— Life —

Rolling Stones Tickets For My Birthday

A rare photo of the Rolling Stones at Teen Fair, June 6, 1964, their second U.S. performance.
Photo, Bob Bonis Archives
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Paul Peterson, Teen Fair, June 6, 1964. Photo by Brenda Coffee
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The San Antonio Express refers to him as “Mike” Jagger.
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“I used my babysitting money to buy the Stones’ <i>Out of Our Heads</i> album. My mother threw it away. With more babysittng money, I bought another album. She threw that one away as well.”
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“Since I didn’t have access to Rolling Stones’ sheet music, I sang and played “Satisfaction” by ear. To say mother was horrified is an understatement.”
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Eleven years later, the Stones returned to San Antonio and pose in front of the Alamo. Photo Getty Images
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The first time I went to a concert, I saw the Rolling Stones. It was their second U.S. performance: June 6, 1964, at Teen Fair in San Antonio, Texas. My mother dropped me off at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum where I had a front-row, center seat to see prepubescent heartthrobs Paul Peterson, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Vee, and Leslie Gore. I brought my dad’s Rolleiflex and took photos of everyone, except the Rolling Stones. Looking back, perhaps I didn’t photograph the Stones because I was too busy trying to make sense of what was happening onstage.


Like the other featured performers, the Rolling Stones were dressed in their Sunday best: suits, white shirts, and ties. I didn’t have time to form an opinion of their music because seedy, sloppy tomatoes started skyrocketing over my head, and the Stones wound up covered in red. In seconds, they were whisked off stage and replaced by a troupe of performing monkeys, and I don’t mean, “Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees.” My preteen, first concert-going self didn’t know what to make of any of it. All I knew was that by the time it was over, I’d forgotten Bobby what’s his name, and the Rolling Stones would soon change my life.

I used my babysitting money to buy the Stones’ Out of Our Heads album, but my mother threw it away. With more babysitting money, I bought another album. She threw that one away as well, and when I bought the third album, her only request was I not play it when she was home.

My father had been a musician and played clarinet, tenor, and alto sax with numerous jazz and blues bands around the country. From the day I was born, I was listening to Gershwin, Brubeck, Coltrane, Bo Diddley, and Muddy Waters on my parent’s record player. Music is in my DNA.

When I was in second grade, my father decided I should take piano lessons. He found an old player piano in a VFW Hall and refinished it inside and out. He replaced the chipped and yellowed ivories with new ones, installed a new player mechanism, and bought boxes of music rolls like Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto in B-Flat Minor” and “Roll Out the Barrel.” Oh, yeah! We’re having fun now!

My father had spent his high school years at a military academy boarding school and knew nothing about being a child or raising one. And as a result, the piano was not a joyous experience. My father was the music police, and I had to practice three hours a day before he got home from work. That meant no extracurricular activities or time with my friends after school. Ever. He didn’t want to hear a piece until it was perfect, or I played it at a recital and because I had talent, I was sent to study with better and better teachers. My last piano lesson was the day he died–on my thirteenth birthday–and my overriding emotion wasn’t grief. It was relief like I’d been let out of prison.

From that day on, I put away the sheet music to Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in C Sharp Minor.” While I didn’t have access to the Rolling Stones’ sheet music, I sang and played “Satisfaction” by ear. To say my mother was horrified would be an understatement. Since then, I’ve bought Stones’ albums, CDs, DVDs, and books and have seen them in concert more times than I can count. I never tire of the Stones.

The other day I was at a stoplight, rocking out to the Stones’ “Miss You” and doing my best Mick Jagger imitation. I looked at the driver on my left, and with big eyes and an exaggerated expression, I sang, “I’ve been walking Central Park. Singing after dark. People think I’m cray-zeeee!” The driver stared, open-mouthed, and as soon as the light turned green, he was out of there.

Last week I bought myself an early birthday present: a third-row seat to the Stones’ new Zip Code tour, June 6, in Dallas, the anniversary of the first time I saw them perform. The only thing better than concert tickets would be to interview Keith Richards; the coolest, most talented, original guy on the planet.

I’m not a fair-weather fan or a newcomer. I’ve literally been here since the beginning. Are you listening, sweet man? May we set up an interview?

Love, Brenda


  • [email protected] April 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

    How exciting for you Brenda!!! I hope you have a blast!

    • 1010 Park Place April 21, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Hi Nancy,
      I’m pretty excited. I LOVE the Stones! Guess what? My two best girlfriends since high school are coming with me! They just decided yesterday, so while their tickets are somewhere else in the stadium, we’re driving to Dallas together & having a slumber party at the hotel that Saturday night. Girls’ weekend. Yes! We’ll have a blast.


  • Esther Zimmer April 20, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Happy Birthday, Brenda! I just love that you kept rocking ‘Miss You’ even after you’d been spotted! Bravo, there needs to be more people in life who belt it out without a care for what others think! Too much of life is spent worrying about what others will think of us and trying to do what others want, I think even when that’s done with the best of intentions that we lose such an important part of ourselves. I absolutely love to dance – some uplifting house music and I’m on my way! I don’t want to be out dancing with 18 year olds in dingy clubs, so I host regular dance parties in my living room and recently went to a early morning rave filled with sunshine, flowers and lots of sober, smiling faces. I had such a good time and was probably one of the younger people in the room! After I told a friend what I’d done he said, “Haven’t you grown out of dancing by now?”. This was from someone who used to dance with me and it made me so sad that they think we need to ‘grow up and stop dancing’. xx

    • 1010 Park Place April 21, 2015 at 10:57 am

      “Grown out of dancing?” Your friend needs an intervention! When Martin Scorsese’s documentary, “Shine a Light,” about the Stones NYC, Beacon Theater performance came to the IMAX, I told my husband I’d be on my feet, singing and rocking. If he was going to be embarrassed, he might not want to come, but he did. Would you believe I was the only person in the theater doing that until almost the end, when two ladies in my row joined me. “Shine a Light” at the IMAX was like being there, but in some ways better. When will you ever see Mick Jagger’s lips three stories tall? LOL!

  • Rena April 20, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like a great birthday to me!

    • 1010 Park Place April 21, 2015 at 10:58 am

      I know! Extravagant, but I’m worth it. Besides, now that James is gone, I don’t have anyone to celebrate birthdays, holidays, go on vacation with, so why not? Thank you:) xoxox

  • 1010 Park Place April 21, 2015 at 10:47 am


    I’ve never been anyone’s spirit animal before! That may make you as goofy as I am! So great:)

    You can’t say “one of these days” when it comes to a Stones tour. I know we all think they’re immortal, but…. They’re in your area July 11, Buffalo, NY, Ralph Wilson Stadium. Buy some tickets and go! It doesn’t matter where you sit. It’s a happening, never to be duplicated anywhere. There’s people of all ages. You’ll have a blast. Just do it, girlfriend. http://www.rollingstones.com/tickets/


  • 1010 Park Place April 21, 2015 at 10:48 am

    This splurge ticket is an early BD present. My BD’s in June, but thanks. xoxox

  • 1010 Park Place April 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    My girlfriends got tickets that were $98 apiece, so don’t worry. You can keep your kidney. I donated mine for all of us. LOL! That said, if I’d known Gayle & Lee wanted to go, I would have gladly gotten the $98 tickets so we’d all be sitting together. Driving to Dallas, spending the weekend together, all of us going to the stadium together and knowing they’re experiencing it with me, will be so fun!

    • Mamavalveeta03 April 26, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      No way!!! I thought they’d be in the thousand dollar range. It IS doable, after all. You’ll all have a blast!

      • 1010 Park Place May 2, 2015 at 11:42 am

        Girlfriend… While I won’t tell you how much I paid, let’s just say I wish it were a thousand dollars! LOL!
        Yes, tickets are doable. If you want to see the Stones, go! This may be your last opportunity.

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