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?
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’.
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.
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’.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.