From School of Rock today:
It’s amazing that they still tour and sell out stadiums across the world considering how OLD these guys are now, and they recorded their FIRST demo tape 53 years ago today.
At the time, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Ian Stewart and Tony Chapman were known as ‘The Rollin’ Stones’ and set up shop in Curly Clayton Studios in Highbury, London. They would record three songs on their demo, none of which were their own! Jimmy Reed’s ‘Close Together’, Bo Diddley’s ‘You Cant Judge A Book By The Cover’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘Soon Forgotten.’
Two years later with the ‘British Invasion’ making its way over to North America, the Rolling Stones toured as ‘The Bad Boys’ while the Beatles went for the ‘Boys Next Door.’
How did it all start? From Rolling Stone:
Jagger and Richards first met at Dartford Maypole County Primary School. When they ran into each other 10 years later in 1960, they were both avid fans of blues and American R&B, and they found they had a mutual friend in guitarist Dick Taylor, a fellow student of Richards’ at Sidcup Art School. Jagger was attending the London School of Economics and playing in Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys with Taylor. Richards joined the band as second guitarist; soon afterward, he was expelled from Dartford Technical College for truancy.
Meanwhile, Brian Jones had begun skipping school in Cheltenham to practice bebop alto sax and clarinet. By the time he was 16, he had fathered two illegitimate children and run off briefly to Scandinavia, where he began playing guitar. Back in Cheltenham he joined the Ramrods, then drifted to London with his girlfriend and one of his children. He began playing with Alexis Korner’s Blues, Inc., then decided to start his own band; a want ad attracted pianist Ian Stewart (b. 1938; d. December 12, 1985).
As Elmo Lewis, Jones began working at the Ealing Blues Club, where he ran into a later, loosely knit version of Blues, Inc., which at the time included drummer Charlie Watts. Jagger and Richards began jamming with Blues, Inc., and while Jagger, Richards, and Jones began to practice on their own, Jagger became the featured singer with Blues, Inc.
Jones, Jagger, and Richards shared a tiny, cheap London apartment, and with drummer Tony Chapman they cut a demo tape, which was rejected by EMI. Taylor left to attend the Royal College of Art; he eventually formed the Pretty Things. Ian Stewart’s job with a chemical company kept the rest of the group from starving. By the time Taylor left, they began to call themselves the Rolling Stones, after a Muddy Waters song.
On July 12, 1962, the Rolling Stones — Jagger, Richards, Jones, a returned Dick Taylor on bass, and Mick Avory, later of the Kinks, on drums — played their first show at the Marquee. Avory and Taylor were replaced by Tony Chapman and Bill Wyman, from the Cliftons. Chapman didn’t work out, and the band spent months recruiting a cautious Charlie Watts, who worked for an advertising agency and had left Blues, Inc. when its schedule got too busy. In January 1963 Watts completed the band.
Local entrepreneur Giorgio Gomelsky booked the Stones at his Crawdaddy Club for an eight-month, highly successful residency. He was also their unofficial manager until Andrew Loog Oldham, with financing from Eric Easton, signed them as clients. By then the Beatles were a British sensation, and Oldham decided to promote the Stones as their nasty opposites. He eased out the mild-mannered Stewart, who subsequently became a Stones roadie and frequent session and tour pianist.
In June 1963 the Stones released their first single, Chuck Berry’s “Come On.” After the band played on the British TV rock show Thank Your Lucky Stars, its producer reportedly told Oldham to get rid of “that vile-looking singer with the tire-tread lips.” The single reached Number 21 on the British chart. The Stones also appeared at the first annual National Jazz and Blues Festival in London’s borough of Richmond and in September were part of a package tour with the Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley, and Little Richard. In December 1963 the Stones’ second single, “I Wanna Be Your Man” (written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney), made the British Top 15. In January 1964 the Stones did their first headlining British tour, with the Ronettes, and released a version of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” which made Number Three.