They’re one of the biggest bands of all time, but how much do you know about The Rolling Stones? For instance – did you know original guitarist Brian Jones worked in the sports department at Whitleys department store in London, before being sacked for stealing?
In 1964, the Rolling Stones were approached by Kellogg’s Cereals to participate in a TV commercial for Kellogg’s Rice Crispies. They agreed and created a commercial along with the J. Walter Thompson ad agency.
Ronnie Wood’s brother Ted was a member of Temperance Seven, who had a hit single with ‘You’re Driving Me Crazy’ in 1961.
The band’s long-haired look was considered controversial. During the Christmas holidays in 1963 the band placed an ad in the papers which read: “Best wishes to all the starving hairdresser and their families”.
In 2002, the band played a private concert for a Texan Investor’s birthday in Las Vegas. They were part of a show which included acts such as Robin Williams and John Mellencamp and the total bill for the party was $7million.
Their famous tongue logo is said to have been inspired by the Indian Hindu goddess ‘Kali the Destroyer’, although Jagger’s own tongue and lips were surely also an influence.
In a final proof of the unjustness that rules the universe, The Stones have had half as many number one singles (8), as Westlife (16).
Director Martin Scorsese has used The Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ in four of his films and directed a live concert film for the band called ‘Shine A Light’.
Brian Jones was once part of a duo called Lewis and Ponds. As a tribute to his love of the Blues, he worked under the name Elmo Lewis. His partner, Paul Pond was onced offered the job as The Stones’ frontman but turned it down.
Rolling Stones concerts haved grossed over $750 million (approx. £480 million).
Mick Avory, later of The Kinks, drummed for the The Rolling Stones during their first gig.
The first version of ‘Satisfaction’, recorded in Chicago initially featured a harmonica and was only considered by the band as a potential B-side or album track.
Mick Jagger is a keen ballet dancer.
Bill Wyman (far right) reportedly coined the term ‘groupie’ during the Stones’ tour of Australia in 1965.
Bill Wyman was only invited to join the band because he owned an amplifier.
A staggering 1.5 million fans watched The Stones perform at Copacabana Beach gig in 2006, making it the largest rock concert ever.
Keith Richard was long rumoured to have had a full blood transfusion to kick his heroin addiction. In 2010, he was interviewed on CBS news and admitted that he had invented the rumour himself.
When Keith Richards was arrested in 1977 for possession, as part of his sentence he played two shows to blind children in Toronto. He calims the judge was lenient after hearing a story from a blind girl who Richards had helped get into a Stones show.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met for the very first time at Wentworth Primary school. The two were aged just 5 and Jagger says that the two “weren’t friends then, but knew each other.”
The Stones will return to Hyde Park this summer after first playing there on 5 July 1969. The concert also featured Third Ear Band, King Crimson, Screw, Alexis Korner’s New Church, Family and Battered Ornaments, in front of a crowd estimated at being anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 people strong.
Jagger contributed backing vocals and Brian Jones played the oboe on the Beatles’ ‘Baby You’re a Rich Man’. In return Lennon and McCartney sang backing vocals on ‘We Love You’.
Although they weren’t invited to the Beatles’ party to celebrate the release of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman gate crashed it.
A mysterious Columbian musician and one of the Stone’s hangers on known as Victor, was actually a drug baron. According to Ronnie Wood’s ex-wife Jo, when she and Ronnie flew out to the Bahamas to assist in the recording of Victor’s album, the Columbian dumped a bag packed full of cigarettes laced with heroin on her lap. He then told her she would have to smuggle it through customs.
Locks of Mick Jagger’s hair from the late 1960’s are being auctioned off and are expected to reach up to £2000. In a previous auction, guitarist Keith Richards’ cut-offs were sold for a mere £894.
Jagger and Richards’ first band was called Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys.
The album cover for ‘Sticky Fingers’ was designed by legendary pop artist Andy Warhol.
Mick Jagger attended the London School of Economics before ditching his studies to pursue a music career.
‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ creator George Lucas is one of the cameramen on the 1970s ‘Gimme Shelter’ film.
To launch ‘Beggars Banquet’ the Stones invited the press to a medieval banquet during which trays of custard pies were brought out for the Stones to fling at the room full of journalists.
In an interview with Melody Maker in March 1969, Jagger claimed: “I don’t think I shall live to a very old age anyway – I’ve always had that feeling, but if you can stop your body falling apart you’ve won half the battle.”
Keith Richards’ son is named Marlon, reportedly after the legendary Marlon Brando.
The Stones’ 1964 eponymous debut album contains only one original song, the Jagger-Richards penned ‘Tell Me (You’re Coming Back)’. It was only written after Jagger and Richards were locked in a kitchen by then-manager Andrew Oldham and forced to write.
Many of the lyrics to Exile on Main St. were constructed via William S Burroughs’ cut-up technique, which meant taking an existing linear text, cutting it up and rearranging the words to create a new meaning.
The Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys was axed after missing several shows in 1973 because he’d filled a bath with Dom Perignon and drunk his way through half a tubful.
In 1968 Decca rejected the original sleeve design to ‘Beggars Banquet’ because it featured a graffiti covered toilet wall. It was later restored.
The Stones hired the ‘Hells Angels’ to provide as ‘security’ during one of their free concerts in Altamont. The Angels were paid in $500 worth of free beer to sit by the stage and make sure the crowd didn’t try to approach the band. This got sorely out of hand, resulting in the death of a man called Meredith Hunter, who was stabbed while the Stones were playing.
The band’s first single from ‘Bridges to Babylon’, ‘Anybody Seen My Baby’, has a video starring a young Angelina Jolie.
The band’s second single was the Lennon-McCartney penned ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’. Started by McCartney, the song was finished, with help from Lennon, so the story goes, after a chance meeting with Jagger and Richards on Charing Cross road. Reports conflict as to whether the song was intended for the Stones or Ringo. Lennon later dismissed it as: “A throwaway.”
There was a long-standing rumour that Mick Jagger once had an affair with David Bowie, although Bowie’s wife Angela later clarified that she had merely seen the two men asleep in bed together.
Journalist Terry Southern, a screenwriter on films such as ‘Dr Strangelove’ and ‘Easy Rider’, wanted Jagger to play the role of Alex in his planned adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’, with the rest of the band as his droogs. That adaptation was eventually shelved.
The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1989.
Ed Sullivan banned the band from appearing on his show following the furore they created on their first appearance in October 1964. However, the ban was short lived and the Stones appeared a further five times on the show. On one appearance in 1967, Jagger was forced to alter the lyrics of ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’ to “let’s spend some time together”.
‘Sticky Finger’ in 1971 was the band’s first number one album in the US.
The Stone’s LSD procurer: Acid King David, was accepted into the band’s circle because of his ability to get hold of particularly mellow acid. He was reportedly present when Jagger and Richards were busted for possession. According to Jagger’s biographer Phillip Norman, Acid King Dave was really a mole planted in the band’s camp by MI5 under orders from the FBI.
Keith Richard’s mother bought him his first guitar, a Rosetti acoustic for £7.
Originally called the Rollin’ Stones (the ‘g’ came later) the band named themselves after the Muddy Waters’ track ‘Rollin’ Stones Blues’.
Jagger and Richards met for the first time since primary school on 17th October 1961 on Platform 2 at Dartford station in Kent. Jagger had Muddy Waters records under his arm and was on his way to study at the London School of Economics while Richards, carrying his Hofner guitar, was boarding a train to Sidcup Art College.
Mick Jagger was knighted in 2003 for ‘services to popular music’. Keith Richards is reportedly highly sceptical of the knighthood and thinks it goes against the Stones’ anti-establishmentarianism.
Drummer Charlie Watts played in a band called Blues Incorporated before being recruited to The Stones.
Ronnie Wood replaced Mick Taylor on guitar in 1974. Taylor had himself been a replacement for Brian Jones.