The Rolling Stones – Icons of Rock ‘n Roll
The release by Keith Richards of his autobiography, Life, is bound to stir renewed intererest in The Rolling Stones. Richards, the “bad boy” of music since the 60s who’s never been afraid of abusing his body, has confounded his fans and critics by simply staying alive for so long.
Now his new book is creating fresh controversy with its frank revelations and less-than-flattering portrayal of Richards’s long-time friend, music collaborator and front-man of the Stones, Mick Jagger (below).
Rolling Stones Madison Square Garden 1975 Limited Edition … Pownall, Ron
For those raised on the music of the 60s and 70s, the Rolling Stones are true rock ‘n roll icons of the period, up there with Elvis and the Beatles. For some of the younger music fans, they’re probably regarded as decrepit old farts who should long ago have retired and been put to suburban pasture.
However, anyone genuinely interested in modern music cannot ignore the Rolling Stones and if you’re one of those who’d like to know more about them, the article below gives a good overview of how the band was formed, the evolution of their music, and their rise to stardom.
The Rolling Stones Music – A Short History
One of the legends of rock and roll are the Rolling Stones. The band was formed in April 1962 in England. Its founding members include Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), and Brian Jones (guitar and harmonica). They started out by playing rhythm and blues music and just playing cover songs of other more famous bands. However, they later gained fame when they started to write their own songs, primarily because of the songwriting collaboration between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. This launched the true Rolling Stones music that fans around the world would later learn to love.
The group’s early history.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were close friends in the 50s and they were both into rock music at that time, particularly they loved listening to the music of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. Sometime later they met Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, and Ian Stewart. They then formed a band with the intention of playing only rhythm and blues music.
If there is one music artist who has the greatest influence on the band, and not just pertaining to the Rolling Stones music, it would be Muddy Waters. It was from one of his songs that they got their name. Keith Richards said that Brian Jones was then on the phone trying to place an ad for the band on a magazine. When Jones was asked what their name was, he noticed the Muddy Waters LP beside him and picked the song, “Rolling Stone”.
The Rolling Stones made some very important changes that led to their eventual success. One of these was when Andrew Loog Oldham became the band manager as well as producer in 1963. When the Beatles gained fame with their good boy looks and persona, it was Oldham who insisted on the Rolling Stones sporting the opposite, a bad boy image. It was also to support the flamboyant and exciting stage performance of Mick Jagger.
Oldham was also able to get Decca Records to sign the band with their first major record label. Decca executives at that time were feeling guilty for not signing the Beatles and so they gave the Rolling Stones more favorable terms in their contract such as more artistic freedom and better royalty fees. With the release of their first album, their popularity soared leading the way to even having Rolling Stones merch in major clothing stores to satisfy the wants of their fans.
The second great thing that worked to the advantage of the Rolling Stones was the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards songwriting collaboration. It was in a way to imitate the success met with the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo. It also paved the way for the band to graduate into becoming a band that plays its own songs as to what they were previously doing, just covering songs.
Through the years there have also been changes to their line up. However, the most controversial would be the departure of Brian Jones who was considered by many as the one who really founded the band. Brian Jones died because of drowning in the pool of his house.
There is more to the history of the band, but just like with any other rock and roll group, oftentimes it is its early years that are deemed most important. Because it was the era when the Rolling Stones music was forged, developed, and the fans continued to love and enjoy.
Fans today and still showing their support through the songs that the Rolling Stones have released, the albums, the concerts and the band merch. It only means the band’s influence continuously span throughout the decades.
Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones, 1970 Giclee Print
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