All access: Each generation claims the Stones

Not counting illnesses and a forced three-day exile for stink-bombing the lunchroom, the only time I missed class in high school was one fall day in 1981 when the Stones announced they'd play the now-demolished Capital Center in Washington.

That was the Tattoo You tour. The album contained two eventual classics– "Waiting On A Friend" and the guaranteed party-maker, "Start Me Up." It was also the tour when Mick wrapped himself in an American flag, rode a giant crane, and ushered in– following Kiss, of course– the mega-tour.

Even though a perfume company, Jovan, sponsored the tour, that most staid of cities, Richmond, was not immune from Stones fever.

So there I was skipping class and traipsing through Regency Square Mall seeking a non-existent Ticketmaster outlet. "I'll check Thalhimer's," I told my best friend. "You check Miller & Rhoads."

I got home from that fruitless effort to find that my 13-year-old sister– a person who until that day had seemed blissfully unaware of the Stones– had scored a seat with a friend whose dad worked in D.C.

It turned out that the Stones performed for a record two million people during that tour, but I wasn't one of them. Adding insult to injury was hearing stories from that Cap Center show.

Mick in that crazy yellow spandex suit. Keith tripping and knocking his knee when he first took the stage. A baseball-size bloodstain on his jeans was the only sign of the carnage. But, then, Richards– always known to be an expert in self-medication– supposedly consumed a fifth of Jack Black during the show.

My sister was now a Stones expert, and it only got worse. Check out this vintage 1982 shot of her and her best friend as the Glimmer Twins. Rock and roll is not pretty.

So now the Stones are coming to Charlottesville, the smallest town on the Bigger Bang tour. But it's my big chance to get back into the sibling rivalry– and into Scott Stadium with about 52,000 other screaming fans of what's been called The Greatest Rock Band Ever. Wild horses... couldn't drag me away.

Editor's sister, Sarah Spencer, and friend Susan Wilkes caught up in "Tattoo You" tour frenzy.

December 1981 Cap Center action.

Keith's own battle of Wounded Knee

Before Richmond, the Stones rolled over San Francisco.