The genius of Brian Jones propelled the early Rolling Stones into the higher echelons of the pop charts all over the world.
He was a complete one off and there was much to admire about him. Jones was one of the ultimate sixties pop stars with a creative cutting edge, compounded with an out-there fashion sense, who remains a style icon to this day.
It seems strange to think that he has almost been air-brushed out of the Rolling Stones history.
Juggling his duties as a musician with heavy drink and drug use, he died in suspicious circumstances one summer’s night at his rock star mansion in Sussex. He was twenty seven years old.
Brian was not exactly a child prodigy but he showed early signs that he was certainly gifted. During the mid to late 1950’s, the skiffle craze was sweeping across Great Britain and the teenagers were going wild.
Brian Lewis Hopkins Jones was besotted. He could play the piano and the clarinet proficiently and it would not long before he joined his first skiffle group. He bought a saxophone and formed a band, Thunder Odin’s Big Secret, and began playing venues and parties across London.
He admired Blues musician Alexis Korner and met him after a gig in Cheltenham, where they exchanged phone numbers.
He was introduced to the music of Elmore James by Korner, it was Brian’s most important musical discovery and he was so enamoured by Elmore’s work, that he went under the name of Elmore Lewis and began his career as a full time musician.
In 1962 he formed the Stones, who built up a reputation as a tight live act almost immediately.
Brian was the leader and responsible for the music they played, how they looked and where the band was going.
He would soon suffer his first blow, losing control of the group to another young upstart.