We're setting off with soft explosion
January 3-31, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform 18 club gigs in London and surrounding areas.
January 10, 1963: Bill Wyman resumes
performing with the Rolling Stones, but not yet permanently.
January 11, 1963: Tony Chapman
performs his last concert with the Rolling Stones.
January 12, 1963: Charlie Watts
performs his first concert with the Rolling Stones, at the Ealing Club,
with Bill Wyman also participating.
Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts & Ian Stewart: Charlie in the Stones
Keith: The R&B thing started to blossom and we had Charlie playing on the bill with us in a club, there were two bands on. Charlie was in the other band. He'd left Korner and was with the same cats Brian had said fuck off to about 6 months before. We did our set and Charlie was knocked out by it. You,re great man, he says, but you need a fucking good drummer. So we said, Charlie, we can't afford you, man. Because Charlie had a job and just wanted to do weekend gigs... So he said, OK, and told the other band to fuck off, I'm gonna play with these guys.
Mick: We all thought Charlie was very kind of hip, because of his jackets and shirts. Because he was working in an advertising agency, he was very different. It was good for the band to have someone who was sort of sharp.. We must have convinced him that what we played wasn't rock and roll.
Charlie: I practiced at home to jazz records all the time. The only rock and roll I ever listened to was after the Stones turned me on to it. I used to like Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley and from there I went on to, who's that guy (Roy Orbison), Ooh Poo Pah Doo, and slowly I got on to hearing how good the early Elvis records were... When I joined the Rolling Stones I used to sit around, and Keith and Brian taught me Jimmy Reed. They used to play it all the time; we used to do a lot of those numbers. So I learned it through them... If you're talking about sort of rural blues, Chicago blues, no, I didn't know any of them, really... Without Chuck Berry I don't think music would be where it is today. That's how great he is, but I owe that all to Keith. He taught me to appreciate something like Havana Moon more than Johnny B. Goode.
Ian: With Charlie we were thinking about the atmosphere in the band. In the early days I thought Keith might be an awkward person to get to know. I'd watch Keith with other people, and he always seemed to back away a bit. But he and Charlie were a fuckin' comedy team. They had a dual sense of humor.
Mick: We had the advantage that Keith and I both get along very well with Charlie. The fact that there's three of us who get along so well is very important.
Charlie: When Mick was at school, Keith and Brian would always play... I was living (with them) at this rent-free house, just hanging out. But I was lucky because I had somewhere to go. Twice a week I'd go home. But they really were amazing days. Brian and Keith would sit and play Jimmy Reed all day long. I knew it BACKWARD.
January 23, 1963: Charlie Watts
and Bill Wyman become permanent members of the Rolling Stones
with this day's gig at the Red Lion Pub in Sutton, Surrey.
|Charlie Watts (2011): Becoming a Rolling Stone
Then I was asked to join the Rolling Stones. It was another band to join. I was in about three of them. No work (laughs), but I was asked to play in three bands. But once I joined the Rollin' Stones, as we were called then, I went to live with them and that's when I formed an impression of them. 'Cause I used to stay in London instead of going all the way back home, I used to hang out. We'd rehearse a lot. They - Brian and Keith - never went to work, so we played records all day, in that rather bohemian life. Mick was at university. But he paid the rent.
(1990): The early outcast
You had to be strong to join the Stones. The faint-hearted or ultrasensitive would not have stood the gibes that poured from Mick and Keith. From the minute I joined I realized they had to have someone to poke fun at, not always in a humorous way, often spiteful and hurtful. They HAD to have a scapegoat or a guinea-pig and in the early days it was me, followed by Brian. This could range from the color socks I wore, which they went on about all the time, to the jackets I bought, the cigarettes I smoked, the drinks I drank. And they always made fun of me for liking rock & roll. Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley - I grew up loving the music of these people. The Stones won me over to the blues, but I didn't suddenly take a dislike to straight American pop. They laughed about it all the time, couldn't believe they had recruied a player who was right for the Stones but who liked "white" rock & roll.
January 1963: Brian Jones starts dating Linda Lawrence.
Late January 1963: The Rolling
Stones are fired from the Marquee Jazz Club for asking for a higher free
because of progressively greater attendance.
February 1963: The Rolling Stones
develop residencies at various clubs and a constant stream of gigs.
February 1963: Liverpool's Beatles reach No. 1 in England with their second
single, Please Please Me, spawning the
"British beat boom".
February 1963: Impresario Giorgio
Gomelsky develops an interest in the Rolling Stones and becomes
their unofficial manager.
February 7, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform for the first time at the Harringay Jazz Club in London.
February 24, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform their first gig at the Station Hotel in Richmond, Surrey.
Club gigs in 1963
That was it. When we got Charlie, that really made it for us. We started getting a lot of gigs. Then we got that Richmond gig with Giorgio Gomelsky and that built up to an enormous scene. In London, that was the place to be every Sunday night. At the Richmond Station Hotel... Most of our gigs were basically West London - Kingston, Richmond, Eel Pie Island. In town on Sundays at Ken Colyer's 51 Club, in Charing Cross Road, and there'd be odd gigs in the East End, like Dalston, still some of the World War II spirit.
March 1963: The Rolling Stones
start developing a substantial following through their London and
Surrey club gigs.
March 2, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their last concert at the Ealing Jazz Club in London.
March 9, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their first concert at the Wooden Bridge Hotel in Guildford,
March 11, 1963: The Rolling Stones
record demos of five songs at IBC Studios in London: Diddley
Daddy, Baby What's Wrong, Bright Lights Big City, Road Runner and I Want to Be Loved.
April 1963: The Rolling Stones
continue building a fan base and reputation through their London/Surrey
Giorgio Gomelsky, Ian Stewart & Keith Richards: The Stones' stage style
and the Crawdaddy Club
Bill: We weren't a pop band, we just got together and played the blues music we liked to play. And if we could play in front of a few people who liked it - well, that was the ultimate at that time... We didn't even face the audience. We used to take stools with us, these old rusty metal stools, and we'd sit on these and never face the audience, let alone play it... We used the harmonica a lot back then - in a different way than the Beatles did on Love Me Do - and maracas, tambourines and that Bo Diddley jungle rhythm format. We tried to get that really earthy thing because we liked it. It wasn't fake. It wasn't pseudo. It was really down to earth and very, VERY exciting.
Giorgio Gomelsky: (The Stones) played their shit. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, things that weren't too difficult. But they were playing with guts and conviction. They were playing blues, but they weren't an academic blues band. The Rolling Stones were more like a rebellion... (It) was a ritual thing, and the Stones were nothing but ritual, really. In the end (at the Crawdaddy Club) people just went berserk...
Stu: The Station Hotel was the most important thing 'cause it was at the Station Hotel that you really started seeing excitement. It was at Richmond that they finally started to get up off their backsides and move, within 2 months they were swinging off the rafters. But the Station Hotel lasted about 10 weeks, because they wanted to pull the place down, and it's still standing there yet. It had a very low ceiling, with girders, so of course they're leaping about among the girders, they're going barmy.
Charlie: At Richmond we became sort of a cult, in a way. Not because of us, it just happens... There were so many people, and because there was no room to dance they used to invent ridiculous dances. There was no room for Mick to dance onstage and he used to just wiggle his arse, which sort of made... I don't know, but... it was lovely... I mean the Crawdaddy was like - it was nice to have a dance. It was nice to be there, and the Crawdaddy was always like that. That was really the best time for response of them all. I mean, it got a bit wearing, if you did the same set, and you knew at a certain time everything would explode. And sure enough it always did, and it always ended up in an absolute... gyrating... riot.
Destroying the London jazz club scene
Singlehandedly, we discover we've stabbed Dixieland jazz to death (in London), it's really just collapsed, all because of us. Brian was so pleased to see the last jazz band disband and us taking over the clubs, it was his happiest, proudest moment.
April 3, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their last concert at the Red Lion Pub in Sutton, Surrey.
April 14, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform for the first time at the newly-named Crawdaddy Club at
the Station Hotel in Richmond, Surrey. The Beatles, invited by Giorgio Gomelsky, visit the group and
meet them for the first time.
& Mick Jagger: The Stones' reactions to the Beatles
Keith: Brian wanted to be a pop star the minute he saw the Beatles. He got left behind in the crush and someone asked him for his autograph... Success went to Brian's head immediately. And the more successful we became, the more he thought it interfered with his compatibility with the band, the more he thought he was involved in a competition with me and Mick.
Mick: Keith liked the Beatles because he was quite interested in their chord sequences. He also liked their harmonies, which were always a slight problem to the Rolling Stones. Keith always tried to get the harmonies off the ground but they always seemed messy. What we never really got together were Keith and Brian singing backup vocals. It didn't work, because Keith was a better singer and had to keep going, oooh, ooh ooh (laughs). Brian liked all those oohs, which Keith had to put up with. Keith was always capable of much stronger vocals than ooh ooh ooh.
April 23, 1963: The Rolling Stones
fail an audition for BBC radio.
April 24, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their first concert at Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, London.
April 28, 1963: Andrew Oldham
and Eric Easton present themselves to the Rolling Stones at their
Crawdaddy Club gig and start discussing management possibilities.
May 1-31, 1963: The Rolling Stones
continue their club residencies and regular performances at Eel Pie
Island in Twickenham, the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor, Studio 51 in London, the Crawdaddy Club in
Richmond, and the Wooden Bridge Hotel in Guildford, as well as a performance at Battersea Park in
May 1, 1963: Andrew Oldham and
Eric Easton meet the Rolling Stones again and ask that Ian Stewart
step down from the official line-up, which they accept. He stays on as road manager.
Ian Stewart left out
It was obvious that Ian Stewart didn't fit the picture. He was still playing piano when we wanted him to; he didn't play on everything, anyway, because we were playing electrical instruments and he was playing an unamplified upright piano in a noisy club. You couldn't heart it. I'm not dissing him as though he wasn't part of the whole thing, but there were a lot of numbers which he didn't play on. It was plain that Ian didn't want to be a pop singer.
May 4, 1963: The Rolling Stones
shoot their first photo session.
May 5, 1963: Dick Rowe of Decca
Records witnesses the Rolling Stones in concert.
May 6, 1963: The Rolling Stones
sign a management contract with Andrew Oldham and Eric Easton.
(Andrew Oldham became our first manager). He didn't have the talent, really. He didn't have the talent for what he wanted to be. He could hustle people and thre's nothing wrong with hustling... He had a genius for getting things through the media. Before people really knew what media was, to get messages through without people knowing.
May 8-9, 1963: Brian Jones signs
the Rolling Stones to a 3-year recording deal with Decca Records.
May 10, 1963: The Rolling Stones
record the two sides of their first single at Olympic Sound Studios in
Choosing "Come On" as a single
We were always doing other people's material but (with Come On) we thought we'd have a go at that - Oh, it sounds catchy. And it worked out. At the time it was done just to get a record out. We never wanted to hear it. The idea was Andrew's - to get a strong single so they'd let us make an album which back then was a privilege.
June 1963: The Rolling Stones
pursue 22 engagements in clubs in the greater London and Surrey area.
7, 1963: The Rolling Stones' first single, Come On, is released
in the UK.
June 16, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform at the Station Hotel in Richmond for the last time, because
the club is closed down.
June 20, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform at the Scene Club in London for the first time.
June 30, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform at the new Crawdaddy Club at the Athletic Grounds in
July 1963: The Rolling Stones
continue their steady club residency concerts, and perform their first
gigs at ballrooms outside of the greater London and Surrey area.
July 7, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their first television appearance, on British TV's Thank Your
July 9, 1963: The Rolling Stones
hold their second official recording session at Decca Studios in London,
recording Fortune Teller.
July 11, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their last concert at the Scene Club in London.
July 13, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their first gig outside the London area, at the Outlook Club in
Middlesbrough in Yorkshire. (Note: Not the Alcove Club as usually stated in Stones tomes; thanks to fan Christopher Bailey,
who was there.)
July 16, 1963: The Rolling Stones
hold their third official recording session at Decca Studios in London,
recording a first version of Poison Ivy, what they initially thought would be their next single.
July 20 & 27, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform their first ballroom gigs, at the Corn Exchange in
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, and the California Ballroom in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
July 26, 1963: Mick Jagger turns 20.
August 1963: Pat Andrew gives up on Brian Jones, who is dating Linda Lawrence,
and moves back to Cheltenham.
August 1963: Bill Wyman quits his day job.
August 2-31, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform at 31 venues, composed roughly half of London area
club residencies and half of out-of-London ballrooms and other venues, including Dunstable
(Bedfordshire) again, and their first concerts in Horsham (Sussex), Birmingham, High Wycombe
(Buckinghamshire), Margate (Kent), Banbury (Oxfordshire), Northwich (Cheshire), Woking
(Surrey), Leicester (Leicestershire) and Manchester.
August 2, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their last concert at the Wooden Bridge Hotel in Guildford.
August 8, 1963: At Decca Studios
in London, the Rolling Stones record songs for their first EP, including
Bye Bye Johnnie and You Better Move On.
August 11, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform at the 3rd National Jazz Festival in Richmond, Surrey.
August 23, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their 2nd ever (UK) television appearance, and first on
Ready, Steady, Go!.
August 26, 1963: The scheduled
release date of the Rolling Stones' second UK single, Poison Ivy/
Fortune Teller, which is withdrawn.
August 29, 1963: The Rolling Stones
make their first apperance on Manchester's UK TV program Scene
August 31, 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform their first ever concert outside of England, at the Royal
Lido Ballroom in Prestatyn, Wales.
September 1963: The Rolling Stones
pursue a constant mixture of London area club gigs and British
ballrooms and halls, including for the first time Walmer (Kent), Lowestoft (Suffolk), Aberyswyth
(Wales), Kingston-upon-Thames (Surrey), Southsea (Hampshire), Peterborough
(Northamptonshire), Morecambe (Lancashire), Walthamstow (North London) and Cambridge
September 1963: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards move into an apartment together
in West Hampstead, London.
Chrissie Shrimpton moves in with them, who is, or starts, dating Mick.
September 1963: Approximate time
when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards start writing songs together.
September 1963: Brian Jones leaves Edith Grove and moves into Linda Lawrence's
parents' house in Windsor.
September 8, 1963: The Rolling
Stones make their second appearance on British TV's Thank Your
September 10, 1963: John Lennon
and Paul McCartney join a Rolling Stones rehearsal and teach them
I Wanna Be Your Man.
September 15, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform at a prestigious concert called The Great Pop Prom
the Royal Albert Hall in London. It is the first joint performance with the Beatles, who close the show.
September 22-25, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform their last gigs at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond,
the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor, and Eel Pie Island in Twickenham.
September 23, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform for the first time on the BBC radio program Saturday
September 29-30, 1963: The Rolling
Stones embark on their first theatre tour of Great Britain, on a
package tour headlined by the Everly Brothers and Bo Diddley, and eventually Little Richard,
performing in London and Cambridge
October 1963: The Rolling Stones
spend the month on their theatre tour of Great-Britain, performing
concerts in the London area, as well as shows in Birmingham, Manchester, Guildford, their first
concert in Cardiff, Wales, and their first shows in the central England cities Southend, Watford, St.
Albans, Cheltenham, Worcester, Wolverhampton, Hanley, Derby, Nottingham; the northern
England cities Doncaster, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Liverpool; and the southern England cities
Taunton, Bournemouth, Salisbury and Southampton.
October 7, 1963: The Rolling Stones
record both sides of their next single, I Wanna Be Your Man, at
Lane Lea Studios in London. On the same day, the Stones find out Brian Jones is earning a higher
salary for supposedly being the "leader" of the group.
October 13, 1963: The Rolling Stones discover Brian Jones is earning more
& Keith Richards: Brian starts digging his grave
Ian: When we started playing outside London, Brian said, I'm the leader of the group and I think I'll stay at the best hotel. All the rest of you can stay in a cheaper hotel. Of course, the rest of the Stones just laughed at him, and that was it from then on. It was all over for him as the leader. He started to isolate himself because of this attitude.
Keith: He had an arrangement with (Eric) Easton, that as leader of the band he was entitled to this extra payment. Everybody freaked out. That was the beginning of the decline of Brian. We said, Fuck you...
October 14, 1963: On a day off, the Rolling Stones catch the James Bond
movie From Russia With Love in
October 15, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform an extracurricular gig at the Majestic Ballroom in
Kinsgton-upon-Hull, Yorkshire, their first in that town.
Bill Wyman & Charlie Watts: Getting mobbed
Mick: Someone said to me, the other day, he said, When did you first get MOBBED? (Cackles) You remember that word?
(Ron Wood walks in.)
Woody: Hi boys.
Mick: Hi Ronnie, grab a chair... When did you first get mobbed? and I thought, that's funny, I never... I said, That's a good question, you know. I don't REMEMBER, you know, it was like suddenly -
Bill: (interrupts) I do.
Mick: I... Well, Bill, OK... (Laughs with Charlie) God, he remembers EVERYTHING! I'm trying to remember...
Bill: The first time we got mobbed - (Mick breaks up again) - was about...
Mick: (interrupts) I gotta tell what mobbed is, 'cause a lot of people don't know what mobbed is. Mobbed is when a lot of girls run and jump on you and pull your hair out...
Bill: ...And tear your clothes off...
Mick: OK, that's what that means...
Charlie: Where was it?
Mick: It doesn't happen anymore.
Bill: It was about a third of the way through the Everly Brothers tour...
...up in the North. It was either in Manchester or Liverpool, one of those
where we were actually
(Long pause, then everyone laughs together.)
October 17, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform for the first time in Scotland,
in Glasgow as part of the
Everly Brothers' tour.
October 22, 1963: Mick Jagger informs the London School of Economics he
is suspending his studies.
November 1-3, 1963: The Rolling
Stones complete their Everly Brothers theatre tour of Great Britain
with their first performances in Rochester (southern England), Ipswich (central England) and
concerts in London.
November 4-30, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform at 25 venues across England, including ballrooms,
clubs, halls and theatres. They perform their first concerts in Preston, Leeds, Whitley Bay,
Warrington, Wigan and Urmston (northern England); Crewe, Nuneaton, Coventry, Luton,
Altrincham and Stoke-on-Trent (central England); Bath and Swindon (southern England). They
also perform again in Liverpool, Newcastle, High Wycombe, Northwich, London and Richmond.
November 5, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform at the Beatles' famous haunt, the Cavern Club in
7, 1963: The Rolling Stones' second single, I Wanna Be Your Man,
is released in the UK.
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
We knew (the Beatles) by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: Hey Mick, we've got this great song. So they played I Wanna Be Your Man and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven't heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky 'cause nobody really produced it... It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage.
November 14, 1963: The Rolling
Stones record more songs for their next EP at De Lane Lea Studios in
London, recording Money, Talkin' 'Bout You and a re-make of Poison Ivy.
November 17, 1963: The Rolling
Stones make their third appearance on British TV's Thank Your Lucky
Stars, lip-synching to their latest single I Wanna Be Your Man.
November 20-21, 1963: Andrew Oldham produces demo sessions using the first
Jagger/Richards compositions to
give to other artists.
& engineer Glyn Johns: Songwriting and a shift of power
Keith: Andrew (Oldham) (that we could write our own songs). The fact that it came up was sheer luck because at that time songwriting was as different to being a guitar player as a bank clerk working in a store, you know. I mean it was a different job. You know, you had songwriters and - although we were well aware that what we were playing was written by the people who played them in the first place, we hadn't considered seriously that we could do it, you know: I'm lucky enough to have a talent for playing the guitar a bit, don't pile up on the optimism and be songwriters as well. But really it's a case of necessities, the mother of invention. You know when you run out of material, you come up with it. If you don't, you know... we wouldn't be talking now (laughs).... (T)hat's why I take my hat off to Andrew. He had no idea, but it was worth a try, and it worked. In that little kitchen Mick and I got hung up about writing songs... We were writing these terrible pop songs (that we gave to other artists) that were becoming Top 10 hits. I thought, What are we doing here playing the fucking blues, and writing these horrible pop songs and getting very successful? They had nothing to do with us, except we wrote 'em.
Mick and I being songwriters affected Brian a lot. It took Brian a long time to come to terms with that because it was very early on. After that he never regained any sort of status. He lost more and more interest as he went along.
Glyn Johns: (Andrew Oldham pushing Mick and Keith into songwriting) really caused Brian to be left behind. Until that time Brian was pretty much the group's spokesman and had some very good musical ideas. A lot of Stones records were built of riffs, and Brian invariably played those riffs. Then Mick and Keith were encouraegd to write and sell their songs and the whole balance of power shifted to them. They and Andrew took over directing the band.
November 22, 1963: The Rolling
Stones make their second appearance on British TV's Ready, Steady,
Go!. Backstage, they hear of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
December 1963: The Rolling Stones
perform at 25 more venues across England, again a mixture of
ballrooms, clubs, halls and theatres. They perform their first concerts in Southport (northern
England); Tamworth, Romford, Hereford, Bristol, Baldock, Leek and Lincoln (central England);
Croydon, Reading, Epsom and Winchester (southern England). They also perform again in
Manchester, Doncaster, Bradford, Liverpool, Worcester, Watford, High Wycombe, Guildford and
December 7, 1963: At Regent Sound
Studios in London, the Rolling Stones record demos for Andrew
Oldham, using Jagger/Richards compositions.
December 14, 1963: The Rolling
Stones visit sick children in a hospital.
December 22, 1963: Opening for
the Rolling Stones at their concert at St. Mary's Hall in Putney are
The Detours (The Who).
December 27, 1963: The Rolling
Stones make another appearance on British TV's Ready, Steady, Go!.
December 30, 1963: The Rolling
Stones perform their last gig at Studio 51 in London.
to Time Is On Our Side main page