Friday, July 13, 2012

The Rolling Stones at 50

July 12th 1962 Lots of stuff around reminding us that it's the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary. A few new interesting bits'n'pieces (especially a new photo exhibition currently being held at Somerset House in London's Strand, and another wider exhibition of the Ealing Blues Club at Pitshanger Manor in Ealing). Most though is fairly familiar. I was thrilled, therefore, to have been involved in helping produce a recent documentary on the Stones history with Bebe Contemponi from the Argentinean TV station Canal 12. Interviews with such rock luminaries as famed journalist and rock PR, Keith Altham, and Dick Taylor, the Stone's original bass player at that first Marquee gig, provided some great new stories for the rock tour! My favourite was one provided by Dick. His post Stones band (and still currently gigging), The Pretty Things, lived at 13 Chester Street, Belgravia, during 1965. Above them lived Brain Jones. One evening the 'Things' were gathered around the 9", black and white TV screen (along with kids in a million other households) to watch the Stones play on Top of The Pops. The Stones appearance was eagerly anticipated. Brain Jones appeared sporting his trade-marked floppy hat and a new matelot-styled black and white stripped T shirt.
'Blimey' cries an excited and suddenly hip-by-association, Brian Pendleton, the Things bassist, 'Brian has a T shirt just like mine!' Inexplicably, his announcement was drowned out by rest of the band exploding into raucus and noisy laughter. Unbeknown to Pendleton Brian, Jones Brian had been riffling through his wardrobe earlier that day ... the rest of the Things knew, of course, Pendleton often being the butt of jests, and were eagerly watching the show anticipating Pendleton's discovery ... from hip to zip in 2 seconds.

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