THE ROLLING STONES: ARTIST OF THE MONTH FOR JULY
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TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE ROLLING STONES:
- They formed in London in 1962. In June of that year, the line-up was: Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (guitar and other instruments), Keith Richards (guitar), Ian Stewart (Keyboard), Dick Taylor (Bass), and Tony Chapman (Drums). Bill Wyman took over on bass in December 1962 and Charlie Watts became the drummer in January 1963.
- They (Jagger, Richards, Jones, Stewart, Taylor & Chapman) played their first gig on July 12 1962 at Marquee Club. They were billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”.
- The Rolling Stones first U.S. tour in 1964 wasn’t as successful as The Beatles’ first. The band’s debut lp wasn’t a big hit as it was in the U.K., but they were getting a lot of media publicity and attracting attention. When they appeared on the Dean Martin show, Martin poked fun of their appearance and music. The band also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. But thanks to the commotion it caused, Sullivan banned them from future visits. It didn’t last long- the Stones would return.
- Their first album in the U.K. (released April 16, 1964) was “The Rolling Stones”. Record companies often re-configured releases for the U.S. Market. Their first North American release (May 30, 1964) was called “England’s Newest Hitmakers”. Both releases were mainly comprised of cover versions. The Jagger-Richards songwriting team hadn’t started to make it’s mark.
- Brian Jones left the band in 1969 after numerous problems. His drug use had become an issue and he was unable to get a U.S. Visa. His musical contributions had dwindled.His girlfriend Anita Pallenburg had left him for Keith Richards. The band agreed to let Jones announce he was quitting, but would return in the future if he wanted to. Less than a month later, he was found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Sussex (July 3 1969).
- Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones on Guitar. He stayed with the band until 1974 but felt his contributions weren’t being appreciated. He was also frustrated by Keith Richards drug use and the band’s lifestyle in general. The Stones were starting to record “Black And Blue” so they invited assorted guitarists to join the sessions as an audition. Ronnie Wood was the unanimous choice.
- The band wanted to put on a free music show in the spirit of Woodstock, so on December 6, 1969, at the end of a North American tour, they held it at the Altamont Speedway (60 km east of San Francisco). The Stones were the organizer, host and headliner of the Altamont Free Music Festival, which also featured Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grateful Dead were supposed to play, but they backed out when they saw that violence was escalating at the site. Approximately 300,000 fans attended and Hells Angels were brought in to provide security. After members discovered that a fan called Meredith Hunter was armed, they stabbed and beat him to death. The movie “Gimme Shelter” documents the events at Altamont.
- In the early 70′s after releasing Sticky Fingers, The band moved to a Villa in the south of France. They were advised to do this to escape Britain’s harsh tax laws. Using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, they recorded “Exile on Main Street” in the basement.
- They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
- In the 60′s there were a few drug busts that put the band on the front pages of papers, but a famous one happened in Canada in 1977. The band was ready to rehearse in Toronto but had to wait for Keith Richards to arrive with his family. Richards was addicted to heroin at the time and hadn’t shown up. On Feb 24 he was detained at Toronto airport when Customs found a burnt spoon and hash residue in his possession. Three days later, the RCMP arrived at the Richards’ hotel room with an arrest warrant for Keith’s partner Anita Pallenburg in connection with the airport bust. They discovered 22 grams of heroin in the room and charged Richards with importing narcotics into Canada. The band went on to play the 2 shows in Toronto, made even more famous when Margaret Trudeau, the then-wife of Prime Minister Trudeau partied with the band after the show.
The two Toronto shows were held at the El Mocambo and were not advertised. Most of the audience thought they’d won tickets to be part of an April Wine recording and were amazed to find themselves at a Stones show instead.
The drug case against Richards dragged on for over a year. He faced a minimum 7 years in jail but in the end, he was given a suspended sentence and was ordered to play two free concerts for the CNIB in Oshawa. Both shows featured the Rolling Stones and The New Barbarians, a group that Ronnie Wood had put together to promote his latest solo album and which Richards joined.
TEN THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE ROLLING STONES:
- According to Keith Richards, Brian Jones christened the band during a phone call to Jazz News. When asked for a band name, Jones saw a Muddy Waters LP lying on the floor and one of the tracks was “Rollin’ Stone”.
- Among the musicians considered as a replacement for guitarist Mick Taylor were Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck and Rory Gallagher. Ronnie Wood was offered a place in the band before 1975 but declined the offer because he wanted to stay with The Faces. Fellow former Faces member Rod Stewart offered to make bets with friends that Woods would never join the Stones. Wood was a salaried employee until Bill Wyman left the group and Wood finally became a full member of the Rolling Stones’ partnership.
- The band might thank The Beatles for their first record contract. Apparently, Decca Records regretted missing the boat and turning down the Fab Four. Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham was able to negotiate a very good deal for his band.
- The video of the single “Anybody Seen My Baby?” featured Angelina Jolie as guest. According to a recent biography, Mick Jagger was smitten by Jolie and tried to win her over, even though he was married to Jerry Hall at the time.
- Andrew Loog Oldham was only 19 when he became the band’s manager. He couldn’t hold the correct license and had to partner with an agent called Eric Easton. Oldham’s mother had to sign the contract on behalf of her son. Oldham made a lot of changes to the band in the early years. He ousted keyboard player Ian Stewart because he didn’t fit the image he wanted for the band. He changed their name from the Rollin’ Stones to The Rolling Stones and dressed them in matching suits. It was Oldham who wanted the Stones to be the nasty version of the Beatles. He also encouraged Jagger and Richards to write their own songs, knowing it would make the act more profitable.
- In the early ’50′s, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were friends and classmates at at primary School in Dartford, Kent. They families moved apart and they re-connected in 1960 after a chance meeting at the Dartford train station where they discovered a common love of music.
- When you see “Nanker Phelge” as a songwriting credit, it’s the pen name for songs written by the entire group. The production credit “Glimmer Twins” refers to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
- The song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” featured vocals by the London Bach Choir. The choir was so upset by the content on the album “Let It Bleed” that they asked that their name be removed from the the credits. They later retracted that request.
- The Rolling Stones were the first major recording artists to broadcast a concert over the Internet. It wasn’t a true webcast, but on November 18 1994, they broadcast a 20-minute performance video.
- Drummer Charlie Watts has been in one of the longest Rock N Roll marriages ever. It’s been almost 48 years since he married Shirley Ann Shepherd. Insiders say he’s been faithful to her, despite numerous road trips laced with parties and groupies. While on tour in 1972, the Stones were invited to the Playboy Mansion and Watts spent his time in the games room and away from the plentiful ladies.