Stones’ wheel of greed crushes a butterfly fan

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From: Catherine Rayner, Sea View Crescent, Filey Road, Scarborough.

TO the Rolling Stones: I can’t write to you direct because you spend your time on another planet for all we see of you in the North of England.

I have written instead to the newspaper that championed your cause, defended your ideas and supported your lifestyle when you needed all the help you could get.

Do you remember this little English backwater; this northern territory where you cut your touring teeth in the early 1960s? The place where the loyal English fan was born, along with the Beatles and the rise of British rock and roll.

Do you remember how, during that massive cultural revolution that changed the Western world forever, there were young people who saw in you the future of music, fashion, lifestyle and a world of peace instead of war? Do you remember how we fought our parents, battled with schools and authority and became, ourselves, part of the great anti-establishment? Do you know what it took to be different in a post-war, working class culture in Yorkshire? Do you care?

Today, when I try to get tickets for what will probably be the last great Stones shows in their home country, I am offered a back row for £800 and front rows are selling at over £11,000. This is not about music, not about emotion, entertainment or pleasure, loyalty or celebration, it is about greed, pure unadulterated greed; yours and the promoters and hangers on that you employ.

I have done my best, I have loved and supported you for 50 years, but you have finally broken this butterfly, systematically crushed it beneath that great and awful wheel that is The Rolling Stones.

Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ron, today you should hang your heads in shame.