This week, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce were revealed as the music/sports collaboration we didn’t know we needed. Now, Major League Baseball is getting in on the act with its own legendary collab, announcing a partnership yesterday with The Rolling Stones to release a limited vinyl edition of the band’s new album, “Hackney Diamonds,” which will feature custom art for all 30 MLB teams.
Included among these special edition album covers, of course, is one devoted to the Toronto Blue Jays. And really, it seems like this particular design might have a special place in the hearts of the band, given their storied history with the city of Toronto.
Way back in 1977, some 15 years after The Rolling Stones had formed, the band was feeling stale, and the solution, they believed, was a return to their roots in small, smoky clubs. Of all the cities in the world they could have chosen to get this done, the band decided to head to Toronto to play two secret shows at the 300-person-capacity El Mocambo under the pseudonym “The Cockroaches.”
As they often did, and do, at the El Mo, things got a little crazy.
Margaret Trudeau was there, wife of the then-Prime Minister and mother of the current one, partying with the band backstage, launching fully into an era in which she consistently appeared in the tabloids for her alleged (and confirmed) affairs with various celebrities.
Moreover, it was during this time in Toronto that guitarist Keith Richards was arrested for drug possession in his hotel room at the Westin Harbour Castle by Mounties – presumably in full red regalia and ‘Boss of the Plains’ Stetsons.
Seriously, Richards would appear in a Toronto courtroom more than a year later facing up to seven years in prison, and in fact, he would be convicted and sentenced … to perform a charity concert for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, which the band would do the next year.
Afterwards, The Stones would return to the city many times, playing the Ex, the SkyDome, and the Air Canada Center, as well as, most famously, Downsview Park, where in 2003, the band headlined what is still Canada’s biggest concert ever, with an estimated 450,000-500,000 people in attendance – “The biggest party in Toronto’s history,” Mick Jagger called it.
While no dates have been announced as of yet for the upcoming tour in support of their new album, you can preorder the special edition, and pick up a pretty sweet piece of Blue Jays swag while you’re at it, here.
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