Rolling Stones: Time is on their side -- but not always the legal profession
Rock band the Rolling Stones has embarked on a major U.S. tour and is playing stadiums all around, including in North Carolina on July 1 in Raleigh. (Our headquarters are located a few hours away in Charlotte.)
The Rolling Stones ZIP CODE tour will be the first time the rock legends have played North American stadiums since 2005-2007’s “A Bigger Bang Tour.”
While we love the band’s music and admire the band’s place in music history, we thought it would be interesting to look into the band’s connection the legal industry, and it didn’t take long to find those.
1. Future N.C. State chancellor and family witness brush with law
In 1975, the Rolling Stones were in Fordyce, Arkansas, and ended up running afoul of local law enforcement. Keith Richards wrote about the incident in his book, but two future, prominent North Carolinians were tangentially involved and shared their stories recently.
Randy Woodson, who is now chancellor of N.C. State University, and his then-girlfriend and now wife, Susan, had the inside scoop because Mrs. Woodson’s father was a prosecuting attorney and her uncle was a judge.
She said the best line from the arrest was Richards asking, “Officer, do you know who I am? I’m a member of the Rolling Stones,” to which the officer replied, “I don’t care who you are, we’re gonna roll your ass on down to City Hall.” (News & Observer)
2. Sirius to pay record companies for older songs
The company that owns Sirius XM will pay five record companies $210 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the satellite radio company of broadcasting songs -- including those by the Rolling Stones -- made before 1972 without permission and without paying royalties.
The settlement ends a long-running battle between the music industry and broadcasters over the right to play songs recorded before Feb. 15, 1972 that arose because federal copyright law doesn’t cover those songs. (Reuters)
3. Can Rolling Stones fans handle the Truth (in Music Act)?
In 2007, California became the first state to pass the Truth in Music Advertising Act, soon followed by other states, all of which stemmed from criticism of bands that toured with no actual original members.
Which prompted Smithsonian to ask: How much can a band change before it no longer deserves our attention? That might include the Rolling Stones, which has three original members out of five. (Smithsonian)
4. Gimme Shelter from lawsuits
In 1970, attorney Melvin Belli appeared in the documentary “Gimme Shelter,” about the Rolling Stones' disastrous 1969 Altamont concert. Belli was involved in a suit that centered around the concert’s last-minute move to Altamont Speedway and the subsequent deaths that occurred. The band members were upset about reports that listed them as plaintiffs when they, in fact, had nothing to do with the suit. (Rolling Stone)
It’s only court reporting, but we like it
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