When the Rolling Stones caused chaos in Düsseldorf

Telephone call with my best friend P.: “I have a great story for your column,” he says cockily. “I accidentally found a bunch of old photos in an archive in which my father can also be seen, couldn’t believe it at first, at least you have to bring something about it.”

“You do realize that I need a connection to Düsseldorf for this?” I say. “And your father is – with all due respect – not a celebrity.”

“More Düsseldorf and celebrity reference is not possible,” he says. “The story actually begins at Düsseldorf Airport, on the tarmac. Wait a moment …”

And then he sends me a black and white photo with background blur via Whatsapp that looks like it was taken by a professional photographer – and writes: “It’s from 1965.”

Stones fans at Düsseldorf Airport: Are they really P.’s father (left) and his friends Lutz (middle) and Holger? Photo: Hans Lachmann/Archive of the EKiR

In the picture: three young guys – 16 or 17, maximum 18 years old. They would easily pass for members of a retro boy band today. Gray mottled jackets or striped jackets, including simple sweaters. The two with the longer blond hair laugh elatedly or even tipsy into the camera, the dark-haired looks rather skeptical, and you could take him for a punk because of the unruly, messy hairstyle, but he would have been ten years too early.

“The one on the far left, looking so defiant, with the rings on his hand, the chain on his wrist and the casual Mick Jagger jacket – that’s my father,” says P.

“It was clear,” I lie. “You can see that immediately.”

“And the one in the middle, haircut like young Justin Bieber, that was the youngest, his name was Lutz,” says P. “And the one on the far right, with shorter hair, who looks so serious – that was Holger, the driver, he had just gotten his driver’s license and was straight edge before the word even existed. Ideal for the other two, because somehow the guys had to get from Düsseldorf to Münster and back again.”

“Dusseldorf? Muenster? Huh?” I do, and then my best friend P. sends more photos and tells a hair-raising story. I’ll sum it up: In 1965 his father and his two friends Holger and Lutz are big fans of an up-and-coming group from England – the Rolling Stones. So far, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Brian Jones and Charlie Watts have never performed live in Germany. And in the arch-catholic Münster of all places, the first show of the “toughest band of all time” is to take place on September 11th. With this label, the Stones become full-bodied from the teenage bible Bravo presented on a tour through a total of five German cities.