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  • Paula Sangeleer

'Rule 1: Do Not Goose the Rolling Stones'

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

I get asked this a fair amount, and the most famous band that I ever met was the Rolling Stones, which was sheerly by luck. And by friendship, I suppose, so be nice to the people you know.

One of my record reps, her name is Diane, worked for Virgin Records at the time and we're about the same age. We were buddies because she would come through the market to keep her relationships with the talent and radio stations. I was working part time at HFS, but I was also either the program director or music director at 96 Rock. Diane would come through take me to lunch, and we became girlfriends, buddies.

These record reps, they were always inviting you to shows and taking you backstage, mostly new artists that they want you to meet and play. But if they had something big, they would also invite you, because they want you to play their music. They'll take take you out and to give you nice experiences in a bit of a wink-and-nod deal.

One time in 1998 or 1999, I asked her if she was coming to town to see the Stones. I had already bought a ticket for $129, which was a lot of money, especially on a radio salary. I was working at WHFS on the day of the show, doing the lunchtime shift on a Sunday. She calls me up on the request line because cell phones weren't widely used yet, and she asks "Paula, are you going tonight?" I said yes. She said, "It's just you, right?" I said yeah. I'll never forget, she said: "Get there at 6 o'clock and you can meet the band."

Holy shit.

I clocked out after my shift and had time to get back to my sister's house and put on the shiniest thing I could find, adding some extra cosmetics. I was there by 6 o'clock, and there was a whole pack of radio people that got to go backstage and it was it was such a great experience. They had the area decorated nicely with wine and chocolates. I'm a recovering addict and was off of drinking wine by then, but still, the atmosphere was cool.

When we went backstage, a lady came out that worked for them who was clearly part of their road crew. In her sweet British accent, she said, "There is one rule: do not goose the Rolling Stones." I guess people are forever pinching their asses and like, OK, that's the one rule.

Meeting them was very quick, but it's something I'll never forget. They were as charming as can be. Keith Richards kissed my hand and we all got in a quick picture with them. And that was it. It was done just as quick as it started. But when they walked in, you could really feel the air of royalty, because it's the fucking Rolling Stones. So that's a career highlight for me.

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