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Rolling Stones

In 1960, Mick Jagger (born 26 July 1943), joined the band Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys, while a student at the London School of Economics. Shortly afterwards, Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943), who had known Jagger at primary school, also joined the band. Mick Jagger also occasionally performed with Alexis Lorner's Blues Incorporated where he met Brian Jones.

The Rolling Stones in 1963
The Rolling Stones in 1963

Brian Jones (born 28 February 1942) despite a very high I.Q. and great musical talents, had adopted a rebellious lifestyle, fathering two illegitimate children and  running away to Scandanavia by the time he was 16. On returning to England, he joined The Ramrods as a guitarist and then played harmonica and guitar with Blues Incorporated. (He also played organ, marimbas, sitar, dulcimer, recorder, bells, saxophone and Mellotron on recordings) 

Jones was keen to form his own group and he in 1962 organised a group, under the name The Rolling Stones, to perform a gig at the Marquee Club. Jones' group included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and  pianist Ian Stewart. However, they did not form a permanent group until the following year when they recruited Charlie Watts from Blues Incorporated and Bill Wyman (through auditions).

Charlie Watts, born 2 June 1941, was a very talented drummer and lover of jazz. He always seems uncomfortable with the wild, rock star image developed by the Rolling Stones. Bill Wyman, born William Perks on 24 October 1936, was a member of The Cliftons when recruited to The Rolling Stones as bass guitarist. 

The band was heard by Andrew Loog Oldham who became their manager. Oldham negotiated a recording contract with Decca and the group's first record, Come On, became a minor hit. 

Oldham promoted the wild image of the band by having them abandon uniform stage dress and by sacking Ian Stewart on the grounds that he looked "too normal". Despite not appearing with the band in photos or on album covers, Stewart still played piano on stage and on  their recordings.

The Rolling Stones initial recordings and tours of Britain and Europe, performing mainly cover versions of blues songs, were highly successful, provoking minor riots in some places. But it was not until they began performing more rock oriented compositions by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard that they achieved great success in the U.S. Their first such single, The Last Time, reached the top ten and their next single, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, became number one.

The Rolling Stones remained second in popularity only to the Beatles throughout the late sixties. They were surrounded by almost continual publicity including censorship of their songs, such as Let's Spend the Night Together, drug busts of Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and gossip about Mick Jagger's relationship with Marianne Faithful.

In 1968, the Rolling Stones attempted to get onto the psychedelic bandwagon with the album Their Satanic Majesties Request, which received a lukewarm response. Shortly afterwards, they sacked Andrew Oldhan as manager, replacing him with Andrew Klein, an American accountant and returning to a driving rock sound, with Keith Richards increasingly using the blues technique of open G tunings to give the band its distinctive sound.

The "psychedelic" Rolling Stones in 1969
The Rolling Stones in 1969

By 1969, the group had become dominated by Jagger and Richards while Brian Jones became disinterested in perfrming. They decided to replace Jones with guitarist, Mick Taylor from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Shortly afterwards Jones was found drowned, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, in his swimming pool.  To commemorate Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones gave a free concert in Hyde Park, London, which was attended by 350,000.

Later in the year, they gave another free concert in the Altamont Speedway in San Francisco. at which a member of the audience is stabbed to death by Hell's Angels who had been hired as security guards. These incidents seemed to have begun a toning down of the Rolling Stones' wild image but their huge concerts, successful albums, singles and, later, videos, continued through the seventies, eighties and nineties.

In 1971, Mick Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macias. Mick and Bianca have one child, Jade, and two grandchildren. From 1975, Mick had a relationship with model Jerry Hall, which led to their marriage in 1990 and produced three children, Elizabeth, James and Georgia. Their marriage was annulled in 1999. From 1985 to 1989, Mick attempted to develop a solo career. He had only limited success but sparked a feud with Keith Richards. 

Mick Jagger in 1999
Mick Jagger (1990)

During the period of his feud with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards worked with Chuck Berry and Aretha Frankilin and produced a solo album. In 1983, Keith married model Patti Hansen. They have two children. Keith also had three children, one of whom died as an infant, with Anita Pallenberg with whom he had a de facto marriage between 1967 and 1979. Anita had been Brian Jones' girlfriend. They have one grandchild.

In 1985, Charlie Watts formed a Big Band with toured the U.S. playing jazz. Although continuing to work with the Rolling Stones, he formed a jazz quintet in 1991 which has made a series of highly acclaimed recordings. Charlie has been married to artist Shirley Shepherd since 1964. They have one child and one grandchild. Charlie, who worked as a commercial artist before joining the Rolling Stones, is responsible for their album covers, stage designs and logos.

In 1983, Bill Wyman separated from his second wife, Astrid, (He had previously been married to Diane, with whom he had a son.) after meeting the 13 year-old Mandy Smith, whom he married when she turned 18. (Bill was 52.) They divorced a year later. Bill quit the Rolling Stones in 1993. He was replaced by Darryl Jones. After leaving the Rolling Stones, Bill established a chain of rock & roll restaurants, The Sticky Fingers. He married Susan Accosta with whom he has had two daughters. He formed a new band, The Rhythm Kings, in 1997.

Bill Wyman in the 1990s
Bill Wyman & family (1990s)

The "sixth Stone" pianist Ian Stewart died of a stoke in 1985. 

Mick Taylor left the Rolling Stones in 1974 to pursue a solo career as a guitarist and composer. He was replaced by Ronnie Wood, the guitarist from Rod Stewart's group, The Faces. 

The Rolling Stones in 1990
The Rolling Stones in 1990

Rolling Stones Memorabilia now available (at eBay):

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