60 years ago: The Stones played their first concert

Marquee Club in London

60 years ago: The Stones played their first concert

Mick Jagger didn’t have his famous dance moves yet. Keith Richards was still wearing the dark suit. The Rolling Stones performed their first concert in London 60 years ago.

London. Keith Richards has fond memories of July 12, 1962. “I still remember how it felt like I was playing in a big stadium,” guitarist Rolling Stones told German news agency. “The Marquee was the biggest club in London at the time. And before that, we basically only played in garages. “

It’s been 60 years since their historic performance at the Marquee Club where the band first performed as “The Rollin ‘Stones”, reportedly even as “Mick Jagger and The Rollin’ Stones”. This evening in London’s Soho was a signal to embark on an unparalleled rock’n’roll career that continues to this day.

Still full of energy

The Stones have just completed two shows in London’s Hyde Park in front of 65,000 people as part of their “Sixty” anniversary tour. Following the death of drummer Charlie Watts last year, Stones survivors Mick Jagger (78), Richards (78) and Ronnie Wood (75) continue to be energetic in their hometown.

In the summer of 1962, neither Wood nor Watts was there. “We’re cheating a little,” said Jagger in 2012 in celebration of Rolling Stone’s 50th anniversary. “Because it’s not the same band, but still the same name. Only Keith and I are still the same people. The newly formed band consisted of Jagger (vocals), Richards (guitar), Brian Jones (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano) and Dick Taylor (bass).

Who was on the drums?

To this day, there is a debate about who sat on drums in the tent. We read from time to time that Tony Chapman often played the drums for the band at that time. According to Keith Richards and the Stones biographer Christopher Sandford, it was Mick Avory. Apparently there are no pictures to explain this. Watts, already in the orbit of his later colleagues, joined six months later, gave the Rolling Stones his own beat, and has played on every album of the group ever since. Wood did not appear until 1975.

The Rolling Stones owed their first performance to their companion and supporter Alexis Korner and his band Blues Incorporated, who performed at Marquee every Thursday. Since Korner accepted the invitation from the BBC, a replacement was sought for him. Jones is said to have persuaded the owner of Marquee – then a jazz club – to play the Stones. According to legend, he spontaneously came up with the name of the band, inspired by Muddy Waters ‘song “Rollin’ Stone”.

Classics of rhythm and blues in the program

Early hits from the Stones such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Get Off Of My Cloud” and “Paint It Black” were still in the future. And so, Jagger and Co. they performed American classics of rhythm and blues for almost an hour. In his autobiography Life, Richards mentions Dust My Broom (Elmore James), Got My Mojo Working (Muddy Waters), and Confessin ‘The Blues (Jay McShann), which was released on Stones’ EP Five By Five a few years later. “landed.

Apparently, the 100 or so unshakable guests of the evening have yet to experience Jagger’s dance moves, which are as iconic today as the band’s logo “Tongue and Lips”, developed in the 1970s. The only 18-year-old guitarist Richards was yet to be considered the epitome of rock’n’roll and appeared almost formally in a dark suit. Apparently, the musicians who were paid around five pounds for the performance seemed nervous.

No one could have foreseen that this inexperienced band would become one of the most famous and successful rock groups, a pop culture phenomenon and a global brand that delighted fans around the world 60 years later. The Rolling Stones themselves had no idea July 12, but at least they had a feeling.

“You play and you think Oh yeah!” Recalled Keith Richards in his autobiography. “This feeling is worth more than anything else. There is a special moment when you realize that you have left the planet a little, no one can touch you. It’s like flying without a license. “

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