The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973

The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973 was a concert tour of countries bordering the Pacific Ocean in January and February 1973 by The Rolling Stones. The tour is sometimes referred to as the Winter Tour 1973. However this title is misleading, as much of it took place in the Southern Hemisphere, where it was summer at the time.

The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973
Tour by The Rolling Stones
Poster from Australian portion of tour, designed by Ian McCausland.
Start date18 January 1973
End date27 February 1973
No. of shows14
The Rolling Stones concert chronology


The tour was not associated with any album's release, but effectively was an extension of the Stones' infamous 1972 American S.T.P. Tour. The original intent was to play Australia and New Zealand, which had not seen the Stones since February and March 1966, as well as Japan, which had never seen the Stones at all. However, the Stones' 1972 American Tour had drawn worldwide press for its combustive mixture of group decadence and fan riots set amidst jet set hangers-on. This caused the Stones some serious drama for their Pacific visits in that visas and work permits might be hard to get. Accordingly, the Stones scheduled some shows in Hawaii first, as a fallback in case they could not get into certain countries. Hawaiian fans camped out on Christmas night 1972 in order to buy tickets.[1]

Stones fears were confirmed when on 4 January 1973 Australia's Immigration Ministry let it be known that one of the Stones, unnamed, was banned from entering the country. On 8 January the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Mick Jagger would not be allowed into their country due to his prior drugs convictions.

On 9 January the Australians relented and said the Stones could enter. But first, the Stones announced an 18 January benefit concert at the Los Angeles Forum for victims of the recent 23 December 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua (Bianca Jagger's home country). This event was opened by Santana and Cheech & Chong, and served as the warm-up concert for the Pacific Tour. It raised more than £200,000 in relief funds.

Next the Stones started the tour proper with the three shows over 21 January and 22 January in Hawaii, at the Honolulu International Center with ZZ Top as the opening act. These were Mick Taylor's last shows as a Rolling Stone in the United States until a guest appearance at Kansas City in 1981. Next up on the schedule were a number of shows at the Budokan in Tokyo, running from 28 January to 1 February, for which 55,000 tickets had already been sold. But on 27 January, Japanese officials made a final confirmation of their decision to not let the Stones land; the shows were scrapped and the concert promoter had to refund all the tickets.[2]

Thus the first leg of the tour came to a close. Some sources state that a 5 February show in Hong Kong's Football Club Stadium was played, but this never took place.

In any event the tour started up again for its second leg on 11 February with a single show in New Zealand, at Auckland's Western Springs Stadium. 14 February saw the first show in Australia, with Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney being visited in turn, the last show being 27 February at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse. The Brisbane show, which was held at the Milton Park Tennis Courts, was postponed twice due to poor weather.

Australian fears may have been a little validated when the 21 February show at Adelaide's Memorial Drive Park found 5,000 Stones fans clashing with the local police, and 21 arrests were made. However, three days later high-profile Labor Party Immigration Minister Al Grassby said: "The Stones are an excellent example to Australian youth. I told them I was putting my faith in them and hoped they would do the right thing. I have no regrets that I let them in — yes, I went out on a limb to give them visas — to give a man a bad name and hang him is immoral and un-Australian."

The showsEdit

The Los Angeles benefit show introduced a catwalk to the Stones' stage set for the first time, behind Charlie Watts' drum position. In general the set-up and playing was more professional on this tour than on the overcharged 1972 North American Tour. The raw distorted sound evidenced on unofficial record releases from this tour has much in common with the European tour later the same year, though Nicky Hopkins still performed with the band on this round, which eventually became his last tour with the Rolling Stones. Unlike 1972, the Pacific leg also created less media hype and attracted few celebrities.


No official live album has been released from the tour, although bootleg recordings exist.


The Rolling StonesEdit

Tour booklet cover for Hawaii shows.

Additional musiciansEdit

Tour support actsEdit

The Hawaiian shows were opened by ZZ Top. Other supporting acts for the Stones on this tour may have included Pulse (in Adelaide), Madder Lake, Headband, Itambu, and Chain.[3]

Tour set listEdit

Poster for the sole New Zealand concert, designed by Ian McCausland.

The standard set list for the New Zealand and Australian shows on the tour was:

  1. "Brown Sugar"
  2. "Bitch"
  3. "Rocks Off"
  4. "Gimme Shelter"
  5. "Happy"
  6. "Tumbling Dice"
  7. "Love in Vain"
  8. "Sweet Virginia"
  9. "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
  10. "Honky Tonk Women"
  11. "All Down The Line"
  12. "Midnight Rambler"
  13. "Rip This Joint", "Bye Bye Johnny", or "Little Queenie"
  14. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
  15. "Street Fighting Man"

As such it was quite similar to the 1972 American Tour.

The first leg Los Angeles and Hawaii shows got a greater variety than this, however, with "Dead Flowers" and "It's All Over Now" appearing in each show (the latter representing a rare Stones playing of an oldie in this era) and Beggars Banquet nuggets "No Expectations" and "Stray Cat Blues" making the odd face as well.

Tour datesEdit

Date City Country Venue Opening Act
North America
18 January 1973 Inglewood United States The Forum Santana
Cheech & Chong
21 January 1973 Honolulu Honolulu International Center ZZ Top
22 January 1973
(2 shows)
(Japanese Foreign Ministry said Jagger would not be allowed into their country due to his prior drugs convictions.)
28 January 1973 Tokyo Japan Nippon Budokan N/A
29 January 1973
30 January 1973
31 January 1973
1 February 1973
11 February 1973 Auckland New Zealand Western Springs Stadium N/A
14 February 1973 Brisbane Australia Milton Tennis Courts
17 February 1973
(2 shows)
Melbourne Kooyong Tennis Courts
18 February 1973
20 February 1973 Adelaide Memorial Drive Park
21 February 1973
24 February 1973 Perth Western Australia Cricket Ground
26 February 1973 Sydney Royal Randwick Racecourse
27 February 1973


  1. ^ Austin American-Statesman, "The Stones made me do it!", 21 October 2006.
  2. ^ Japan would go 17 more years without the Stones, until they went there in 1990 on their Steel Wheels Tour.
  3. ^ Opening acts
  • Carr, Roy. The Rolling Stones: An Illustrated Record. Harmony Books, 1976. ISBN 0-517-52641-7
  • 'Rocks Off' page tour setlists
  • Rolling Stones Honolulu 1973 Concerts – Righter Than They've Ever Been: Sleuthing The 1973 Hawaii Concert Tapes