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I’m having lunch in a Chelsea restaurant with a sprightly gent of 60-plus. His wits are quick and he’s a fabulous source of softly spoken gossip. He reflects a moment on one especially key evening in his life, early in 1963. ‘If you’re not sure who rock’n’roll belongs to,’ says Andrew Loog Oldham, ‘then it surely isn’t you ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had known each other since they were children – or, known of each other that is, having grown up in the same Dartford estate. More romantically, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met on a commuter train from Dartford to London in October 1960. An open love of blues and R&B was less common ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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After establishing themselves as mid-1960s contenders for the Beatles’ crown, the Stones – unlike the Beatles – would enter the 1970s and embark upon their almighty middle period. Being part of the Stones’ circle at this point was akin to entering a vortex that led into a slightly inhuman world where anything could, and probably did, happen. Amid ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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Despite having kicked off the 1970s with an early promise of continued success, come the middle of the decade – and into the 1980s – the Stones had to deal with greater problems, and their music would start to falter. The musical ground was shifting, as hard-rock stadium acts like Led Zeppelin revolutionized the concept of touring, ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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Like punk had never happened, the Stones continued into the 1980s as a juggernaut rock act. But like many 1960s and 1970s successes (Bob Dylan, David Bowie), they struggled to fit into a decade where technology was changing, music was changing and bands could be made or broken on the strength of a promotional video for MTV. Music ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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If the Stones ended the 1990s with a slightly dubious future ahead of them, the Noughties saw critics and the public alike ready and willing to embrace them again. With the career-spanning Forty Licks compilation in the shops, fans old and new were encouraged to rediscover the Stones’ past glories, and a 2002/03 worldwide tour saw them continue ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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July First Gig, London Dressed in coats and ties, The Rollin’ Stones (as they were initially called, after a Muddy Waters song) performed their first live gig on 12 July at The Marquee Club, a tiny basement venue on London’s Oxford Street. Playing an hour’s worth of piano-driven R&B, they made £20 between them. The six-piece ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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May ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ Built upon a nonsensical alliterative chorus – the conclusion of which is that everything’s just ‘a gas’ – ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ heralded the Stones’ masterful middle period, and took them back to the UK No. 1 spot for the first time in two years (it also went to No. 3 in the US). Demonic, voodooistic ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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January/February Nicaragua, Hawaii, New Zealand And Australia Plans to tour the Far East were hampered when Tokyo refused to let convicted drug users Mick and Keith into the country. Performing an Earthquake Relief Benefit concert in Nicaragua as a warm-up show, the group then played two shows in Hawaii. They filled the Tokyo gap by travelling to LA ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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June Still Life (American Concert 1981) Recorded during the group’s US Tattoo You tour the previous year, Still Life was released on 1 June, in time to coincide with their European tour, which started on 2 June. Entering the Top 5 US and UK charts, it wasn’t as well received by the press, who criticized it ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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September Forty Licks Released; Forty Licks Tour Forty Licks was a 2-CD compilation released to large fanfare, being the Stones’ first entire career-spanning compilation to cover both their Decca and self-owned post-1970 recordings. The Forty Licks tour took off almost instantly in the same month. Trying to reconnect with their audience and just focus on the music, the Stones ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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January Charlie Watts After declining offers to join the Stones for almost a year, Charlie Watts took Bobbie Korner’s (Alexis’ wife) advice and quit the band Blues By Six to play with the Stones at the Flamingo in Piccadilly on 14 January. Up until then, their drummers had alternated through players such as Mick Avory, Ginger Baker and ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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June Brian Jones And Mick Taylor On a hot summer’s night, Mick, Keith and Charlie drove to Brian’s recently purchased Cotchford Farm home and sacked him from the band. For years he’d been letting his paranoia, ego and drug addictions get the better of him, to the point where he barely played in the studio and wasn’t ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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July ‘It’s Only Rock’n’Roll’ (Single) With input from Ronnie Wood – who, true to the Stones’ dubious crediting practices, was listed as having merely ‘inspired’ the song – ‘It’s Only Rock’n’Roll’ was a joyous piece of fluff in comparison to their earlier work; and though it had a catchy hook (‘It’s only rock’n’roll but I like it…’), it only ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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August Sign With CBS With Atlantic disinterested in signing the Stones for the tens of millions they wanted, they signed with CBS for £28 million (allegedly double the amount offered by the next label in line), for four new albums and the rights to their back catalogue up to 1971. Part of the deal was also a guarantee that Jagger ...

Source: The Rolling Stones Revealed, by Jason Draper
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