Back in the 60's, the Rolling Stones were godfathers of hedonism. They were unwashed, longhaired bastards of the beat - and they knew to yell that out in masterly, rebellious songs. Songs that somehow showed resemblance to raw Chicago blues, Chuck Berry-riffs, soul and dark southern country & western. Keith Richard's strong, rudimentary riffs, Mick Jagger's sardonic sneer and Charlie Watts' imperturbable drums were the base of most of their best productions. 'Satisfaction' (1965) still fulfills one with the ultimate Stones-feeling, while 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' vomits unrestrained rock and roll.

The facts:

The group originally comprised of Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (gtr), Keith Richards (gtr), Ian Stewart (piano), Charlie Watts (drums), and Bill Wyman (bass), Ian Stewart was 'demoted' by de facto manager Andrew Loog Oldham by the time of their first album release, because he did not look the part of a Rolling Stone. Although Ian did not appear in group photographs or get listed in band personnel information, he played, credited, on records and in concert with the Stones up until his death in 1985.

The first 'real' personnel change took place with the dismissal of Brian Jones in 1969, who died several weeks later. Before his death, his slot was filled by a young guitarist named Mick Taylor, who had been in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and who stayed with the Stones until December 1974.

Ron Wood, already a star from his work with Rod Stewart and the Faces, joined the Rolling Stones as a 'special guest' in 1975 for their US tour and became a non-guest by the end of the year. In 1993, bassist Bill Wyman, then 56, officially quit after years of rumours and speculation, and Ron became a full and equal partner soon after.

As of this writing, no permanent replacement has been announced for Mr. Wyman, although Daryl Jones, ex- of Miles Davis, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Madonna and other high-profile professional gigs, has played on all Stones concerts from the start of the 1994/95 'Voodoo Lounge' tour through the last Summer 1999 dates on the 'No Security' tour.

Birthdays are as follows:

      Jagger       July 26, 1943         
      Brian Jones  Feb. 28, 1942    (dismissed June 8, 1969; died July 3, 1969)
      Richards     Dec. 18, 1943 
      Stewart      July 18, 1938    (died December 12, 1985)
      Taylor       Jan. 17, 1949    (quit 12/1974; usual 1948 wrong)
      Watts        Jun. 02, 1941         
      Wood         Jun. 01, 1947         
      Wyman        Oct. 24, 1936    (quit 1993)     


The myths:

based on the Rolling Stones FAQ

Keith got his blood changed
It was a widely circulated rumour that to cure himself of an addiction to heroin, Keith Richards flew to the Swiss chalet of an exclusive physician who had a method for replacing all of a patient's nasty addicted blood with good clean blood.

Great gossip. Bad science.

While it has been claimed in print by at least one biographer, this author was also Keith's dealer for several years. It is widely considered to be little more than another colorful urban legend.

Rolling Stones worship Satan
Among the phenomena that have become known to us since the formation of the Rolling Stones are: CDs, wireless amps, home video, and Serious Rock Criticism. Early Serious Rock Critics, trying in vain to capture in prose the mystique, wonder, beauty, arrogance, and power of the Rolling Stones, would often resort to demonic imagery. It did not help matters that the band released songs like "Sympathy for the Devil", or that Jagger performed in a swirling cape bathed in red light. Blame this one on the old "four blind men describing an elephant" syndrome.

Professional demonist and man-about-town Kenneth Anger once asserted that Anita Pallenberg (Keith's paramour in the Stones' supposed 'demonic' period) was a 'witch'. But that's Kenneth Anger.

A book by Robert Heinlein. A lighthearted zoom around the solar-system with the endearing Stone family: Castor and Pollux, 15 year old twin red-headed geniuses; Meade, their older sister; Roger Stone, their long-suffering father; Dr. Edith Stone, their mother; Lowell "Buster" Stone, their (telepathic?) little brother; and Hazel Meade Stone, the orneriest founder of Luna Free State ever to cock a pistol in zero-G (this is the same Hazel from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, their grandmother). Sick of the routine on the moon, the Stones take off in their ship, the Rolling Stone, to Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and beyond. Fun.

Discography courtesy of

Studio releases:
England's Newest Hit Makers(1964)
The Rolling Stones, Now! (1964)
12 x 5 (1964)
Out of Our Heads (1965)
December's Children (1965)
Aftermath (1966)
Between the Buttons (1967)
Flowers (1967)
Their Satanic Majesties' Request (1967)
Beggar's Banquet (1968)
Let it Bleed (1969)
Sticky Fingers (1971)
Exile on Main Street (1972)
Goat's Head Soup (1973)
It's Only Rock n Roll (1974)
Black and Blue (1976)
Some Girls (1978)
Emotional Rescue (1980)
Tattoo You (1981)
Undercover (1983)
Dirty Work (1986)
Steel Wheels (1989)
Voodoo Lounge (1994)
Bridges To Babylon (1997)

Live releases:
Got Live If You Want It (1966)
Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (1970)
Love You Live (1977)
Still Life (1982)
Flashpoint (1991)
Stripped (1995)
No Security (1998)

Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) (1966)
Through The Past Darkly (1969)
Hot Rocks (1972)
More Hot Rocks (1972)
Sucking in the Seventies (1981)
Rewind (1986)
The London Years (box set-1989)

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