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The Marquee Club in London was the venue and I happened to be there at the time though I can’t remember why. Someone probably dragged me along and I remember thinging “these guys could make it big”. Indeed the Rolling Stones are now one of the world’s Business Super Brands – as well as being a Super Band…

At the time, the band included singer Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones, bassist Dick Taylor, and drummer Mick Avory, who later played with the Kinks.

Jagger, studying at the London School of Economics, invited Richards, who he knew from school and who was at art college, to join his band “Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys” in which Taylor also played. Meanwhile, Brian Jones was also playing with a band called Blues, Inc., with which Jagger and Richards began to jam. When several of the Blues, Inc. members (but not Jones) were booked on a radio program that conflicted with a gig at the Marquee Club, Jagger pulled together a replacement band, and called it the “Rolling Stones” after a Muddy Waters song. The group played the date on July 12, 1962. A year later, Bill Wyman replaced Dick Taylor and Charlie Watts replaced Mick Avory on drums, and the core of the band was complete.

During the next year, the group played steadily in London nightclubs and bars. They released their first single in Britain in 1963. Before long, the Stones became known as the anti-Beatles: They were long-haired, grungy, and wild, where the Beatles seemed wholesome and safe. A string of drug-related arrests plagued various band members; Brian Jones’ drug problems probably led to his death in 1969 and Keith Richards struggled with heroin addiction before getting clean in 1977.

Meanwhile, the band steadily released hit albums and songs that became instant classics. Richards and Jagger began writing songs together, and after 1966 they wrote almost all the group’s material. The group first topped the U.S. charts in 1965 with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Hit singles in 1966 included “Paint It Black,” “19th Nervous Breakdown,” and “Get Off My Cloud.” They released hit-packed albums throughout the 1970s and managed to maintain their following even as they approached middle age. In the 1980s, Jagger and Richards both released various solo albums but continued to work together. “Steel Wheels”, the group’s 1989 album, sold two million copies, and the tour grossed $140 million. The band’s 1994 album, “Voodoo Lounge”, won Best Rock Album, the first Grammy for the Rolling Stones. In 2002, the band released “Forty Licks”, a greatest-hits album that included four new songs. A Bigger Bang was released on September 5, 2006.

Although now in their 60s, the Rolling Stones continue to tour, playing sold-out shows around the world.

One Response to “On 12th July 1962 the Rolling Stones Gave Their First Public Performance”

  1. Dino says:

    Wow – you were actually at the very first Rolling Stones concert.

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