…at their private Halloween party held at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, October 31, 1994.
I was supposed to be serving drinks.
Sean Murphy was supposed to be serving empanadas.
We had other ideas…
We both worked at the infamous Phoenix Hotel bar, known for the seedy neighborhood and their rock star clientele.
Catering the Rolling Stones private Halloween party was the gig.
But I convinced my bosses that I would be more entertaining as a painter than a cocktail waitress.
Sean Murphy left his apron home but managed to get his camera in the door.
We have Sean to thank for recording this underground slice of history.
With only a few hours to prepare I rolled out a canvas and nailed it to the wall of the Warfield.
I sketched out the faces of Mick, Keith, Ronnie, and Charlie and surrounded them with iconic tools of a voodoo master… chickens’ feet, daggers, snakes, and a skull.
I nudged up to Keith Richards’s table. “Hey, do you want to paint on that thing I have going on in the corner?” I asked with a giant smile.
He jumped right up, and with all the enthusiasm of a kid, gobbed into the paint, smearing and smacking it around the canvas.
He left a big handprint on my shirt, wiped some paint off my face, and playfully kissed my cheek.
My heart almost exploded, he was a blast!
Ronnie Wood arrived
with a friendly posse.
Ronnie Wood’s son, Tyrone, came up to the canvas first.
He was about 10 years old.
Tyrone told me the FingerSmear® was the coolest thing at the party and left to rally his family.
He soon returned with a small entourage, including his father, Ronnie Wood.
In that moment, Sean Murphy was off shooting something else.
It was a wild party, and there was plenty to see.
Ronnie Wood painted marks all around the canvas and signed his name near his face.
A few others in his group joined in too.
They all huddled up together and posed in front of the painting for a photographer on site.
I suppose those photos exist somewhere, but I’m not sure where. It would be fun to see them.
My heart pounded and I fought off any hesitation. I leapt out in front of him to invite him up to the canvas. He said “Not now” and my heart sank. However, I was a tenacious girl.
Mick had to walk by me on the way out, so I popped up again!
“How about now?” I smiled.
“OK” he said, and he followed me up the platform to the canvas.
He covered his thumb in red paint and added flames up the side of his head.
Mick dipped his finger back into the paint and added red marks on the snakes.
He wiped the excess paint on my shirt…
and I handed him a pen.
He drew a line down the middle of his tongue and signed his name.
Charlie Watts didn’t make it to the party, but the painting made it backstage to the next show where Charlie added a little love to the canvas.
A multi-use art house with a mission to inspire bold and collaborative artistic experiences.
Visual, musical, and performance art produced in the spirit of excellence and curiosity for our residents and visitors alike.
Led by artist Kelly Sullivan.
Designed by architect Michael Farewell.
To be enjoyed by our entire community, for generations to come.