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July 22nd, 1962: Rolling Stones First Concert

Rolling Stones First Concert

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1970.

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50 years ago the Rollin' Stones (initial band name) stepped onto the stage at the Marquee Jazz Club in London, marking the foundation of arguably the greatest rock band in music history. At the time the line up included Jagger on vocals, guitarists Keith Richards and Brian Jones, bassist Dick Taylor, pianist Ian Stewart, and drummer Tony Chapman.

The band were allegedly given the show when Thursday night regulars, Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, were unable to perform; Brian Jones then managed to persuade club owner Harold Pendleton to put the Stones on instead. According to Keith Richards' autobiography Life, the setlist comprised of numbers like 'confessin' the blues', and 'got my mojo working', the delta blues sound of which would go on to greatly influence the iconic Stones albums of the later 60′s and 70′s.

But in 1962, at the Marquee Jazz Club, the Rollin' Stones were still finding their feet – a period through which all great bands must travel. The line up was still unsettled, undoubtedly Mick's unique dance moves were still largely unrefined, as were both Keith and Brian's guitar playing chops.

It was a time of apprenticeship really. Mick, Keith, and Brian were all living together in a dingy Fulham apartment and spending all their money buying blues LP's that had travelled across the Atlantic, and then all their time listening to and learning from those records. Keith wanted to play like a Muddy Waters/Chuck Berry amalgam and Mick wanted to sing like Howlin' Wolf. What this period in 1962 allowed the band to do then was to develop their own sound within the context of learning and delving into the delta blues sound.

It wasn't until Charlie joined in January 1963 that the sound of the Rolling Stones really became apparent, according to Richards. Hence they credit the 50th anniversary year of the Rolling Stones as being 2013. Perhaps Keith put it best in saying, "we look upon 1962 as the year of conception. But the birth is next year."

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