The Origin Of The 93.3 WMMR Station ID With Mick Jagger
In this, Every Picture Tells A Story piece, the iconic 93.3 WMMR station ID with Mick Jagger was born.
“93, W, wait a minute. 93, This is Mick Jagger on WM 93.3 MR? Oh god, I’ve got to do much better than that! 933 WMMR!”
WMMR’s John Bloodwell records the famous WMMR station ID with Mick Jagger, on August 26th, 1981.
The World’s Greatest Rock n Roll Band dominated the Summer of 1981 in Philadelphia, and WMMR was at the forefront of the action. It all started when the station got its hands on an early copy of The Stones’ latest release, Tattoo You. Shrewdly, we waited till after 5 PM on a Friday to world-debut the album, making sure that our offices, and more importantly, legal teams had called it quits for the weekend. So, we played it all through that weekend, knowing that we’d be ordered to “cease and desist” the minute things got going Monday morning. And that’s exactly what happened. No matter to us, however. We scooped the world on what would be one of the Stones’ most beloved LPs. The record company, capitalizing on the buzz, then moved the general release date up a little so everyone in the country could begin playing the record.
The next chapter in this summer saga happened on August 26th:
The station’s offices were half deserted because of a surprise press conference scheduled for early afternoon at a “secret location.” Seems that in keeping with the Stones’ creative ways of announcing tours, Mick Jagger was coming to Philadelphia to announce the band’s plans to tour behind Tattoo You. Staffers like Charlie Kendall, Joe Bonadonna, Steve “Steveski” Sutton, and Promotion Director and Stones devotee John Bloodwell were all on hand at the location, which turned out to be JFK Stadium. They were all crammed inside a rented Winnebago, along with Scott Muni and Earle Baily from our NY sister station WNEW-FM.
Sure enough, a long black limousine came through the stadium tunnel, and after coming to a stop, out popped Michael Phillip Jagger ready to beat the drum for the upcoming world tour. And guess what? It would start in Philly, in this massive old stadium, in just about a month, September 25th to be exact.
Mick’s charisma and biting wit were on full display as he talked about lots of subjects, including “Why Philadelphia?” (“Well, they just gave me one of the bells!”) And responding to a TV suit’s question about still being ‘the bad boys’ of rock, Mick replied that as you get older, you get “gooder, you know, sweeter…like your grandfather’s sweet.”
Eventually, the press conference ran its course and Mick posed for pictures in the vast stands of JFK. It was then that “Blood,” sprung into action, and after two separate tries, got Mick to record an ID for WMMR. Blood told him to just read it off his shirt, which is why to took a few takes. Didn’t matter to us. It was only rock n roll. And photographer Roger Barone was there to snap the photo.
The day before the show:
Arriving the day before the show, Mick took a quick tour of the stadium, and not surprisingly, MMR was there again, in the person of Blood and our midday vixen Anita Gevinson. Anita was sporting a WMMR baseball cap and offered it to Mick, who stunned everyone by putting it on. We’re not sure any other station in the world got that to happen! A picture of Mick in the MMR hat appeared in the newspaper the next day. We were on top of the world.
The summer ended a few days late that year, -September 25th-with Stones filling JFK with opening acts Journey and George Thorogood rounding out the bill. During the shows, Mick put on a Philadelphia Eagles jersey (Number 21—safety John Sciarra) and climbed into a cherry picker, throwing (dead?) flowers to the fans below. The tour’s second show followed the next night and moved on from there!
The final installment came a little over a year later when Still Life, the live album of that tour was released and coincided with the film debut of Let’s Spend the Night Together, a recap of the tour’s highlights. And fittingly, WMMR hosted the debut here in Philly. Where it all began, or “started up!”