How Fishing Led the Rolling Stones to Perform in the Ozarks

File photo: The Rolling Stones (L-R) Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts pose as they arrive for the opening of the new exhibit "Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
File photo: The Rolling Stones (L-R) Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts pose as they arrive for the opening of the new exhibit "Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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How Fishing Led the Rolling Stones to Perform in the Ozarks

File photo: The Rolling Stones (L-R) Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts pose as they arrive for the opening of the new exhibit "Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
File photo: The Rolling Stones (L-R) Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts pose as they arrive for the opening of the new exhibit "Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, US, November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

When the Rolling Stones close out their North American "Hackney Diamonds" tour on July 21, their concert venue will be a far cry from the bustling cities they have visited on the road.
The rockers will perform in Ridgedale, Missouri, with a population of less than a thousand, taking to the stage at the picturesque Thunder Ridge Nature Arena in the middle of the Ozark mountains, Reuters said.
Set amid 1,200 acres of land and overlooking Table Rock Lake, the 20,000-seat amphitheatre opened in May and has hosted American country music stars Morgan Wallen and Chris Stapleton. It was built by fishing and hunting gear supplier Bass Pro Shops founder and chief executive Johnny Morris.
"We just wanted to share this beautiful part of the world with others," Morris, who grew up in the Ozarks, told Reuters.
"We've been having some events out at this place for many years ... little gatherings and concerts. And then ... we got carried away."
Like Red Rocks in Colorado and The Gorge in Washington state, Morris' arena immerses visitors in the outdoors. The venue's proceeds go towards conservation efforts in the Ozark region.
"I went (to the Gorge) and I'm a little biased, but I felt like our beauty rivals that kind of beauty for a natural setting," said Morris, adding that he just wanted to "see people come and have a good time together outdoors."
Landing the Stones is a huge get for any venue. For Morris, it all came down to his love of fishing.
Twenty years ago, he met musician Chuck Leavell, who has been performing with the Stones since 1982. The pair went fishing - and Morris helped Leavell net "an enormous fish."
"He said 'Johnny, this is the happiest day of my life... If I can ever do anything for you, you let me know,'" Morris said.
The businessman, 76, called in that favor years later.
"I said, 'Could you get the Rolling Stones to come to Ridgedale, Missouri?' And he goes, 'Where? What?' and ... how that came about is just through fate, through fishing and a friendship."
He said a group representing the Stones attended a Garth Brooks concert at a related venue and apparently liked what they saw.
The Stones' tour is named after their critically-praised album released last October. At each stop, frontman Mick Jagger, 80, commands the stage for two hours with guitarists Keith Richards, 80, and Ronnie Wood, 77.
Asked if he would attend the July 21 show, Morris said: "If I'm kicking, I'm gonna be there, yeah."



German Police Detain Suspected Stalker Ahead of Taylor Swift Concert

17 July 2024, North Rhine-Westphalia, Gelsenkirchen: US singer Taylor Swift performs on the stage at the Veltins Arena during the first concert in Germany as part of her "The Eras Tour". Photo: Marius Becker/dpa
17 July 2024, North Rhine-Westphalia, Gelsenkirchen: US singer Taylor Swift performs on the stage at the Veltins Arena during the first concert in Germany as part of her "The Eras Tour". Photo: Marius Becker/dpa
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German Police Detain Suspected Stalker Ahead of Taylor Swift Concert

17 July 2024, North Rhine-Westphalia, Gelsenkirchen: US singer Taylor Swift performs on the stage at the Veltins Arena during the first concert in Germany as part of her "The Eras Tour". Photo: Marius Becker/dpa
17 July 2024, North Rhine-Westphalia, Gelsenkirchen: US singer Taylor Swift performs on the stage at the Veltins Arena during the first concert in Germany as part of her "The Eras Tour". Photo: Marius Becker/dpa

German police said Thursday that they detained a man suspected of stalking Taylor Swift ahead of the first of three shows by the pop star in the western city of Gelsenkirchen.
The man was detained following tips from organizers of the event, police said in a statement. They said he had previously made threats against the singer, German news agency dpa reported. They gave no more details of the man or the background to the incident.
Police said that Wednesday evening's concert, attended by about 60,000 people, went peacefully.
The American superstar has shows in Gelsenkirchen on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as part of her Eras Tour.
Ahead of the concerts, the city put up signs temporarily renaming itself “Swiftkirchen" and honored the singer on a “Walk of Fame” that commemorates local celebrities.
After Gelsenkirchen, Swift plans concerts in two other German cities, Hamburg and Munich.