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The Rolling Stones First Live Gig

July 12th, 1962: London's Marquee Club played host to a new group calling themselves The Rollin' Stones (the "G"would be added to the official title later on). Legend has it they booked the gig when Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, the club’s Thursday night house band, (also fronted by Mick) were invited to play a BBC live broadcast. Jagger didn’t go, and instead, guitarist Brian Jones convinced the owner of Marquee Club to let their new group fill in. There's even a story about Jones calling to place an add in the local paper, the Jazz News to advertise the gig, he was asked what the band was called. On impulse he glanced down at a stack of records and saw The Best of Muddy Waters with the track "Rollin' Stone". Others report not everyone was on board with the name. Meanwhile, the band's lineup that night looked like this: Jagger on vocals, guitarists Brian Jones and Keith Richards, pianist Ian Stewart and bassist Dick Taylor. So who played drums? It's unclear. Some historians think it was a friend named Tony Chapman, but Richards insisted in his memoir Life that it was friend Mick Avory. Charlie Watts was employed by another group and didn't join up with the 'Stones officially until January of 1963. Below, you can see some stills from an early photo shoot with an incorrect date. Again, Watts is pictured here, so these shots had to be taken in early '63, not 1962 as it is titled.

For an even deeper dive, the fan site It's only Rock And Roll has the setlist and alternate theories on exactly who was part of that historic night.


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