50/50 Tour Stop: # 44 (Concert # 45)
Date: December 5, 1981
Venue: Louisiana Superdome. 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive. New Orleans, LA. 70112.
Find it on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/uDcxqi42ec62
Above: The Rolling Stones perform at the Louisiana Superdome on December 5, 1981. Photo credit: Jack Thornell.
Opening Act: Not applicable! The Neville Brothers and George Thorogood and the Destroyers opened for the Rolling Stones this night.
Above: The Neville Brothers, March 1981. Photo credit: David Gahr.
Poster / Flyer / Handbill: There are many different posters for the Rolling Stones’ “American Tour ’81” (aka “Tour of America”) – some authorized, some not; some printed before the tour, some produced afterwards; some with generic, national information, some with concert details for individual cities. For the purposes of this blog, I’ve chosen to include only those posters that specifically reference the New Orleans concert.
Press & Promotion: As you would expect for a high profile Rolling Stones concert at a large venue, this show was heavily promoted. As with the poster section above, I’m focusing on materials specifically discussing George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Source: Wavelength Magazine. December 1981. Pg. 9.
Source: Wavelength Magazine. December 1981. Pg. 9
Source: Times Picayune. December 4, 1981. Pg. 10.
Above: Newspaper listing for the December 5, 1981 with the Canadian band Loverboy incorrectly included as an opening act. In the author’s defense, there was discussion/rumour in the month prior to this show that Loverboy would be part of the bill.
Source: Baton Rouge Billboard. December 4, 1981. Pg. 5.
Ticket Price: $18.50.
Ticket Stub: This is far and away the easiest 50-50 ticket stub to find in collecting circles. There are typically two or three examples up for sale on eBay at any one time. Full tickets, with the stub still attached, also come up for sale on a semi-regular basis.
At the time, this was the largest indoor concert ever held in the United States. This attendance record was broken in 2014 at a George Strait concert in Dallas, Texas.
Source: Billboard Magazine. December 25, 1982. Pg. TIA-41.
Set List: Unknown. There is surprisingly little information available about the opening sets by the Destroyers and the Neville Brothers for this concert. The only tidbit of (unconfirmed) information I have is that the Destroyers played two encores. If you have any information, please contact me using the form at the bottom of this post.
Was the Concert Recorded? Unknown. The Rolling Stones’ headlining portion of this concert is widely available as a soundboard-quality bootleg. One would think that the same equipment could have very easily recorded George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ opening set as well. If you have any information, please contact me using the form at the bottom of this post.
Please follow this link to see two photos of the Destroyers from their New Orleans 50-50 concert.
In his review of the Rolling Stones’ 1981 Louisiana Superdome concert, Eddy Allman of the Baton Rouge State Times included a nice mention of the Destroyers’ 50-50 performance:
“George Thorogood has just finished a blazing, compact set in which he had appropriated every time-worn blues guitar riff and Chuck Berry stage move ever cataloged in the Great Book of Rock. And, what’s more, Thorogood had carried it off with grit, flash and firepower to bring the Superdome to the verge of meltdown. George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. Indeed.”
Source: Baton Rouge State Times. December 11, 1981. Pg. 24.
George Thorogood performed this concert with a very high temperature and a “monster head cold”.
Future Destroyers’ guitarist Jim Suhler attended this concert as a member of the general public.
The Superdome concert was the first time Mick Jagger watched the Destroyers perform. To that point, the Destroyers had opened for the Stones on ten nights of their 1981 American Tour.
Fate of the Venue: $336 million was spent renovating the Superdome in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (August 2005). The Superdome continues to host sporting events and concerts.