The Rolling Stones Biography
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Members include Mick Avory, (left group, 1962), drums; Mick Jagger,vocals;
Brian Jones, (died, 1969), guitar; Darryl Jones, (joined group, 1994),bass; Keith
Richards, guitar; Ian Stewart, (left group, 1962), piano;Dick Taylor, (left group,
1962), bass; Mick Taylor, (1969-74), guitar;Charlie Watts, drums, Ron Wood,
(joined group, 1975), guitar; and BillWyman, (left group, 1992), bass.
Addresses: Record company-Virgin, 30 West 21st Street, New York, NY 10010.
Arguably the most successful band in the history of rock music, the Rolling
Stones enjoyed unmatched fame-and infamy-for the better half of the 20th
century. In an effort to distinguish the band from the multitude of early 1960's
pop/rock groups, the Rolling Stones were marketed as a sort of anti-Beatles.
The Rolling Stones was founded by singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith
Richards in 1962. The two had attended the same primary school in their home
town of Dartford, England, but it wasn't until a chance meeting at a London train
station in 1960 that they realized they both shared a love for the blues and
decided to start a band. Jagger and Richards met up with guitarist Brian Jones,
who had played with the band Blues Inc. before leaving them to start up his own
band with Ian Stewart on piano. Jones and Stewart would later join Jagger and
Richards, along with drummer Mick Avory and bassist Dick Taylor to form the
original incarnation of the Rolling Stones. After playing their first concert
atLondon's Marquee Club, Taylor and Avory left the band and were replaced by
bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts.
With their line-up intact, the Rolling Stones began an eight month residency at
the Crawdaddy Club, which not only increased their exposure but introduced
them to Andrew Loog Oldham, who would soon become their manager. Oldham
had a knack for promotion, and it was he who solidified the image of the rough
and ready Rolling Stones. He told the band to dump Stewart because he did not
fit into the lean, mean, street fighting image of the Rolling Stones. The band
acquiesced and reluctantly made Stewart their road manager. According to John
Lahr of New Republic, the Rolling Stones appropriated "the black truculence of
the early blues forms they scrupulously imitated. They gave off none of the
familiar signals of the buttoned-down establishment culture; and what's more,
these lower middle class white boys wanted, even strained to sound black. And
they succeeded ... the Stones were blues shouters who flayed the bourgeoisie, only
to become the new hipoisie. They epitomized the White Negro."
The Rolling Stones signed a recording contract with Decca in the spring of 1963
and began to record singles in earnest. Their first was "Come On," a Chuck Berry
cover that almost made the top 20, but it was their second single,"I Wanna Be
Your Man," that would put the Rolling Stones on the rock and roll map. That
song, which became a top15 hit in England, was given to the band by none other
than the Beatles' John Lennon and Paul McCartney. What may have appeared as
supreme irony at first glance, the nice Beatles helping the nasty Rolling Stones,
was in reality a sort of mutual appreciation society between the two bands. As
Richards told Jas Obrecht of Guitar Player, "We [the RollingStones and the
Beatles] would work with each other instead of against each other, which is very
interesting, becausefor the most part people were either a Beatles or a Stones
Into the Kitchen
In the spring of 1964, they released their debut album Rolling Stones, which
contained their first British numberone single, "It's All Over Now." Oldham told
the Rolling Stones that they needed to write their own material because the
reservoir of covers would eventually run dry. To facilitate the process, he locked
Jagger and Richards in a room until they came out with a song. Richards
described the incident to Obrecht: "Andrew locked Mick and myself in a kitchen
in this horrible little apartment we had. He said, 'You ain't comin' out,' and there
was no way out. We were inthe kitchen with some food and a couple of guitars,
but we couldn't get to the john so we had to come out with a song.... In that little
kitchen, Mick and I got hung up about writing songs."
Their second album, 12X5, released in 1964, contained the band's first two
American hits "Tell Me" and "Time ison My Side," which managed to crack the
American top ten. 1965 saw the release of Rolling Stones Now! and theirfirst self-
penned number one British hit, "The Last Time," which also made the top ten in
America. The seminal track,however, was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" which
announced the coming-out party for the Jagger/Richards songwriting team. The
smash hit of 1965, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," was the first of a long line of
bluesy, riff driven rock anthems that the Rolling Stones would become famous
for. Three more albums were released that year,December's Children, Out of Our
Heads, and Got It Live If You Want It.
1966 saw the continuing maturation of the Rolling Stones as a band, and Jagger
and Richards as songwriters. They released Aftermath, their first entirely
original, and most complex, album to date, which included the hit "Paint It
Black." With it's Indian influenced, sitar laced riff, "Paint It Black" was proof that
even the mighty Rolling Stones were not free from the Beatles sphere of
influence, as that band had begun recording with sitar earlier that year. A year
later, and despite the arrests of Jagger, Jones, and Richards on drug possession
charges, the Rolling Stones remained prolific, and by now eclectic, in their
output, releasing the overtly pop Between the Buttons, Flowers, and the tepidly
received psychedelic experiment, Their Satanic Majesties Request.
Triumph and Tragedy
Although the success of singles like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Get Off Of
My Cloud," and "As Tears GoBy" would place the Rolling Stones among the very
elite of British rock, major upheaval and tragedy would greet the band in 1968.
Allen Klein was brought in to manage the band after the dismissal of Oldham.
"Jumpin' Jack Flash"hopped to number three on the charts and it's parent album,
Beggar's Banquet was the band's biggest critical success to that point.
Unfortunately, where Beggars Banquet was the high water mark for the Rolling
Stones, it saw the demise of guitarist Jones. Craving the spotlight occupied by
Jagger and Richards, Jones developed an inferiority complex, not to mention a
drug habit. As Richards explained to Playboy's Stanley Booth, "Brian and I were
at odds from, oh, '65 through '66. At the time, Brian was in bad shape, far away
from the rest of the band. He needed help." Throughout the sessions for the
album, Jones' insecurity fueled an escalating drug problem which further
alienated him from the band. He was kicked out of the band on June 9, 1969 and,
in less than a month, was found dead in his swimming pool.
Having replaced Jones with ex-John Mayall Bluesbreakers guitarist Mick Taylor,
the Rolling Stones released Let It Bleed, which featured the work of both Jones
and Taylor, and the single "Gimme Shelter." The attendant tour for Let It Bleed,
the band's first American tour in three years, spawned more tragedy when a fan
was stabbed to death by a member of the Hell's Angles Motorcycle Club, who
were providing security for the free show at California's Altamont Speedway in
December, 1969. The subsequent live album, Get Yer Ya Ya's Out was the last the
Rolling Stones release on Decca, and for the next 20 years they would record for
their own label, Rolling Stone Records, beginning with 1971'sSticky Fingers. 1972
saw the release of double album Exile on Main Street which, despite early poor
reviews, would eventually be regarded as the band's watershed album.
Drugs, Fame, and Credibility
Drugs and fame consumed Richards and Jagger,, throughout the 1970s. Goat's
Head Soup came out in 1973 and was followed by It's Only Rock and Roll the
following year. Taylor left after that album and was replaced by former Faces
guitarist Ron Wood. While Jagger spent middle years of the 1970's jet-setting,
Richards was busy feeding his heroine addiction, and the Rolling Stones released
several forgettable albums, as did Wood and Wyman. In 1978, are rejuvenated
Rolling Stones released Some Girls which featured the disco-influenced, number
one single "Miss You." Some Girls' 1980 follow up, Emotional Rescue, was a
critical disappointment, but was certified platinum none the less. With 1981's
Tattoo You and the arena rock anthem, "Start Me Up," the band regained some of
the credibility it lost withEmotional Rescue, but would see it vanish once again
with 1983's Undercover and 1986's Dirty Work.
Jagger and Richards spent much of the 1980s feuding but by 1988, had started to
make amends, and 1989's Steel Wheels had the positive reviews to prove it. The
resulting tour provided the material for 1991's live album Flashback,after which
Wyman left the band. The Rolling Stones signed to Virgin in 1994 and released
the album, Voodoo Lounge,which continued the success of its predecessor.
Voodoo Lounge also earned the Rolling Stones their first ever GrammyAward, for
Best Rock Album of 1994.
After replacing Wyman with Darryl Jones in 1994, the band recorded Stripped,
an acoustic live album, and 1997'sBridges to Babylon, and with Jagger and
Richards at the helm, continued headlong through their fourth decade of rock
and roll. Richards once quipped to Obrecht that, "when we started the Rolling
Stones, we were just little kids, right? We felt we had some of the licks down, but
our aim was to turn other people on to Muddy Waters. I mean we were carrying
flags, idealistic teenage sort of stuff. There was no way we thought anybody was
really going to seriously listen to us. We just wanted to get a few people interested
to listening to the sort of stuff we thought they ought to listen to ... but that was
our aim-turn people on to the blues. If we could turn them on to Muddy and
Jimmy Reed and Howlin'Wolf and John Lee Hooker, then our job was done."
by Mary Alice Adams
The Rolling Stones's Career
Group formed in London, England, 1962; signed to Decca and released Rolling
Stones, 1964; releasedDecember's Children, 1965; released Aftermath, 1966;
released Their Satanic Majesties Request, 1967; releasedBeggar's Banquet, 1968;
Former guitarist Jones found dead in pool, band released Let it Bleed, 1969;
formed RollingStone Records and released, Sticky Fingers, 1971; released Exile
on Main Street, 1972; released It's Only Rock and Roll,1974; released Black and
Blue, 1976; released Some Girls, 1978; released Emotional Rescue, 1980; released
Tattoo You,1981; released Undercover, 1983; released Dirty Work, 1986;
released Steel Wheels, 1989; signed to Virgin and releasedVoodoo Lounge, 1994;
released Stripped, 1995; released Bridges to Babylon, 1997.
The Rolling Stones's Awards
Platinum Certification for Black and Blue, 1976; Platinum Certification for
Emotional Rescue, 1980;Platinum Certification for Tattoo You, 1981; Grammy
Award for Best Rock Album for Voodoo Lounge, 1994.
Rolling Stones , Decca, 1964.
12X5 , Decca, 1964.
Rolling Stones Now! , Decca, 1965.
December's Children , Decca, 1965.
Out of Our Heads , Decca, 1965.
Got It Live If You Want It , Decca, 1965.
Aftermath , Decca, 1966.
Between the Buttons , Decca, 1967.
Flowers , Decca, 1967.
Their Satanic Majesties Request , Decca, 1967.
Beggar's Banquet , Decca, 1968.
Let it Bleed , Decca, 1969.
Get Yer Ya Ya's Out , Decca, 1970.
Sticky Fingers , Rolling Stone, 1971.
Exile on Main Street , Rolling Stone, 1972.
Goat's Head Soup , Rolling Stone, 1973.
It's Only Rock and Roll , Rolling Stone, 1974.
Black and Blue , Rolling Stone, 1976.
Some Girls , Rolling Stone, 1978.
Emotional Rescue , Rolling Stone, 1980.
Tattoo You , Rolling Stone, 1981.
Undercover , Rolling Stone, 1983.
Dirty Work , Rolling Stone, 1986.
Steel Wheels , Rolling Stone, 1989.
Flashback , Rolling Stone, 1991.
Voodoo Lounge , Virgin, 1994.
Stripped ,Virgin, 1995.
Bridges to Babylon , Virgin, 1997.
September 16, 2003: The Rolling Stones' album, Sympathy For The Devil
Remixes (x7), was released. Source: Yahoo! Shopping,
shopping.yahoo.com/shop?d=product&id=1921994449, September 17, 2003.
July 27, 2004: The Rolling Stones' collection, Singles 1965-1967, was released.
Source: Billboard.com, www.billboard.com/bb/releases/week_4/index.jsp,
August 5, 2004.
September 16, 2004: Abkco Records announced the October of 2004 release
of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus on DVD. Source: E! Online,
www.eonline.com, September 16, 2004.
November 11, 2004: The Rolling Stones were inducted into the first U.K.
Music Hall of Fame, representing the 1960s. Source: USA Today,
November 15, 2004.
January 2005: The Rolling Stones' 1969 album, Let It Bleed, was entered into
the Grammy Hall of Fame. Source: BBC News, news.bbc.co.uk, February 14,
Economist , October 25, 1997.
Entertainment Weekly , March 6, 1992.
Guitar Player , September, 1993; October, 1993.
New Republic , December 24, 1984.
Playboy , October , 1989.
Rolling Stone , November 24, 1983.
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