The worldwide media is today full of the story that it is exactly 50 years since the Rolling Stones first appeared on stage. In fact it was the very first time they ever played together and I remember it well because I was there – which is more than you can say for most (all?) of the reporters – and not all of that original line-up have made it either.

I was in London staying with some friends and we went along to the Marquee Club in Oxford Street expecting to see Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated but they didn’t appear.

Korner had been called on short notice to do a live broadcast on the BBC but only as instrumentalists so they didn’t take their lead singer – Mick Jagger. Keen not to lose the fees a scratch band was put together with Jagger on vocals, guitarists Brian Jones and Keith Richards, bassist Dick Taylor, pianist Ian Stewart and drummer Mick Avory. Some people claim that Tony Chapman was on drums but I was there and he wasn’t.

Of course the scratch band couldn’t appear as Blues Incorporated and neither could Jagger use the name of his other band – Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys – so they came up with the name The Rollin’ Stones after the Muddy Waters classic song.

On the same bill were Long John Baldry, Dick Taylor of the Pretty Things and Hawkwind. It was a remarkable night. We were expecting pure blues and some jazz but what we got was something else. The rest as they say is history. Gosh – I’m feeling old!

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Category: Historic Events  


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