18 Jan Rolling Stones perform at benefit for Nicaragua earthquake relief
On this day in 1973, the Rolling Stones held a benefit concert to raise funds for the Nicaraguan earthquake relief efforts
The Stones arrived in Los Angeles on the 16th of January, with the intention of performing at the benefit alongside Santana and Cheech and Chong, hoping to raise money for the relief efforts in Nicaragua and Japan.
The preparation ran less than smoothly, as a depressed Mick Jagger found himself involved in heated debates with the Japanese government over the cancellation of his visa. The officials found issue with a drug bust conviction on Jagger’s record, and although many musicians with convictions had been able to enter Japan, Jagger found himself barred. Rumours then spread that the benefit was being held only to court favour with Japan and hopefully change their minds about the visa situation. In reality, Mick Jagger’s wife, Bianca, was a Nicaraguan and they had reportedly accepted the benefit before any visa issues arose.
The benefit was held at the Forum, in Inglewood, California and brought forth an audience of close to 19,000. The show went for five hours, with two of them dominated by the standout Stones performance. Jagger was reportedly energised by his current predicaments and put on a very memorable show. The concert raised $200,000 for the relief efforts, putting them slightly short of their goals. Jagger then decided to donate a further $150,000 from his own pockets to the cause.