Ladies and Gentlemen… The Rolling Stones!
The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962 and became one of the world’s best rock & roll bands ever. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards initially crossed paths at Dartford Maypole County Primary School. Jones, Jagger and Richards, along with drummer Tony Chapman, cut a demonstration tape that was rejected by EMI. Chapman left the band shortly after to go to Art College. By this time Blues, Inc. had altered their name to the Rolling Stones, after a Muddy Waters song.
The Rolling Stones’ first show was on July 12, 1962 at the Marquee. In January of 1963, after a series of personnel changes, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts rounded out the Stones’ line-up. In June of 1963, the Stones released their first single, a Chuck Berry tune, “Come On.” January of 1965 was the year the Stones broke another # 1 in the U.K. with “The Last Time” and broke the leading 10 in the U.S. with the exact same song. The Stones next single, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” held the # 1 spot for four weeks and then went on to being their most famous songs ever.
With the release of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper,” it appeared every band started to determine themselves against the landmark recording – including the Stones. In December of ’67, the Stones released “Their Satanic Majesties Request” – panned as an “enthusiastic mess.” The following year the Stones returned to their roots with the release of “Jumping Jack Flash.” The tune landed them a # 3 hit. “Beggar’s Banquet” was hailed as the band’s finest accomplishment.
On June 9, 1969, Brian Jones announced he was leaving the group stating: “I no longer see eye to eye with the others over the discs we are cutting.” Within a week, Jones was replaced by Mick Taylor (ex-John Mayall guitar player).
More misfortune will strike the group when the Stones provided a totally free “thank-you America” show at California’s Altmont Speedway. A young black fan, Merideth Hunter, was stabbed to death by members of the Hell’s Angels motor cycle gang. The Stones had actually hired the Hell’s Angels – on the guidance of the Grateful Dead – as security for the occasion. The murder was photographed by the Maysles siblings in their documentary “Gimmie Shelter.”
As a result of public protest, “Sympathy for the Devil” was dropped from the set-list for the next six years. The band had really been playing “Under My Thumb” when the murder took place.
In 1970, the Stones formed their own record label – Rolling Stones Records and launched “Sticky Fingers,” which reached # 1 in 1971. The cd likewise introduced fans to the Andy Warhol designed “lips and lolling tongue logo design.”
That same year Jagger wed Nicaraguan fashion design Bianca Perez Morena de Macias. In March, 1977, Richards and his common-law other half, Anita Pallenberg were apprehended in Canada for possession of heroin. The arrest endangered the future of the Stones – but Richards was given a suspended sentence and subsequently kicked his practice in 1978.
Almost three decades after the group was formed, the Stones advanced into the nineties. The early half of the nineties saw Stones solo albums from Richards and Jagger, but it was apparent that fans were more interested in the two artists as a team. In ’94, two years after bassist Bill Wyman’s departure, the group released “Voodoo Lounge.”
The critically hailed album was the first under the group’s brand-new multi-million dollar handle Virgin Records. The deal also offered Virgin the rights to a few of the Stones most renowned works consisting of “Exile on Main Street,” “Sticky Fingers,” and Some Girls.” The cd won the Stones a 1994 Grammy Award for Best Album.