Historic London performance: The Stones performed their first concert 60 years ago

Historical show in London
The Stones played their first concert 60 years ago

It’s not entirely clear who was on the drums and under what name the band performed, but one thing is for sure: The Rolling Stones performed their first concert in London exactly 60 years ago. Back then, neither the audience at the Marquee Club, nor the musicians themselves suspected that the Stones would soon become superstars.

Keith Richards has fond memories of July 12, 1962. “I remember feeling like I was playing in a big stadium,” said the Rolling Stones guitarist. “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 appeared 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.

Surviving Stones – full of energy

The Stones have just completed two shows in London’s Hyde Park in front of 65,000 people on their “Sixty” anniversary tour. Following the death of drummer Charlie Watts last year, Stones survivors Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, both 78, and Ronnie Wood, 75, are still energetic in their hometown.

In the summer of 1962, neither Wood nor Watts was there. “We’re cheating a little,” said Jagger on Rolling Stone’s 50th anniversary in 2012. “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 played the drums in the tent?

To this day, there is a debate about who sat on drums in the tent. From time to time we read that Tony Chapman was often playing 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. As 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 let the Stones play. According to legend, he spontaneously came up with the name of the band, inspired by Muddy Waters ‘song “Rollin’ Stone”.

American R&B classics

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), also due to be released a few years later by the Stones – EP Five By. Five “landed.

Reportedly, the 100-strong group, who did not impress him that evening, has yet to experience Jagger’s dance moves, which are as iconic today as the band’s logo “Tongue and Lips”, developed in 1970. 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.

“Like flying without a license”

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 moment when you realize that you have left the planet a bit, no one can touch you. It’s like flying without a license.

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