Lionel Richie on Opening Up For The Jackson 5 And The Rolling Stones

Which group was tougher to open for, The Jackson 5 or The Rolling Stones?

Oh shit, did you say that? The Jacksons. No, the Stones. The little kids came to see Michael, Tito and Jermaine, but they also had, thank God, mothers and fathers. So we just had to keep them entertained with top 40 stuff. The Stones — whooooo, boy, when you walk out on that stage, it’s trial by fire. Half the audience is completely stoned, and the other half is kind of stoned. Stevie [Wonder] opened for The Stones; they booed him offstage. Prince did it — it doesn’t really matter who the hell you are. They didn’t come to see you. We survived it. And when The Commodores finally went to Madison Square Garden, Mick [Jagger] would come back and sit at the sound board.

You had to prove to the rest of them that you were worthy of coming into the fraternity. You had to just suck it up and get it right. And your stage performance was the shit, man. That’s what you lived and died on. Because I don’t care if you did put it on the record, you pulling it off is it.

Via Billboard