When a small Illinois city hosted the World's Greatest Rock n Roll band for a concert.

40th Anniversary Of The Rolling Stones In Rockford

October 1st is the 40th anniversary of the "World's Greatest Rock n Roll Band," the Rolling Stones, played a show in Rockford, Illinois at the MetroCentre.

Mick Jaggar & Keith Richards from Rolling Stones MetroCentre courtesy of BMO Harris Bank Center Archives

That could be the greatest moment in Rockford music history.

BMO Harris Bank Center Archives

Check Out The Setlist From That Night

According to setlist.fm,

Rolling Stones - Rockford MetroCentre 10/1/81 (Tattoo You Tour)

  • Under My Thumb
  • When the Whip Comes Down
  • Let's Spend the Night Together
  • Shattered
  • Neighbours
  • Black Limousine
  • Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) The Temptations cover)
  • Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran cover)
  • Let Me Go
  • Time Is on My Side (Kai Winding & His Orchestra cover)
  • Beast of Burden
  • Waiting on a Friend
  • Let It Bleed
  • You Can't Always Get What You Want
  • Tumbling Dice
  • Little T&A (Keith Richards on lead vocals)
  • She's So Cold
  • Hang Fire
  • Miss You
  • Start Me Up
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Brown Sugar
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash
BMO Harris Bank Center Archive

How Did The Rolling Stones Play In Rockford?

The story is pretty amazing. It is all about a community coming together to make something special happen. That is the only way that the biggest rock n roll band in the world ends up playing a show in a small Illinois City.

Church St Corner MetroCentre

According to upi.com,

"Rolling Stones accept fans' invitation"

Acceptance Telegram From Rolling Stones

"More than 35,000 people signed an invitation asking the Rolling Stones to entertain their fans and the Stones have agreed."


"'They (the Stones) sent us a telegram, 'It read, 'to the music fans of Rockford: We are overwhelmed by your gracious invitation by petition, we accept. See you Oct. 1, 1981, Tattoo you.'"

It all happened because a local radio station, WZOK, started a petition drive to get the Rolling Stones to play a show in the Forest City and it worked.

Box Office Line MetroCentre courtesy of BMO Harris Bank Center Archives

Sharing Stories About The Stones In Rockford

I had a chance to chat with a couple of members of the Rockford Music Scene about this historical event.

Chuck Doyle & telegram from the Stones.

Flashbacks Of The Rockford MetroCentre

Photo Flashback History Lesson Of The BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford

More Flashbacks: BMO Harris Bank Center Photos

Did Any Rolling Stones Albums Make This List?

Do you remember the top album from the year you graduated high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, looking at the best-selling album from every year going all the way back to 1956. Sales data is included only from 1992 onward when Nielsen's SoundScan began gathering computerized figures.

Going in chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present the best-selling album from the year you graduated high school.