that night with her share of the tip pool – not bad for about 4 hours work. The registers were never used that night – Bill Graham paid for everything. (Presumably, he was able to bill his young charges for services rendered) And everyone who was there had a nice story to tell so here’s mine.

Stones bassist, Bill Wyman is sitting nearby, getting tag-teamed in backgammon by Jerry Pompili and Barry Imhoff. Peter Rudge is vainly chasing Josie all over the restaurant and saxophonist Bobby Keys is telling hilarious stories from his life on the road in his gentile southern drawl. I hear little snatches of his stories about how he and Waylon Jennings burned down a hotel room somewhere inOhio and Bonnie Bramlet punched out Elvis Costello onstage. Charlie Watts is sitting in rapt attention, drinking what looks like scotch.