EXCLUSIVE content from: Rolling Stones: Views from the Inside/Outside
We have photos and a clipping from career spanning book
We've got exclusive shots and clippings from the beginning of a brand new eBook, 50 Years: The Rolling Stones – Views from the Inside, Views from the Outside. It's a massive two-part collection spanning the band’s career. The ebook includes feature articles from Rolling Stone, The Daily Mail, and Daily Express with everyone from girlfriends and wives to The Stones themselves.
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'The Rolling Stones' pose for a portrait in a boat in 1964. (L-R) Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman.
At the beginning of 1962, Britain barely figured as an influence on the rest of the world of popular music. By the end of the year the fuse was lit for an unprecedented explosion of creativity that would turn the entire music business upside down. At this stage, "pop music" - especially "pop music" in the shape of rock'n'roll - was still regarded as a second-rate and largely disposable noise, even within the entertainment industry itself. That year, a bunch of spotty blues, and rhythm & blues fans from Liverpool and London would set in motion a process of change that transformed this perception dramatically and swiftly. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones would create a new, artistic language uniquely suited to reflect the concerns, hopes, and fears of their generation.
Cannes, France, 21st May 1971: Keith Richards pictured with his wife Anita Pallenberg and their two children at the Cannes Film Festival
On the morning of 17 October 1961, eighteen-year-old Mick Jagger was waiting on the platform of Dartford railway station for the train to take him the 16 miles into central London, where he was a mediocre student at the highly respected London School of Economics. He was clutching a Chuck Berry album, Rockin' at the Hops, and The Best of Muddy Waters under his arm. Shortly afterwards, seventeen- year-old Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943) arrived on the same platform on his way to Sidcup Art College. The two young men recognised each other from primary school. Studying the records on the train, Richards became even more envious of Jagger when he heard that he had actually seen Buddy Holly live in concert.
Brian Jones in his element, solo's at all night gig, Alexandra Palace, London, 26th of June 1964, the release date of the Rolling Stones hit 'Its All Over Now'
Two years earlier, Keith had received his first guitar as a gift from his mother. He was the only child of Bert, a factory worker, and Doris, whose mother had been the mayor of the Municipal Borough of Walthamstow (which is now part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest). Keith was a loner who was often bullied and the older he got, the more difficult he found it to accept the teachers’ authoritarian rule. Music ran on his mother's side of the family; his grandfather had toured Britain with a big band, Gus Dupree and his Boys. Bert, on the other hand, was not keen on his son's growing interest in the guitar, especially after he was expelled from school for a variety of misdemeanors. As in school, two different worlds came up against each other in the family. "My parents were brought up in the Depression, when if you got something, you just kept it and you held it and that was it." Richards wrote in his autobiography. "Bert was the most unambitious man in the world. Meanwhile, I was a kid and I didn't even know what ambition meant. I just felt the constraints. The society and everything I was growing up in was just too small for me." By the time Richards arrived at art college – it was the inspired idea of an art teacher to send him there – he was deeply engrossed in music. Having started with Little Richard and Elvis, he had moved on via Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Marty Wilde and the like, to Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Lightnin' Hopkins. British art colleges, then as now, have always been a fertile breeding ground for musical ideas. It was the one side of his education Keith relished.
28th June 1967: Mick Jaggerpictured in handcuffs after a court case in West Sussex remanded him in custody after he had been found guilty of unauthorised possession of drugs at the house of group member Keith Richard
Just how little notice the rest of the world took of British musical endeavours is illustrated by the fact that on 26 May 1962, "Stranger on the Shore" (by the bowler-hatted clarinettist, Acker Bilk) became the first British recording ever to reach the top of the US Billboard charts. In the meantime, Keith Richards had joined a band with Mick Jagger, a guitar player called Bob Beckwith, and their mutual friend Dick Taylor (who would later form the fabulously underrated Pretty Things). Elsewhere, in West London, Alexis Korner was taking over Sunday nights at the Ealing (trad) Jazz Club. His band, Blues Incorporated, included Charlie Watts on drums and Ian Stewart on piano. They were too loud for the purist blues fans, too rock'n'roll for jazz fans, too jazzy for rock'n'roll fans and much, much too wild for pop fans. Brian Jones and Dick Hattrell read an advert for the gig in the New Musical Express and hitchhiked to London for the opening night on 17 March 1962. A week later, Brian Jones took to the stage himself as a guest of Blues Incorporated, calling himself Elmo Lewis. The following week he did the same. On 7 April 1962, following his rendition of Elmore James's "Dust My Broom", he was congratulated personally for his slide guitar style by Mick Jagger, who had travelled to Ealing with Keith Richards and Dick Taylor. As far as anyone knew, no one else in Britain played slide guitar at the time.
On 2 May 1962, the trade magazine Jazz News published Brian Jones's advertisement for musicians to form his own rhythm and blues band. Ian Stewart was amongst the first to show an interest. Stewart (18 July 1938 – 12 December 1985) had been born in Scotland, but grew up in comfortable surroundings in Sutton, Surrey. Holding down a job as a clerk by day, his life was devoted to music at night. A jazz and blues fan from a very early age, he had become one of the best boogie-woogie pianists around. Stewart was deeply impressed by Brian Jones's "deadly serious" attitude, and the fact that he wanted to play the songs of Jimmy Reed, an artist Stewart had never heard of. Meanwhile, Mick Jagger was announced as a new member of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. The arrangement didn't last long. In June, Jagger threw in his lot with Brian's embryonic band on the condition that his pal Keith Richards was also in. For good measure, Dick Taylor came along for the ride, too.
Keith Richards performs at the Aragone Ballroom in Chicago, Illinois in 1987
The popularity of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated had swiftly grown to the point where they were invited to perform for a BBC live broadcast. The date was 12 July, a Thursday, and it clashed with their regular session at the Marquee Jazz Club, which was then at 165 Oxford Street. Brian Jones was invited to step into the breach with whatever outfit he chose to bring along. Whilst on the telephone to Jazz News to convey the information, he was asked to provide a name for the group. He said the first thing that sprang to mind: The Rollin' Stones. It was the title of the first song on the album that was lying on the floor, The Best of Muddy Waters. The band’s line-up on that historic night at the Marquee consisted of Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards and Elmo Lewis (guitars), Dick Taylor (bass), Ian Stewart (piano) and Mick Avory (later with the Kinks, drums). It is not clear why Tony Chapman, their regular drummer, was not playing with them that night.
"Rhythm and blues was a very important distinction in the '60s," writes Keith Richards. "Either you were blues and jazz, or you were rock and roll, but rock and roll had died and gone pop... Rhythm and blues was a term we pounced on because it meant really powerful blues jump bands from Chicago. It broke through the barriers. We used to soften the blow for the purists who liked our music but didn't want to approve of it, by saying it's not rock and roll, its rhythm and blues. Totally pointless categorisation of something that is the same shit..."