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One of the common characteristics shared by communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe was their vehement opposition to Western culture. Fearing its potentially subversive effects, Western culture was continually discouraged and often suppressed by the authorities. Shockingly, in 1967 the Polish government gave permission to the Rolling Stones to hold a concert in Warsaw, making them one of the first rock-and-roll bands from Western Europe to perform on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain.
In this episode, our hosts will discuss the story of the Rolling Stone’s legendary performance in Warsaw in 1967. Why did the Rolling Stones become interested in performing in Eastern Europe? How was this unlikely performance arranged by the Polish government? Did anything notable happen during or after the concert? Why did the Polish government even allow this concert to occur in the first place? What was the impact of this performance on Polish society and the political environment of the Cold War?
[03:00] How the descent Iron Curtain created a sharp cultural divide between East and West?
[05:30] How Rolling Stones became notorious for inciting chaos at their concerts?
[06:45] Why did the Rolling Stones want to play on the other side of the Iron Curtain?
[08:28] Why did they play in Warsaw rather than Moscow?
[10:30] How was the concert in Warsaw arranged?
[12:00] What happened when the Rolling Stones arrived and performed?
[17:55] Legends and myths surrounding the concert’s aftermath.
[19:00] Why did Communist authorities even allow this concert to occur in the first place?
[21:20] What were consequences of holding this concert?
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Daniel Wyszogrodzki / author of the book about the Rolling Stones titled Satisfaction, who kindly agreed to tell us the story from the Stones’ perspective.
Paweł Brodowski / editor-in-chief of the renowned Jazz Forum magazine, who kindly agreed to tell us the story from the perspective of a Warsaw-based music fan who actually attended the show.
SFTEW Team: Wojciech Oleksiak, Adam Zulawski, Lea Berriault, John Beauchamp, Nitzan Reisner & Katherine Alberti