JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – With their gig in Tel Aviv less than a day away, some of the members of the Rolling Stones took some time off Tuesday afternoon to visit that essential landmark for any foreign visitor — Jerusalem’s Western Wall.
Guitarist Ronnie Wood, drummer Charlie Watts and touring keyboard player Chuck Leavell were all at hand to witness Judaism’s most sacred spot; Leavell was even photographed wearing a kipa and placing a note at the Kotel — as is customary.
Mick Jagger evidently took a jaunt along Israel’s Mediterranean coast, paying a visit to the Roman ruins at Caesarea. Jagger posted a photo standing among the ruins with the Caesarea power plant in the background.
Jagger (who should know his concert halls) calls the ancient Herodian theater at the Roman-era port an amphitheater — a term which classically refers to a fully circular venue like the one Pink Floyd performed at live in Pompeii in 1972. (Traditional classical theaters, like the one at Caesarea, are semicircular; we’ll forgive him.)
The Stones touched down in Israel Monday night aboard their private plane, festooned with the band’s name and logo. The visit marks the band’s first in Israel, ahead of a much-anticipated concert for 50,000 fans Wednesday night at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park.
The band arrived with a 70-person entourage, at least 100 more technical and other staff, and some 1,000 tourists who flew in Monday to attend the Wednesday concert. The arrivals were dubbed the Rolling Stones “airlift” by Israeli television news anchors.
At least 46,000 tickets had been sold so far.