Andre Gardner

Weekdays 2:00pm–7:00pm

Andre Gardner backstage with The Rolling Stones at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, August, 1994.

Being in the radio/media business for 45 years, I have definitely been fortunate to have had many fun times and exciting opportunities along the way.  That said, without question, one of the most exciting nights of them all was the night my wife and I met The Rolling Stones.

It happened at Giants Stadium in August, 1994, during the band’s ‘Voodoo Lounge’ World Tour.  Just two months’ prior, I had become Program Director of 92-3 K-Rock in New York, a Classic Rock radio station, and the Stones’ ‘Voodoo Lounge’ album had recently come out as well.  The perfect storm – the record company wanted to promote the album, the band were touring to support it, and they wanted to make sure the classic rock station in the #1 market in the country was supporting the album with some airplay.  Perfect storm for ME that is, to finesse a meet and greet with the band when they came through town.

The local record rep from Virgin Records up in New York was Bridget Hollenback.  She was great and very easy to work with.  Unlike a few other record reps from other labels, she was never high pressure when it came to us playing us new music by Virgin’s classic rock artists.  Of course, giving the new Stones record airplay on K-Rock was a no-brainer; it was a fantastic album by one of our top 3 bands, and it sounded really good on the air.  The first single was a good choice, too:   “Love Is Strong.”

I asked Bridget if the Stones were doing a meet and greet and, to my surprise, I found that they WERE meeting select radio/media people before their Giants Stadium show.  All she had to do was run it by the national promo manager, an affable record biz vet named John Boulos, and I’d have a shot to meet a member or two.

The night of the show, there were maybe 3 different backstage ‘areas’ set up at Giants Stadium, each with varying levels of access and a different “Voodoo Lounge” vibe to it.  My wife Paige (the biggest Stones fan I know!) and I met Bridget, and she took us in and dropped us off at one of these lounges to have a drink and wait to see if a meet and greet was going to actually happen.

We were hanging in one of these lounges for about 45 minutes, when Bridget comes running up to us at top speed and goes, “C’MON, THE MEET AND GREET IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!”  We book through atriums, halls, offices and back rooms before landing in a room with exactly nine industry people..and The Rolling Stones!!!  For the next 10 minutes, I had a wonderful chat with Ronnie Wood, and Paige with Mick, before getting introduced to the rest of the band and posing for the photograph you see above.  Just as the photographer snapped the picture, my wife grabbed Mick and he smiled.

Thank you, Bridget and John! It’s a night I shall never forget.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICK!

by Andre Gardner

Andre Gardner is a 45 year radio broadcast professional who continues to live the dream.