Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1964) | Key Events
First Major Tour
By the end of 1963 Mick and Keith had been introducing more soulful influences to the group, and on 6 January they began their first UK tour of major importance, supporting the Phil Spector-helmed girl group, The Ronettes, on the Group Scene ’64 package tour. Spector himself joined in February to monitor the girls, and was annoyed that Mick and Keith fancied his lead Ronette and girlfriend (and future Mrs Spector), Ronnie Bennett. Playing seven nights a week and travelling in a VW van driven by Ian Stewart, the Stones’ live show was so exciting that in Glasgow they had to leave the stage three songs in, after a riot erupted and trampled the police barricade.
The Rolling Stones EP
After a successful year which saw the Stones play live shows across the country, a large number of radio and TV spots, and a better-charting single with the Beatles-penned ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ (No. 12), they released their first EP, The Rolling Stones, on 17 January. Consisting of covers reflecting their live shows at the time, ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ (set closer), ‘Money’, ‘You Better Move On’ (their first recorded soul cover, finding radio rotation on the BBC) and ‘Poison Ivy’, which reached No. 13 convinced Decca to let them record a full-length album.
‘Not Fade Away’
Recording their third single in January, Keith had reworked Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ into a Bo Diddley-inflected rave up. Already suffering from a punishing schedule, during the session the band degenerated into infighting, so Oldham called in Gene Pitney, who brought along some alcohol and a relaxed atmosphere, telling them it was his birthday. Though Decca didn’t like the finished single, Oldham insisted it was a hit, and when it was released in February, it reached No. 3 in the UK, and was also their first charting US single, making No. 48.
‘As Time Goes By’
Having seen Marianne Faithfull on TV, Andrew Oldham wanted the Stones to write a song for her. Reasoning that they couldn’t rely on other people’s songs all their lives, and knowing that they would have to compete with The Beatles’ Lennon/McCartney songwriting team (the same team that gave the Stones their second single, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’), the legend runs that Oldham locked Mick and Keith in their kitchen, refusing to let them out until they had written a song. Keith later claimed that, desperate for the toilet, they quickly knocked out ‘As Time Goes By’, which later became a single for both Faithfull, and the Stones themselves.
The Rolling Stones
‘The Rolling Stones are more than just a group, they are a way of life,’ read Oldham’s liner notes to The Rolling Stones, the debut album released on 16 April (retitled England’s Newest Hitmakers when it was released a month later, and with a different tracklisting in the US), and alongside the moody sleeve, it...
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