On May 24, 1980, I saw The Outlaws on a blazing hot day at the Lebanon Valley Speedway in Upstate New York.
I was 15, and it was the first big show I saw on my own (with a girl!). It was a different time... I know you could bring beer in, but I don't remember any food being sold or there being any amenities except for gross toilets. I know we sat on the dirt for a good between bands.
I had a headache early on (probably from dehydration), but soldiered through the line-up that included:
Pousette-Dart Band (Yawn!)
Point Blank (Imagine a trio from Texas playing in the style of ZZ Top, but without the good parts).
Edgar Winter (Amazing. Frankenstein had been released only eight years earlier, but that seemed so long ago at the time. He played it great with a synthesizer as big as a compact car and timbales. I was into it).
The Outlaws... I only knew the one song. I was impressed by the guitar army... Green Grass went on for I don't know how long.
Years ago (30?) I was teaching percussion at a small community college in Tampa when I happened to glance at the Jazz band roster for the semester and David Dix was listed as the drummer. I immediately knew the name from my HS rock days. I was never sure if he was attempting a degree or if he was just passing time between Outlaws tours. He later dropped the class to return on tour.
Great, great tune - a perfect summer song. It was indeed a riff on the Stones phrase. I believe the songwriter was at a beach cookout in the evening and everyone forgot their guitars, and he got to thinking what it would be like if the all the great musicians that had passed on up to that point came back and played music together for him. The Stones title came to him and he turned it around to fit the rhythm in his head, and the lyric phrases came along after that, and he liked the way they all fit together. The lyrics are more rooted in poetic imagery over concrete specifics. He specified that "green grass" has nothing to do with marijuana.
Saw them twice in Pittsburgh in the early 2000s, both times for free. They really were great, and Green Grass & High Tides indeed went on for several hours it seemed...