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In 1973 the biggest band in history toured Australia and the Pacific. The tour was not associated with any album, but it was the first time Australia had seen the Stones since 1966.
The 1973 tour was on the back of the Stones’ infamous 1972 American tour, which had drawn worldwide attention for its flammable mixture of decadence, riots and poor groupie behaviour. The 1973 southern hemisphere tour promised to be just as big.
However, such a record of poor behaviour did not come without consequences as the Stones’ fears were confirmed when 4 January 1973 Australia's Immigration Ministry let it be known that one of the Stones, unnamed, was banned from entering the country.
On 9 January the Australians relented and said the Stones could enter.
The Stones entered Australia after having to scrap their shows in Japan because they were refused entry because of Jagger’s prior drug convictions, and a single show in Auckland.
The 14 February saw the Stones first Australian show of the tour in Brisbane. This show, due to be held and the now demolished Milton tennis centre, was postponed twice because of poor weather.
The Brisbane show was then followed by Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and then the last show on the 27 February 1973 at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.
The expected hoo-ha came when the 21 February show at Adelaide's Memorial Drive Park found 5,000 Stones fans clashing with the local police, and 21 arrests were made.
However, three days later high-profile Labor Party Immigration Minister Al Grassby said:
"The Stones are an excellent example to Australian youth. I told them I was putting my faith in them and hoped they would do the right thing. I have no regrets that I let them in — yes, I went out on a limb to give them visas — to give a man a bad name and hang him is immoral and un-Australian."
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