MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – Only about 2,200 people got in to see a one-night, sold-out show by the Rolling Stones in Myrtle Beach 35 years ago, and two of them didn't have to pay thanks to their hard work and perseverance.
In a show promoted by Beach Club Promotions and sold out thanks to the listeners of WKZQ-FM, the Rolling Stones played at Myrtle Beach Convention Center on June 22, 1978. The English rockers were already one of the biggest acts in the world, and remain so to this day.
“They left half their trucks in the parking lot, because the stage was so small,” said Rik Dickinson, who helped his friend, Frank Payne, shoot a story for WWAY-TV in Wilmington. Payne was the station's Grand Strand bureau reporter at the time.
“It was a great show,” said Dickinson, who got to shoot video of the first few songs.
That only happened because Payne had found out the Stones would be arriving late on the night before the concert at Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach. The two showed up with lights and video cameras, but promoters and band personnel quickly put a stop to their efforts to shoot video of the world-famous performers.
“They said, 'don't shoot them getting off the plane, they're tired,'” said Dickinson. The promoters promised to let the two into the show the next night–for free–and even let them shoot the first songs if they cooperated.
“We were like, 'well…okay!'” said Dickinson. “They let us in, we shot the first three numbers, and then sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the show.”
Dickinson had to hoist his large, cumbersome video camera above his head while standing on a chair, but he said it was well worth a few minutes of discomfort.
“It was still fun. It was still the Rolling Stones,” he said.
The band stayed in oceanfront condos for several days following the show, said Dickinson.