Mick Jagger - or was it Keith Richards - once called poor Invercargill the "arsehole of the world". That depends which book you believe.

Stanley Booth's The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones, first published in 1985, says it was Richards.

Bill Wyman's autobiography, Stone Alone, from 1990 said it was Jagger.

Richards didn't repeat the slur against the Southland metropolis in his 2010 memoir Life. Though he did have a go at its northern neighbour.


"My God, there are some black holes ... Dunedin, for instance ... It looked like Tombstone and it felt like that. It still had hitching rails.

"It was Sunday; a wet Sunday in Dunedin in 1965. I don't think you could find anything more depressing anywhere.

"Dunedin made Aberdeen seem like Las Vegas."

Jagger told a Christchurch audience in 1965 "don't blame us if we smell", because of a lack of bathrooms at the band's hotel.

But he was more diplomatic on his 1966 visit where the Stones were the headliners, saying New Zealand was " a bit quiet, like my dad told me like England was during the war" - so much for being "born in a crossfire hurricane" of the Blitz.

But it's Wyman, who departed the band in 1993, who has been the frankest about help bringing the swingin' 60s to Godzone.

Returning to Australia a year after their first visit in 1965, Wyman heard one of the girls he had been with on the earlier tour had fallen pregnant with his child and gone to New Zealand to have the baby. He never heard from the mother or his daughter.

After the Wellington show in 1966, Wyman said he went to bed with three girls in his hotel room, only for the rest of the band to burst in on him.


"Laughing and pulling the clothes off the bed, they spoiled what might have been something special; the girls dressed and left."

Wyman, whose book showed he was thorough in his oversight of the band's finances in the those early days, also notes how much the band racked up on toll calls home to Britain.

"Our boredom can be judged by the hotel phone hills during our one-night stay in Wellington: I spent $56.29, Brian [Jones] spent $219.06, Charlie [Watts] $106.54 and Mick $83.93."

Photo gallery: Satisfaction: History of Rolling Stones in NZ