The Rolling Stones!

Gary: “Traditionally, I avoid the really big artists for the simple reasons, there is so much written about them already, greater experts than myself have entered into this arena and I just think it is overkill. Yet, I feel compelled to include such artists because they where, and are, such a critical part of “My” world of music.

I will get the one huge controversy over with immediately, Stones or Beatles: the Stones played bigger venue’s, played much longer together, and they started as a Blues Group, my favourites; BUT for me the Beatles made the biggest impact on the world of music. That’s my opinion (Gary) and we will leave it like that.

When the Rolling Stones came on the scene, in North America in late 1963, I was 23, single, was in the work force and I was still part of the “Scene”. The first Song that I ever heard by the Rolling Stones, was Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. Their early recordings of “Walking the Dog” “What a Shame” “Route 66” “Little Red Rooster” and so on, they were British, but were obviously influenced heavily by American Blues Artists.

I remember being in Washington DC, with my new American Girlfriend when I heard their first original composition (for me) “Satisfaction” and they never looked backed. They have had controversy, tragedy and a close tie to Toronto over the years, so here is Gary’s look at “The Rolling Stones”.

Original Group:
  • Michael Philip Jagger – lead vocals – born July 26, 1943, Dartford, Kent, England
  • Keith Richard – Lead Guitar – born December 18, 1943, Dartford, Kent, England
  • Brian Jones – rhythm guitar/harmonica – born – February 28, 1942, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England Died July 3/ 1969
  • William Wyman – bass – born October 24, 1936 Siddenham, England
  • Charles Robert Watts – drums – born June 2 1941 Islington England

Brian Jones was replaced by Mick Taylor born January 17, 1948, Hertfordshire, England. He was replaced by Ron Wood Born June 1, 1947 London England

Mick Jagger Turns 60: The Rolling Stones pose Januaey 17, 1964 in London. From left to right, Brian Jones (1942 – 1969), Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman.

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Videos:

1964, one of their fist North American TV appearances /Oh Carol/ Mike Douglas show 1964/ watch the entire video, Mike Douglas had no idea what to do with them/


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Paint it Black / 1966 / 

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Satisfaction / unique performance 1965 /

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19th Nervous Breakdown / 1966 /

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Let’s Spend the Night together 1967 (Ed Sullivan asked them to change the words, they didn’t really /

Ed wanted “let’s spend some time together”, Not “let’s spend the night together”, but they did include it here and there

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1965 / when they were great, early performance /

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1969 / Madison Square Garden / Honky Tonk Women /

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1964 / When they knew how to Rock Tami Show / Around and Around /

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Hollywood Palace with Dean Martin/ I Just Want To Make Love To You/

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1967/ Get off My Cloud/

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Excerpts from the Ed Sullivan show/ with the controversial “Let’s Spend the Night Together“, Ed asked Mick to change the words to “Let’s spend some time together“, he said he would, be he did not/


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1990 London England/ Brown Sugar/
The Rolling Stones placed 41 Songs on the Billboard Top 40 list over the years. You will have to indulge me, Gary; I will give you some of the early songs that did not make the top 40, but these are songs that I loved and these are the songs I feel made the greatest impact.
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1. Not Fade Away/February 1964/ #48
2. What a Shame (Gary’s Favourite)/ December 1964
3. Can I get a Witness/ The 12×5 Album 1964
4. Route 66/ Album 1964
5. Heart of Stone/ December 1964
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And now for the Charted Songs:

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1. Time is on my Side/ London 9708/ Nov 1964/ #6
2. The Last Time/ London 9741/ April 1965/ #9
3. Satisfaction/ London 9766/ June 1965/ #1 (4)
4. Get Off My Cloud/ London 9792/ October 1965/ #1 (2)
5. As Tears go By/ London 9808/ January 1966
6. 19th Nervous Breakdown/ London 9823/ March 1966/ #2 (2)
7. Paint it Black/ London 901/May 1966/ #1 (2)
8. Ruby Tuesday/ London 904/ February 1967/
9. Jumpin Jack Flash/ London 908/ June 1968/ #3
10. Honky Tonk Women/ London 910/ July 1969/ #1 (4)
11. Brown Sugar/ Rolling St 19100/ May 1971/ #1 (4)
12. Tumbling Dice/ Rolling St 19103/ May 1972/ #7
13. Angie/ Rolling St 19105/ September 1973/ #1
14. Miss You/ Rolling St 19307/ June 1978/ #1
15. Emotional Rescue/ Rolling St 20001/ July 1980/ #3
16. Start Me Up/ Rolling St 21003/ August 1981/ #2 (3)
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I may have missed some your favourites, and for that I do apologize, but there are just too many songs. -Gary

By the time the Rolling Stones began calling themselves the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the late ’60s, they had already staked out an impressive claim on the title. As the self-consciously dangerous alternative to the bouncy Merseybeat of the Beatles in the British Invasion, the Stones had pioneered the gritty, hard-driving blues-based Rock & Roll that came to define hard rock.

With his preening machismo and latent maliciousness, Mick Jagger became the prototypical rock frontman, tempering his macho showmanship with a detached, campy irony.

Meanwhile, Keith Richards and Brian Jones wrote the blueprint for sinewy, interlocking rhythm guitars. Backed by the strong yet subtly swinging rhythm section of bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts, the Stones became the breakout band of the British blues scene, eclipsing such contemporaries as “the Animals” and “Them”.

Over the course of their career, the Stones never really abandoned blues, but as soon as they reached popularity in the U.K., they began experimenting musically, incorporating the British pop of contemporaries like the Beatles, Kinks, and the Who into their sound.After a brief dalliance with psychedelia, the Stones re-emerged in the late ’60s as a jaded, blues-soaked hard rock quintet.

The Stones always flirted with the seedy side of rock & roll, but as the hippie dream began to break apart, they exposed and reveled in the new rock culture. It wasn’t without difficulty, of course.

Shortly after he was fired from the group, Jones was found dead in a swimming pool, while at a 1969 free concert at Altamont, a concertgoer was brutally killed during the Stones’ show. But the Stones never stopped going.

For the next 30 years, they continued to record and perform, and while their records weren’t always blockbusters, they were never less than the most visible band of their era — certainly, none of their British peers continued to be as popular or productive as the Stones.

And no band since has proven to have such a broad fan base or far-reaching popularity, and it is impossible to hear any of the groups that followed them without detecting some sort of influence, whether it was musical or aesthetic.

Throughout their career, Mick Jagger (vocals) and Keith Richards (guitar, vocals) remained at the core of the Rolling Stones. The pair initially met as children at Dartford Maypole County Primary School.They drifted apart over the next ten years, eventually making each other’s acquaintance again in 1960, when they met through a mutual friend, Dick Taylor, who was attending Sidcup Art School with Richards.

At the time, Jagger was studying at the London School of Economics and playing with Taylor in the blues band “Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys”. Shortly afterward, Richards joined the band. Within a year, they had met Brian Jones (guitar, vocals), a Cheltenham native who had dropped out of school to play saxophone and clarinet.

By the time he became a fixture on the British blues scene, Brian Jones had already had a wild life. He ran away to Scandinavia when he was 16; by that time, he had already fathered two illegitimate children.

He returned to Cheltenham after a few months, where he began playing with the Ramrods. Shortly afterward, he moved to London, where he played in Alexis Korner’s group, Blues Inc. Jones quickly decided he wanted to form his own group and advertised for members; among those he recruited was the heavyset blues pianist Ian Stewart.

As he played with his group, Jones also moonlighted under the name “Elmo Jones” at the Ealing Blues Club. At the pub, he became reacquainted with Blues, Inc., which now featured drummer Charlie Watts, and, on occasion, cameos by Jagger and Richards.

Jones became friends with Jagger and Richards, and they soon began playing together with Taylor and Stewart; during this time, Mick was elevated to the status of Blues, Inc.’s lead singer.

With the assistance of drummer Tony Chapman, the fledgling band recorded a demo tape. After the tape was rejected by EMI, Taylor left the band to attend the Royal College of Art; he would later form the Pretty Things. Before Taylor’s departure, the group named itself “the Rolling Stones“, borrowing the moniker from a Muddy Waters song.

The Rolling Stones gave their first performance at the Marquee Club in London on July 12, 1962. At the time, the group consisted of Jagger, Richards, Jones, pianist Ian Stewart, drummer Mick Avory, and Dick Taylor, who had briefly returned to the fold.

Weeks after the concert, Taylor left again and was replaced by Bill Wyman, formerly of the Cliftons. Avory also left the group — he would later join the Kinks — and the Stones hired Tony Chapman, who proved to be unsatisfactory.

After a few months of persuasion, the band recruited Charlie Watts, who had quit Blues, Inc. to work at an advertising agency once the group’s schedule became too hectic.

By 1963, the band’s lineup had been set, and the Stones began an eight-month residency at the Crawdaddy Club, which proved to substantially increase their fan base. This also attracted the attention of Andrew Loog Oldham, who became the Stones’ manager (signing them from underneath Crawdaddy’s Giorgio Gomelsky).

Although Oldham didn’t know much about music, he was gifted at promotion, and he latched upon the idea of fashioning the Stones as the bad-boy opposition to the clean-cut Beatles. At his insistence, the medium yet meek Stewart was forced out of the group, since his appearance contrasted with the rest of the group. Stewart didn’t disappear from the Stones; he became one of their key roadies and played on their albums and tours until his death in 1985.

With Oldham’s help, the Rolling Stones signed with Decca Records, and that June, they released their debut single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On.” The single became a minor hit, reaching number 21, and the group supported it with appearances on festivals and package tours.At the end of the year, they released a version of Lennon-McCartney’s “I Wanna Be Your Man” that soared into the Top 15.

Early in 1964, they released a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” which shot to number three. “Not Fade Away” became their first American hit, reaching number 48 that spring.

By that time, the Stones were notorious in their homeland. Considerably rougher and sexier than the Beatles, the Stones were the subject of numerous sensationalistic articles in the British press, culminating in a story about the band urinating in public.

All of these stories cemented the Stones as a dangerous, rebellious band in the minds of the public, and had the effect of beginning a manufactured rivalry between them and the Beatles, which helped the group rocket to popularity in the U.S.

In the spring of 1964, the Stones released their eponymous debut album, which was followed by “It’s All Over Now,” their first U.K. number one.

LP: The Rolling Stones

That summer, they toured America to riotous crowds, recording the Five by Five EP at Chess Records in Chicago in the midst of the tour.

EP: Five By Five

By the time it was over, they had another number one U.K. single with Howlin’ Wolf’s “Little Red Rooster.” Although the Stones had achieved massive popularity, Oldham decided to push Jagger and Richards into composing their own songs, since they — and his publishing company — would receive more money that way.

In June of 1964, the group released their first original single, “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back),” which became their first American Top 40 hit.

Shortly afterward, a version of Irma Thomas’ “Time Is on My Side” became their first U.S. Top Ten. It was followed by “The Last Time” in early 1965, a number one U.K. and Top Ten U.S. hit that began a virtually uninterrupted string of Jagger-Richards hit singles.

Still, it wasn’t until the group released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in the summer of 1965 that they were elevated to superstars. Driven by a fuzz-guitar riff designed to replicate the sound of a horn section, “Satisfaction” signaled that Jagger and Richards had come into their own as songwriters, breaking away from their blues roots and developing a signature style of big, bluesy riffs and wry, sardonic lyrics.

Satisfaction stayed at number one for four weeks and began a string of Top Ten singles that ran for the next two years, including such classics as “Get off My Cloud,” “19th Nervous Breakdown,” “As Tears Go By,” and “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?

By 1966, the Stones had decided to respond to the Beatles’ increasingly complex albums with their first album of all-original material, Aftermath.

LP: Aftermath

Due to Brian Jones’ increasingly exotic musical tastes, the record boasted a wide range of influences, from the sitar-drenched “Paint It, Black” to the Eastern drones of “I’m Going Home.”

These eclectic influences continued to blossom on Between the Buttons (1967), the most pop-oriented album the group ever made.

LP: Between The Buttons

Ironically, the album’s release was book-ended by two of the most notorious incidents in the band’s history. Before the record was released, the Stones performed the suggestive “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” the B-side to the medieval ballad “Ruby Tuesday,” on The Ed Sullivan Show, which forced Jagger to alter the song’s title to an incomprehensible mumble, or else face being banned.

In February of 1967, Jagger and Richards were arrested for drug possession, and within three months, Jones was arrested on the same charge. All three were given suspended jail sentences, and the group backed away from the spotlight as the summer of love kicked into gear in 1967.

Jagger, along with his then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, went with the Beatles to meet the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; they were also prominent in the international broadcast of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”

Appropriately, the Stones’ next single, “Dandelion“/”We Love You,” was a psychedelic pop effort, and it was followed by their response to Sgt. Pepper, Their Satanic Majesties Request, which was greeted with lukewarm reviews.

The Stones’ infatuation with psychedelia was brief. By early 1968, they had fired Andrew Loog Oldham and hired Allen Klein as their manager. The move coincided with their return to driving rock & roll, which happened to coincide with Richards’ discovery of open tunings, a move that gave the Stones their distinctively fat, powerful sound.

The revitalized Stones were showcased on the malevolent single “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” which climbed to number three in May 1968.

Their next album, Beggar’s Banquet, was finally released in the fall, after being delayed for five months due its controversial cover art of a dirty, graffiti-laden restroom.

LP: Beggar’s Banquet

An edgy record filled with detours into straight blues and campy country, Beggar’s Banquet was hailed as a masterpiece among the fledgling rock press. Although it was seen as a return to form, few realized that while it opened a new chapter of the Stones’ history, it also was the closing of their time with Brian Jones.

Throughout the recording of Beggar’s Banquet, Jones was on the sidelines due to his deepening drug addiction and his resentment of the dominance of Jagger and Richards.

Jones left the band on June 9, 1969, claiming to be suffering from artistic differences between himself and the rest of the band. On July 3, 1969 — less than a month after his departure — Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. The coroner ruled that it was “death by misadventure,” yet his passing was the subject of countless rumours over the next two years.

By the time of his death, the Stones had already replaced Brian Jones with Mick Taylor, a former guitarist for John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He wasn’t featured on “Honky Tonk Women,” a number one single released days after Jones’ funeral, and he contributed only a handful of leads on their next album, Let It Bleed.

LP: Let It Bleed

Released in the fall of 1969, Let It Bleed was comprised of sessions with Jones and Taylor, yet it continued the direction of Beggar’s Banquet, signalling that a new era in the Stones’ career had begun, one marked by ragged music and an increasingly wasted sensibility.

Following Jagger’s filming of Ned Kelly in Australia during the first part of 1969, the group launched its first American tour in three years. Throughout the tour — the first one where they were billed as the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band — the group broke attendance records, but it was given a sour note when the group staged a free concert at Altamont Speedway.

On the advice of the Grateful Dead, the Stones hired Hell’s Angels as security, but that plan backfired tragically. The entire show was unorganized and in shambles, yet it turned tragic when the Angels killed a young black man, Meredith Hunter, during the Stones’ performance.

In the wake of the public outcry, the Stones again retreated from the spotlight and dropped “Sympathy for the Devil” from their play list, which some critics ignorantly claimed incited the violence, from their set.

As the group entered hiatus, they released the live Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! in the fall of 1970. It was their last album for Decca/London, and they formed Rolling Stones Records, which became a subsidiary of Atlantic Records.

LP: Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!

During 1970, Jagger starred in Nicolas Roeg’s cult film Performance and married Nicaraguan model Bianca Perez Morena de Macias, and the couple quickly entered high society.

Mick and Bianca

As Jagger was jet-setting, Richards was slumming, hanging out with country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons. Keith wound up having more musical influence on 1971’s Sticky Fingers, the first album the Stones released though their new label.

LP: Sticky Fingers

At this time, the famous “Tongue and Lips” logo was designed by John Pasche and appeared on the Sticky Fingers cover art.

Following the Sticky Fingers release, the band retreated to France on tax exile, where they shared a house and recorded a double album, Exile on Main St.

LP: Exile on Main St

Upon its May 1972 release, Exile on Main St. was widely panned, but over time it came to be considered one of the group’s defining moments.

Following Exile, the Stones began to splinter in two, as Jagger concentrated on being a celebrity and Richards sank into drug addiction. The band remained popular throughout the ’70s, but their critical support waned.

Goats Head Soup, released in 1973, reached number one,

LP: Goats Head Soup

as did 1974’s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but neither record was particularly well received.

LP: It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll

Taylor left the band after It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the group recorded their next album as they auditioned new lead guitarists, including Jeff Beck. They finally settled on Ron Wood, former lead guitarist for the Faces and Rod Stewart.

In 1976, the same year they released Black n’ Blue, which only featured Wood on a handful of cuts.

LP: Black n’ Blue

During the mid- and late ’70s, all the Stones pursued side projects, with both Wyman and Wood releasing solo albums with regularity.

Richards was arrested in Canada in 1977 with his common-law wife Anita Pallenberg for heroin possession. After his arrest, he cleaned up and was given a suspended sentence the following year.

The band reconvened in 1978 to record Some Girls, an energetic response to punk, new wave, and disco.

LP: Some Girls

The record and its first single, the thumping disco-rocker “Miss You,” both reached number one, and the album restored the group’s image.

However, the group squandered that goodwill with the follow-up, Emotional Rescue, a number one record that nevertheless received lukewarm reviews upon its 1980 release.

LP: Emotional Rescue

Tattoo You, released the following year, fared better both critically and commercially, as the singles “Start Me Up” and “Waiting on a Friend” helped the album spend nine weeks at number one.

LP: Tattoo You

The Stones supported Tattoo You with an extensive stadium tour captured in Hal Ashby’s movie Let’s Spend the Night Together and the 1982 live album Still Life.

Tattoo You proved to be the last time the Stones completely dominated the charts and the stadiums. Although the group continued to sell out concerts in the ’80s and ’90s, their records didn’t sell as well as previous efforts, partially because the albums suffered due to Jagger and Richards’ notorious mid-’80s feud.

LP: Undercover

Starting with 1983’s Undercover, the duo conflicted about which way the band should go, with Jagger wanting the Stones to follow contemporary trends and Richards wanting them to stay true to their rock roots. As a result, Undercover was a mean-spirited, unfocused record that received relatively weak sales and mixed reviews.

Released in 1986, Dirty Work suffered a worse fate, since Jagger was preoccupied with his fledgling solo career.

LP: Dirty Work

Once Jagger decided that the Stones would not support Dirty Work with a tour, Richards decided to make his own solo record with 1988’s Talk Is Cheap. Appearing a year after Jagger’s failed second solo album, Talk Is Cheap received good reviews and went gold, prompting Jagger and Richards to reunite late in 1988.

Keith Richard’s LP: Talk Is Cheap

The following year, the Stones released Steel Wheels, which was received with good reviews, but the record was overshadowed by its supporting tour, which grossed over 140 million dollars and broke many box office records.

LP: Steel Wheels

In 1991, the live album Flashpoint, which was culled from the Steel Wheels shows, was released.

LP: Flash Point

Following the release of Flashpoint, Bill Wyman left the band; he published a memoir, Stone Alone, within a few years of leaving.

The Stones didn’t immediately replace Wyman, since they were all working on solo projects; this time, there was none of the animosity surrounding their mid-’80s projects.

The group reconvened in 1994 with bassist Darryl Jones, who had previously played with Miles Davis and Sting, to record and release the Voodoo Lounge album, produced by Don Was. This album received the band’s strongest reviews in years, and its accompanying tour was even more successful than the Steel Wheels tour.

LP: Voodoo Lounge

On top of being more successful than its predecessor, Voodoo Lounge also won the Stones their first Grammy for Best Rock Album.

Upon the completion of the Voodoo Lounge tour, the Stones released the live, “unplugged” album Stripped in the fall of 1995.

LP: Stripped

Similarly, after wrapping up their tour in support of 1997’s Bridges to Babylon, the group issued yet another live set, No Security, the following year.

LP: No Security

A high-profile greatest-hits tour in 2002 was launched despite the lack of a studio album to support, and its album document Live Licks appeared in 2004.

A year later, the group issued A Bigger Bang, their third effort with producer Don Was.

LP: A Bigger Bang

~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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2 responses to “The Rolling Stones!

  1. Their next singles, “Get Off of My Cloud” and “19th Nervous Breakdown” were also smash hits, and the band began a successful tour of the States. In New York, frenzied fans attacked their limousine, piling onto the top and causing the roof to cave in. In 1966, the Stones released the hugely successful and groundbreaking “Aftermath”, their first album of all original material. The sitar-tinged single “Paint It Black” showed the group moving in a new musical direction, and experimenting with new sounds, mostly at the urging of Jones. But they continued their attention-getting antics, such as appearing in drag on the record sleeve for a single, “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows”, looking not at all attractive and yet strangely comfortable.

  2. Pingback: Song “Walking the Dog” | Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

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