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Fact Box: Rolling Stones still touring at 50

The band’s rise: From first performance in 1962 to the 2005-07 ‘Bigger Bang Tour’

  • Reuters
  • Published: 12:52 November 25, 2012
  • Tabloid

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Rolling Stones band members (from left): Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger

Here is a look at the group which used the name ‘Rollin’ Stones’ for the first time in 1962, at a performance in London’s Marquee Club in London to replace Alexis Korner’s blues band.

They celebrate their 50th anniversary with five concerts starting at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.

* Michael Philip Jagger — who will be 70 in July 2013 — was an avid fan of American blues artists like Muddy Waters and he formed his first band in his teens. He had won a place at the prestigious London School of Economics (LSE) but admitted he didn’t take it seriously. At London’s Ealing Blues Club, Jagger met Brian Jones who was recruiting for a band he called the ‘Rollin’ Stones’ — the ‘g’ was to be restored later — after a Muddy Waters song.

* The original line-up included Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Ian ‘Stu’ Stewart (piano), Dick Taylor (bass) and various drummers such as Mick Avory (later of The Kinks) and Tony Chapman. Charlie Watts joined in 1963. Taylor left shortly after to return to art school, and was later to form The Pretty Things. He was replaced by Bill Wyman.

* There were riots when the band went to the United States and it was in 1965 that ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ gave them their first US and British hit. Another hit, ‘Get Off My Cloud’ fully used Jagger’s defiant persona. Bad-boy controversy continued with Jagger, Jones and Wyman arrested for urinating at a London petrol station.

* A stream of hits followed, from ‘Under My Thumb’ to the anarchic ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ and doom-laden ‘Paint It Black’. Jagger spat out a diatribe of abuse in ‘Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing In the Shadow?’

* ‘A Steel Wheels’ tour in 1989 catapulted the band into the record books earning more than $300 million (Dh1,101 million.) This was followed by the equally successful ‘Voodoo Lounge’ tour. By the turn of the century, they still had not lost their appetite for touring. The group’s last major tour was their 2005-07 ‘Bigger Bang Tour’ which took in over 30 countries and brought nearly $560 million in sales. It has only been beaten by Irish group U2 during their 2011 360 tour.

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