•  The age-defying Rolling Stones wrap up a swing through North America this summer to some very enthusiastic reviews

•  Thirty years ago, I ramped up my own enthusiasm describing what they did backstage before the opening riff of “Start Me Up”

•  What’s a ROSR? Stay tuned

In December of 1989, the Stones wound up their “Steel Wheels” tour with a pay-per-view cablecast and radio simulcast at Atlantic City’s Convention Center. Rolling Stone Magazine’s Anthony DeCurtis reported at the time: “With a kind of crazed appropriateness, the Convention Center shows were presented by Trump Plaza, owned by Donald Trump, the perfect person to place the cherry on the cake of a tour as distinguished for its marketing as for its music.”

Trump appeared at a news conference the day before the show. For better or worse, I did not do a one-on-one interview with him. I was there reporting for ABC Radio, which had the rights to the event’s audio. The night of the show – called “Terrifying” – armed with a wireless mic and two-way headset, I did ROSRS.

It’s pronounced “ROSE-er.” It stands for Radio On Scene Report and was dubbed ROSR and championed in the 1960’s by ABC Radio News president Tom O’Brien. In the midst of a news event, the reporter describes it with natural sound swirling in the background. Elsewhere on this blog, you can hear me do ROSRS at a drought refugee camp, a March Madness final, and – dodging thrown bottles and police horses – at a riot outside Tiger Stadium following a World Series.

Here, the only risk I faced was going completely over the top as I tried to paint the scene, ogling a bunch of my rock & roll heroes stretching, bouncing and hydrating before hitting the stage. My incomparable producer Dave Alpert (left, in the picture above of Bill Wyman interviewing us) tossed it to me from his anchor position:

Breathless backstage reporting


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