The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary

It's only rock 'n' roll but we like it!

It's official, The Rolling Stones reach their half ton!

Keith Richards on stage with a Reslo Ribbon Microphone at their first ever show at the Marquee, 165 Oxford Street, London...50 years ago today!

Keith Richards with a Reslo Ribbon Microphone, note Keith's hand drawn "Rollin' Stones" logo
Original Marquee newspaper advert
It was today on Thursday 12th July 1962, half a century ago that saw the fledgling R&B group perform in the basement club of the Academy Cinema at 165 Oxford Street, London, better know simply as the Marquee.
Inspired by the electric R&B sound of Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry the Brian Jones led band were booked to play along with Long John Baldry. 

Billed as "Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones" they played a set chock full of blues covers by the likes of Elmore James & Jimmy Reed. Mick's name was used in the billing as he would have been known to a number of the Marquee faithful as he regularly performed at the Marquee with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated at their weekly Thursday night residency. Blues Incorporated were a collective of some of the most exciting exponents of early British Blues including amongst others Cream's Jack Bruce.

It was due to Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated cancelling their regular Thursday gig at the Marquee, as they had been booked by the BBC to perform on the live "Jazz Club" radio broadcast for the Light Programme, that the Stones had their opportunity to perform. "Auntie Beeb" wouldn't pay for seven musicians to perform due to Musicians Union rules at the time so Mick was dropped and just Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies would do the vocals.

Original advert showing Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated gigs & BBC broadcast

On Wednesday 11th July 1962 the rag "The Jazz News" ran a story that read: "Mick Jagger, R&B vocalist, is taking an R&B group into the Marquee tomorrow night while Blues Incorporated do their Jazz Club brodcast gig." The line-up at the show was Brian Jones (guitar), Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), Tony Chapman (drums) & Dick Taylor (bass). Not long after this show Dick helped found The Pretty Things, he also produced and played on Hawkwind's first album!

This was the opportunity for Brian Jones to showcase his band...the rest is an unprecedented 50 years of rocking and a rolling!

Happy 50th Anniversary boys! 

Keith Richards & Brian Jones with a Reslo Ribbon Microphone
Keith Richards with a Reslo Ribbon Microphone
50th Anniversary shoot by Rankin

The Rolling Stones at 50
13 July – 27 August 2012

‘This is our story of fifty fantastic years. We started out as a blues band playing the clubs and more recently we’ve filled the largest stadiums in the world with the kind of show that none of us could have imagined all those years ago. Curated by us, it features the very best photographs and ephemera from and beyond our archives’
Mick, Keith, Charlie & Ronnie.

Photographer at the Marquee unknown.

More information at the following links:

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