VIDEO: The Rolling Stones Played in Prague 31 Years Ago Today

rolling stones prague 1990

 The Rolling Stones first played in Prague 31 years ago, on August 18, 1990, at Strahov Stadium.

More than 100,000 people attended the show, which became a symbol of the country’s new-found freedom.

It was a special moment for Czechoslovaks, who could finally see live on stage stars they had only read about and whose music they knew from bootleg cassettes.

The date is no accident: it almost coincides with the twenty-second anniversary of the Soviet invasion of 1968. And everybody is in disbelief, stuck in that electric moment that always precedes the unimaginable.

When suddenly the dense darkness is pierced by a cone of light. Silence breaks down into a roar. And like a mirage personified, Keith Richards, in blue jeans and a pink jacket, begins to caress his guitar strings. The first notes of Start Me Up set the stadium on fire, tearing the years of silence and oppression to shreds with the wild power of the London sound.

Then he appears, the baronet, the fury, the icon, in a red sprint coat, it is Mick Jagger, who bolts from one side of the stage to the other, shakes and introduces himself shouting: “Dobrý večer, Praha!”.

For days a slogan had been circulating in the city: “Tanks are rolling out, the Stones are rolling in”. A slogan possessing the strength of a furious chorus, of a successful liberation.

With the sound of the Soviet tank tracks gone, now it is the electric guitars that do the vibrating: music, hedonism and transgression. And the irreverent tongue of the Stones, symbol of a cheeky lifestyle, dominated the Old Town for days.

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