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Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels tour rolls into Toronto

It's only rock 'n' roll but we like it! For nearly 40 years, Mick and the boys have had a torrid love affair with Toronto. From secret rehearsals and club gigs, to Keith Richards' heroin bust in 1977 and partying with Margaret Trudeau, the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band has called Toronto its home-away-from-home, and delivered the one thing they're famous for: Satisfaction. Ladies and gentlemen... The Rolling Stones.

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After an eight-year sabbatical, the Stones take to the road on their historic 1989 Steel Wheels tour. On a hot September night in Toronto, the tour rolls into the CNE Stadium where over 60,000 fans dance and sing along to such Stones classics as Start Me Up, Satisfaction and Brown Sugar. "I hope to be able to tell my children and my grandchildren that I saw the Rolling Stones," says one excited teenaged fan in this CBC Television clip. 
• The Steel Wheels tour made four stops in Toronto: two nights in September at CNE Stadium and two shows at the SkyDome in December. The tour also made a stop in Montreal's Stade du Parc Olympique and in Vancouver's B.C. Place Stadium for a pair of shows.
• The Stones were one of the first bands to take on corporate sponsorships during their 1981 North American tour, inking a deal with perfume company Jovan. Anheuser-Busch paid almost $6-million to make Budweiser the sponsor for the Steel Wheels tour.

• In 1989 the Stones released Steel Wheels, their first album in three years. Steel Wheels tour souvenirs (aside from t-shirts) sold at the shows included bomber jackets, bandanas, sweatshirts, skateboards, and two types of Converse high tops. Tour souvenirs were also sold at retail outlets such as Macy's, J.C. Penney and Marshall Field.

• The Stones were on the verge of breaking up in 1987. After releasing Dirty Work the previous year, Keith Richards wanted to tour in support of the album; Jagger didn't. The two traded insults in the press and Richards recorded a solo album and toured with his band. In 1989 Jagger and Richards made up, recorded Steel Wheels and went on to live happy ever after.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Evening News
Broadcast Date: Sept. 4, 1989
Guest(s): unidentifed fans, Bob Thompson
Reporter: Paul Hunter
Duration: 2:15
"Start Me Up" by Michael Jagger and Keith Richards, Colgems EMI Music Inc.

Last updated: March 7, 2012

Page consulted on November 5, 2014

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