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Brian Jones

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Title: Brian Jones  
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Subject: The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka, In Another Land, The Stones in the Park, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
Collection: 1942 Births, 1969 Deaths, 20Th-Century English Musicians, Alcohol-Related Deaths in England, Appalachian Dulcimer Players, British Harmonica Players, British Rhythm and Blues Boom Musicians, Burials in Gloucestershire, Counterculture of the 1960S, Deaths by Drowning, Drug-Related Deaths in England, English Buskers, English Guitarists, English Multi-Instrumentalists, English People of Welsh Descent, English Rock Guitarists, English Rock Musicians, Lead Guitarists, Marimbists, Musicians from Gloucestershire, People Educated at Dean Close School, People Educated at Pate's Grammar School, People from Cheltenham, Raf Cadets, Rhythm Guitarists, Sitar Players, Slide Guitarists, The Rolling Stones Members
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Brian Jones

Brian Jones
Jones, before Georgia Southern University on 4 May 1965
Background information
Birth name Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones
Also known as Elmo Lewis
Born (1942-02-28)28 February 1942
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Died 3 July 1969(1969-07-03) (aged 27)
Hartfield, Sussex, England
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer, composer
Instruments Guitar, keyboards, harmonica, sitar, marimba
Years active 1962–69
Labels Decca Records, Atco Records, London, Rolling Stones Records
Associated acts The Rolling Stones, Master Musicians of Joujouka, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix
Notable instruments

Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones[1][2] (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969) was the founder and original bandleader of the Rolling Stones.[3]

Jones was a multi-instrumentalist, with his main instruments being the guitar, harmonica and keyboards. His innovative use of traditional or folk instruments, such as the sitar and marimba, was integral to the changing sound of the band.

Although he was originally the leader of the group, Jones's fellow band members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soon overshadowed him, especially after they became a successful songwriting team. He developed a serious drug problem over the years and his role in the band steadily diminished. He was asked to leave the Rolling Stones in June 1969 and guitarist Mick Taylor took his place in the group. Jones died less than a month later by drowning in the swimming pool at his home on Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex.

Original Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman said of Jones, "He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played. He got us gigs. ... Very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away."[4]


  • Biography 1
    • Early life and paternity 1.1
    • Forming the Rolling Stones 1.2
    • Musical contributions 1.3
    • Estrangement from bandmates 1.4
    • Departure from the band 1.5
    • Death 1.6
      • Murder claims 1.6.1
  • Songwriting credits 2
  • Other contributions 3
  • Public image and legend 4
  • Discography 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Early life and paternity

Jones was born in the Park Nursing Home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on 28 February 1942. An attack of croup at the age of four left him with asthma, which lasted for the rest of his life.[5] His middle-class parents, Lewis Blount Jones and Louisa Beatrice Jones (née Simmonds) were of Welsh descent. Brian had two sisters: Pamela, who was born on 3 October 1943 and who died on 14 October 1945 of leukaemia; and Barbara, born on 22 August 1946.[5]

Both Jones's parents were interested in music: his mother Louisa was a choir at the local church.[5]

In 1957 Jones first heard Cannonball Adderley's music, which inspired his interest in jazz. Jones persuaded his parents to buy him a saxophone, and two years later his parents gave him his first acoustic guitar as a 17th birthday present.[6]

Jones attended local schools, including Dean Close School, from September 1949 to July 1953 and Cheltenham Grammar School for Boys, which he entered in September 1953 after passing the Eleven-plus exam. He enjoyed badminton and diving at school and attained first clarinet in the school orchestra. In 1957 he reportedly obtained seven O-level passes, then he continued into the sixth form and obtained a further two O-levels. He also took three A-levels in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and passed in Physics and Chemistry, but failed in Biology.[7] Jones had an IQ of 135 and was able to perform well in exams despite a lack of academic effort.[7] However, he found school regimented and disliked conforming. He disliked the school uniforms and angered teachers with his behaviour, though he was popular with classmates.[7] Jones himself said: "When I made the sixth form I found myself accepted by the older boys; suddenly I was in."[7]

His hostility to authority figures resulted in his suspension from school on two occasions.[7] According to Dick Hattrell, a childhood friend: "He was a rebel without a cause, but when examinations came he was brilliant."[7]

In late summer 1959, Jones's 17-year-old girlfriend, a Cheltenham schoolgirl named Valerie Corbett, became pregnant.[8] Although Jones is said to have encouraged her to have an abortion, she carried the child to term and placed baby Barry David (later Simon) for adoption.[7]

Jones quit school in disgrace and left home, travelling for a summer through Northern Europe and Scandinavia. During this period, he lived a bohemian lifestyle, busking with his guitar on the streets for money, and living off the charity of others. Eventually, he ran short of money and returned to England.[9]

Jones listened to classical music as a child, but preferred blues, particularly Elmore James and Robert Johnson. He began performing at local blues and jazz clubs, while busking and working odd jobs. He reportedly stole small amounts of money from work to pay for cigarettes, for which he was fired.[10]

In November 1959, Jones went to the Wooden Bridge Hotel in Guildford to see a band perform. He met a young married woman named Angeline, and the two had a one-night stand that resulted in her pregnancy. Angeline and her husband decided to raise the baby, Belinda, born on 4 August the following year. Jones never knew about her birth.[9]

In 1961, Jones applied for a scholarship to Cheltenham Art College. He was initially accepted into the programme, but two days later the offer was withdrawn after an unidentified acquaintance wrote to the college, calling Jones an irresponsible drifter.[11]

On 23 October 1961, Jones's girlfriend Pat Andrews gave birth to his third child, Julian Mark Andrews.[12] Jones sold his record collection to buy flowers for Pat and clothes for the newborn. He lived with them for a while. On 23 July 1964, another woman, Linda Lawrence, gave birth to Jones's fourth child, named Julian Brian.[13] In early October 1964, an occasional girlfriend of Brian's, Dawn Molloy, announced to Brian and the band's management that she was pregnant by Brian. She received a cheque for £700 from Andrew Loog Oldham, LTD. In return, she signed an agreement that the matter was now closed and she would make no statement about Brian Jones or the child to the public or the press. The undated statement was signed by Malloy and witnessed by Mick.[14] In March 1965 Dawn gave birth to Brian's fifth child Paul Molloy, renamed John Maynard by his adoptive parents.[15]

Forming the Rolling Stones

Jones left Cheltenham and moved to London where he became friends with fellow musicians Alexis Korner, future Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones, future Cream bassist Jack Bruce and others who made up the small London rhythm and blues and jazz scene there. He became a blues musician, for a brief time calling himself "Elmo Lewis", and playing slide guitar. Jones also started a group with Paul Jones called the Roosters and in January 1963, after both Brian and Paul left the group, Eric Clapton took over Brian's position as guitarist.[16]

Jones placed an advertisement in Jazz News (a Soho club information sheet) of 2 May 1962 inviting musicians to audition for a new R&B group at the Bricklayer's Arms pub; pianist Ian "Stu" Stewart was the first to respond. Later singer Mick Jagger also joined this band; Jagger and his childhood friend Keith Richards had met Jones when he and Paul Jones were playing Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" with Korner's band at the Ealing Jazz Club.[17] Jagger brought guitarist Richards to rehearsals; Richards then joined the band. Jones's and Stewart's acceptance of Richards and the Chuck Berry songs he wanted to play coincided with the departure of blues purists Geoff Bradford and Brian Knight, who had no tolerance for Chuck Berry.[10]

As Keith Richards tells it, Jones came up with the name the "Rollin' Stones" (later with the 'g') while on the phone with a venue owner. "The voice on the other end of the line obviously said, 'What are you called?' Panic. The Best of Muddy Waters album was lying on the floor—and track five, side one was 'Rollin' Stone'".[18]

The Rollin' Stones played their first gig on 12 July 1962 in the Marquee Club in London with Jagger, Richards, Jones, Stewart, bass player Dick Taylor (later of the Pretty Things) and drummer Tony Chapman.[19][20]

From September 1962 to September 1963 Jones, Jagger and Richards shared a flat (referred to by Richards as "a beautiful dump")[21] at 102 Edith Grove, Chelsea, with James Phelge, a future photographer whose name was used in some of the group's early "Nanker/Phelge" writing credits. Jones and Richards spent day after day playing guitar while listening to blues records (notably Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Howlin' Wolf). During this time, Jones also taught Jagger how to play harmonica.

The four Rollin' Stones went searching for a bassist and drummer, finally settling on Bill Wyman on bass because he had a spare VOX AC30 guitar amplifier[22] and always had cigarettes, as well as a bass guitar that he had built himself.[23] After playing with Mick Avory, Tony Chapman and Carlo Little, in January 1963 they finally persuaded jazz-influenced Charlie Watts to join them. At the time, Watts was considered by fellow musicians to be one of the better drummers in London; he had played with (among others) Alexis Korner's group Blues Incorporated.

Watts described Jones's role in these early days: "Brian was very instrumental in pushing the band at the beginning. Keith and I would look at him and say he was barmy. It was a crusade to him to get us on the stage in a club and be paid half-a-crown and to be billed as an R&B band".[18]

While acting as the band's business manager, Jones received £5 more than the other members, which did not sit well with the rest of the band and created resentment.[18] Keith Richards has said that both he and Mick were surprised to learn that Brian considered himself the leader and was receiving the extra £5, especially as other people, like Jethro Tull, The Who, and Taj Mahal.[36] Commentary included as bonus material indicated that almost everyone at the concert sensed that the end of Jones's time with the Rolling Stones was near, and Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who thought it would be Jones's last live musical performance.[36]

Departure from the band

Jones was arrested a second time on 21 May 1968, for possession of cannabis, which Jones said had been left by previous tenants of the flat. He was facing a long jail sentence if found guilty owing to his probation. The jury found him guilty but the judge had sympathy for Jones; instead of jailing him he fined him £50 plus £105 in costs and told him: "For goodness sake, don't get into trouble again or it really will be serious".[37]

Jones's legal troubles, estrangement from his bandmates, substance abuse and mood swings became too much of an obstacle to active participation in the band. The Rolling Stones wanted to tour the United States in 1969 for the first time in three years but Jones was not in fit condition to tour and his second arrest exacerbated problems with acquiring a US work visa. In addition, Jones' attendance of rehearsals and recording sessions had become erratic; and when he did appear he either rarely contributed anything musically or, when he did, his bandmates would switch off his amplifier, leaving Richards to play nearly all the guitars. According to author Gary Herman, Jones was "literally incapable of making music; when he tried to play harmonica his mouth started bleeding".[38]

This behaviour was problematic during the Beggar's Banquet sessions and had worsened by the time the band commenced recording Let It Bleed. In March 1969, Jones borrowed the group's Jaguar and went shopping in Pimlico Road. After the parked car was towed by police Jones hired a chauffeur car to get home.[39] In May 1969, Jones crashed his motorcycle into a shop window and was secretly taken to a hospital under an assumed name.[39] From this point, Jones was still attending recording sessions, but was no longer a major contributor to the band's music.[39] By May, he had made two contributions to the work in progress: autoharp on "You Got the Silver" and percussion on "Midnight Rambler". Jagger duly informed Jones that he would be fired from the band if he did not turn up to a photo session. Looking frail, he nonetheless showed up and his last photo session as a Rolling Stone took place on Wednesday, 21 May 1969, first at St. Katherine Docks, Tower Bridge, London and then at Ethan Russell's photographic studio in South Kensington London. The photos would appear on the album Through The Past Darkly (Big Hits Vol.2) in September 1969.[40]

The Stones decided that following the release of the Let it Bleed album (scheduled for a July 1969 release in the US) they would start a North American tour in November 1969. However, the Stones management was informed that because of his drug convictions Jones would not receive a work permit. At the suggestion of pianist and road manager Ian Stewart, the Stones decided to add a new guitarist and on 8 June 1969, Jones was visited by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts where he was told that the group he had formed would continue without him.[41]

To the public it appeared as if Jones had left voluntarily; the other band members told him that although he was being asked to leave it was his choice how to break it to the public. Jones released a statement on 9 June 1969, announcing his departure. In this statement he said, among other things, that "I no longer see eye-to-eye with the others over the discs we are cutting".[42] Jones was replaced by 20-year-old guitarist Mick Taylor (formerly of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers).

During the period of his decreasing involvement in the band Jones was living at Cotchford Farm in East Sussex, the residence formerly owned by Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne[43] which Jones had purchased in November 1968. Alexis Korner, who visited in late June, noted that Jones seemed "happier than he had ever been".[44] Jones is known to have contacted Korner, Ian Stewart, John Lennon, Mitch Mitchell, and Jimmy Miller about intentions to put together another band. Jones had apparently demoed a few of his own songs in the weeks before his death, including "Has Anybody Seen My Baby?" and "Chow Time".[45]


Brian Jones's headstone, located in Cheltenham Cemetery.

At around midnight on the night of 2–3 July 1969, Jones was discovered motionless at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm. His Swedish girlfriend, Anna Wohlin, was convinced Jones was alive when he was taken out of the pool insisting he still had a pulse. However, by the time the doctors arrived it was too late and he was pronounced dead. The coroner's report stated "death by misadventure" and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.[44]

Upon Jones's death, The Who's Pete Townshend wrote a poem titled "A Normal Day for Brian, A Man Who Died Every Day" (printed in The Times), Jimi Hendrix dedicated a song to him on US television, and Jim Morrison of The Doors published a poem titled "Ode to L.A. While Thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased".[46] Hendrix and Morrison both died within the following two years, both aged 27, the same age as Jones.[47][47][48]

The Rolling Stones performed at a free concert in Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, two days after Jones's death. The concert had been scheduled weeks earlier as an opportunity to present the Stones' new guitarist, Mick Taylor, and the band decided to dedicate the concert to Jones. Before the Rolling Stones' set Jagger read excerpts from "Adonais", a poem by Percy Shelley about the death of his friend John Keats, and stagehands released hundreds of white butterflies as part of the tribute. The band opened with a Johnny Winter song that was one of Jones's favourites, "I'm Yours and I'm Hers".

Jones was reportedly buried 10 feet (3 m) deep in Cheltenham Cemetery (to prevent exhumation by trophy hunters). His body was embalmed, hair bleached white, and was placed in an air-tight metal casket.[49] Watts and Wyman were the only Rolling Stones who attended the funeral. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were travelling to Australia to begin the filming of Ned Kelly; they stated that their contracts did not allow them to delay the trip to attend the funeral.

When asked if he felt guilty about Jones's death Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone in 1995: "No, I don't really. I do feel that I behaved in a very childish way, but we were very young, and in some ways we picked on him. But, unfortunately, he made himself a target for it; he was very, very jealous, very difficult, very manipulative, and if you do that in this kind of a group of people you get back as good as you give, to be honest. I wasn't understanding enough about his drug addiction. No one seemed to know much about drug addiction. Things like LSD were all new. No one knew the harm. People thought cocaine was good for you."[50]

Murder claims

Theories surrounding Jones's death developed soon afterwards with associates of the Stones claiming to have information that he was murdered.[51][52] According to rock biographer Philip Norman, "the murder theory would bubble back to the surface every five years or so".[51] In 1993 it was reported that Jones was murdered by Frank Thorogood, who was doing some construction work on the property. He was the last person to see Jones alive. Thorogood allegedly confessed the murder to the Rolling Stones' driver, Tom Keylock, who later denied this.[53] The Thorogood theory was dramatised in the 2005 movie Stoned.[54]

In August 2009, Sussex Police decided to review Jones's death for the first time since 1969, after new evidence was handed to them by Scott Jones, an investigative journalist in the UK. Scott Jones had traced many of the people who were at Brian Jones's house the night he died plus unseen police files held at the National Archives. According to Jones' researcher, Trevor Hobley, a neighbor saw a large bonfire on Jones' estate in which documentation was being burned on the morning of Jones' death as he was leaving for work at 7 a.m.[49]

In the Mail on Sunday in November 2008, Scott Jones said Frank Thorogood killed Brian Jones in a fight and the senior police officers covered up the true cause of death. Following the review the Sussex police stated that they would not be reopening the case. They asserted that "this has been thoroughly reviewed by Sussex Police's Crime Policy and Review Branch but there is no new evidence to suggest that the coroner's original verdict of 'death by misadventure' was incorrect."[55]

Songwriting credits

Unsure and insecure as a composer, Jones was not a prolific songwriter. The 30-second "Rice Krispies" jingle for Kellogg's, co-written with the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in 1963 and performed by the Rolling Stones incognito was credited to Jones; this did not sit well with the rest of the band, who felt it was a group effort and all should benefit equally.[56] Jones was also included in the "Nanker/Phelge" songwriting credit, a pseudonym used on fourteen tracks that were composed by the entire band and Andrew Oldham.

According to Andrew Oldham, the main reason for Jones's not writing songs was that Jones, being a blues purist, did not love simple pop music enough. Oldham tried to establish a songwriting partnership between Jones and Gene Pitney after "becoming bored senseless by Jones's bleating about the potential of half-finished melodies that by no means deserved completion", but after two days of sessions "the results remain best to be unheard, even by Stones' completists".[57]

When asked in 1965 if he had written songs, Jones replied: "Always tried. I've written quite a few, but mostly in blues style".[58] Many years later after his death, Keith Richards stated: "No, no, absolutely not. That was the one thing he would never do. Brian wouldn't show them to anybody within the Stones. Brian as far as I know never wrote a single finished song in his life; he wrote bits and pieces but he never presented them to us. No doubt he spent hours, weeks, working on things, but his paranoia was so great that he could never bring himself to present them to us".[59] In 1995, Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone that Jones had been jealous of the Jagger/Richards songwriting team, and added: "To be honest, Brian had no talent for writing songs. None. I've never known a guy with less talent for songwriting."[50]

Marianne Faithfull reported that Brian Jones wrote an early version of the melody for "Ruby Tuesday" and presented it to the group. Victor Bockris reported that Keith Richards and Brian Jones worked out the final melody in the studio.[60] Additionally, Jones is credited (along with Keith Richards) for the instrumental piece "Hear It". However, in 1966 Jones composed, produced, and played on the soundtrack to Mord und Totschlag (English title: A Degree Of Murder), an avant-garde German film with Anita Pallenberg, adding the majority of the instrumentation to the soundtrack.

The only known released Brian Jones song is "(Thank You) For Being There" co-written with Carla Olson. It appeared on the 1990 album True Voices as performed by Krysia Kristianne and Robin Williamson.

Other contributions

Jones's Vox Mark VI, retired for display

In summer 1968, Jones recorded the Morocco-based ensemble, the Master Musicians of Joujouka, as the name of the Moroccan mountain village was spelled at the time, the more correct spelling of the Arabic name being Jajouka, which was later used by the band; the recording was released in 1971 as Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. Jagger and Richards visited Jajouka in 1989 after recording "Continental Drift" for the Rolling Stones album Steel Wheels with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar in Tangier. A homage to Jones entitled "Brian Jones Joujouka very Stoned", painted by Mohamed Hamri, who had brought Jones to Jajouka in 1967, appeared on the cover of Joujouka Black Eyes by the Master Musicians of Joujouka in 1995, this being a splinter group created by an Irish friend of the former and estranged Moroccan manager, Mohamed Hamri. Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Jajouka was rereleased in co-operation with Bachir Attar and Philip Glass in 1995. The executive producers were Philip Glass, Kurt Munkasci and Rory Johnston, with notes by Bachir Attar, Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, Stephen Davis, Brian Jones, Brion Gysin and David Silver.[61] and included additional graphics, more extensive notes by David Silver and William S. Burroughs, and a second CD, produced by Cliff Mark, with two "full-length remixes."[62] Jones played alto saxophone on The Beatles song "You Know My Name", which was released in March 1970, eight months after his death.[62] Jones also played percussion on the Jimi Hendrix song "All Along the Watchtower": "that’s him playing the thwack you hear at the end of each bar in the intro, on an instrument called a vibraslap." [63]

Public image and legend

Anita Pallenberg has stated in an interview that he wanted to look like Françoise Hardy, he loved "dressing up and posing about" and that he would ask her to do his hair and make-up.[64] Bo Diddley described Brian as "a little dude that was trying to pull the group ahead. I saw him as the leader. He didn't take no mess. He was a fantastic cat; he handled the group beautifully."[65]

Jones's death at 27 was the first of the 1960s rock movement; Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison found their own drug-related deaths at the same age within two years (Morrison died two years to the day after Jones). The coincidence of ages has been described as the "27 Club". When Alastair Johns, who owned Cotchford Farm for over 40 years after Jones's death, refurbished the pool, he sold the original tiles to Jones's fans for £100 each, which paid for half of the work.[43] Johns noted that Cotchford Farm remained for decades an attraction for Jones' fans.

Jagger wrote The Stones' "Shine a Light" after Jones's death. It depicts Jones's behaviour and remoteness from the band, and asks God to shine a light on his soul.[66] Several other songs have been written about Jones: Morrison originally wrote The Doors' song "Tightrope Ride" for Jones, but after Morrison's death Ray Manzarek rewrote some of the lyrics so that they apply to both musicians. The Psychic TV song "Godstar" is about Jones's death, as are Robyn Hitchcock's "Trash", The Drovers' "She's as Pretty as Brian Jones Was", Jeff Dahl's "Mick and Keith killed Brian", Ted Nugent's "Death by Misadventure", and Salmonblaster's "Brian Jones". Toy Love's song "Swimming Pool" lists several dead rock icons including Jones (the others are Morrison, Hendrix, and Marc Bolan); Jones is also mentioned in De Phazz's song "Something Special". The Master Musicians of Joujouka song "Brian Jones Joujouka Very Stoned" was released in 1974 and 1996.[67] The band Tigers Jaw heavily references Jones and his death in their song "I Saw Water".

Many of his contemporaries admit to idolising him as young musicians, including Noel Redding, who, according to Pamela Des Barres's book I'm With the Band, contemplated suicide after hearing about his death.

The 2005 film Stoned is a fictional account of Jones and his role in the Rolling Stones. The part of Brian was played by English actor Leo Gregory.

A fictionalised version of Jones and the tribute concert to him appears in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century in its second issue, "Paint it Black".

His exceptional musicianship as well as contribution to the band is featured heavily in the documentary Crossfire Hurricane.


With the Rolling Stones
Jones plays on "Midnight Rambler" and "You Got The Silver"
With the Beatles
With Jimi Hendrix
  • "All Along the Watchtower" (1968) percussion
  • "My Little One" (2011, recorded in 1967) sitar, percussion
  • "Ain't Nothin' Wrong With That" (2011, recorded in 1967) sitar, percussion
With Peter and Gordon[45]
  • "You've Had Better Times" (1968) drums
  • "Mess of the Blues" (1964) harmonica
With McGough and McGear[45]
  • "Basement Flat" (1968) saxophone
  • "Summer with Monica" (1968) saxophone
With Marianne Faithfull
  • "Is This What I Get For Loving You?" (1966) euphonium[45]
With The Andrew Oldham Orchestra
  • "365 Rolling Stones" (1964) lead vocals, handclaps[69]
With Hapshash and the Coloured Coat
  • "Western Flier" (1969) piano, guitar, harmonica[70]
Solo discography


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  • Gary Herman, Rock 'N' Roll Babylon (Norfolk: Fakenham Press, 1982), ISBN 0-85965-041-3
  • Gered Mankowitz, Brian Jones: Like a Rollin' Stone
  • Robert Weingartner, A tribute to Brian Jones
  • Terry Rawlings (1994), Who Killed Christopher Robin?: The Life and Death of Brian Jones, ISBN 0-7522-0989-2
  • Laura Jackson (1992), Golden Stone: The Untold Life and Tragic Death of Brian Jones, ISBN 0-312-09820-0
  • R. Chapman, "The bittersweet symphony", Mojo, 68 (July 1999), pg.62–84
  • Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman, Stone Alone, ISBN 0-670-82894-7
  • Alan Clayson, Brian Jones, ISBN 1-86074-544-X
  • Bill Wyman, Richard Havers. Rolling With The Stones, ISBN 0-7894-8967-8
  • Andrew Loog Oldham, Stoned : A Memoir of London in the 1960s ISBN 978-0-312-27094-0
  • Mandy Aftel, Death of a Rolling Stone: The Brian Jones Story (Delilah Books, 1982) ISBN 0-933328-37-0
  • Graham Ride, Foundation Stone, ISBN 1-904221-02-5

External links

Where once Jones played multiple instruments on many tracks, he now played only minor roles on a few pieces. Jones's last formal appearance was in the December 1968

Jones's last substantial sessions with the Stones occurred in spring and summer of 1968 when the Stones produced "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and the Beggars Banquet album. He can be seen in the Jean-Luc Godard film One Plus One playing acoustic guitar and chatting and sharing cigarettes with Richards, although Jones is neglected in the music-making. The film chronicles the making of "Sympathy for the Devil".

In March 1967, Anita Pallenberg, Jones's girlfriend of two years, left him for Richards when Jones was hospitalised during a trip the three made to Morocco,[35] further damaging the already strained relations between Jones and Richards. As tensions and Jones's substance use increased, his musical contributions became sporadic. He became bored with the guitar and sought exotic instruments to play, and he was increasingly absent from recording sessions. In Peter Whitehead's promotional film for "We Love You", made in July 1967, he appears groggy.

Hostility grew between Jones, Jagger, and Richards, alienating Jones further from the group.[31] Although many noted that Jones could be friendly and outgoing, Wyman, Richards, and Watts have commented that he could also be cruel and difficult.[32] By most accounts, Jones's attitude changed frequently; he was one minute caring and generous, the next making an effort to anger everyone. As Wyman observed in Stone Alone: "There were at least two sides to Brian's personality. One Brian was introverted, shy, sensitive, deep-thinking. The other was a preening peacock, gregarious, artistic, desperately needing assurance from his peers."[33] "He pushed every friendship to the limit and way beyond".[34]

In June 1967, Jones attended the Monterey Pop Festival. There he met Frank Zappa and Dennis Hopper, and went on stage to introduce the Jimi Hendrix Experience which was not well known yet in the USA.

Jones was arrested for drug possession on 10 May 1967, shortly after the "Redlands" incident at Richards' Sussex home. Authorities found marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine in his flat. He confessed to marijuana use but claimed he did not use hard drugs.

The toll from days on the road, the money and fame, and the feeling of being alienated from the group resulted in Jones's overindulgence in alcohol and other drugs. These excesses had a debilitative effect on his physical health and, according to Oldham, Jones became unfriendly and asocial at times.

According to Oldham in his book Stoned, Jones was an outsider from the beginning.[29] When the first tours were arranged in 1963, he travelled separately from the band, stayed at different hotels, and demanded extra pay. According to Oldham, Jones was very emotional and felt alienated because he was not a prolific song writer and his management role had been taken away. He "resisted the symbiosis demanded by the group lifestyle, and so life was becoming more desperate for him day by day. None of us were looking forward to Brian totally cracking up".[30]

Andrew Loog Oldham's arrival marked the beginning of Jones's slow estrangement. Oldham recognised the financial advantages of bandmembers' writing their own songs, as exemplified by Lennon–McCartney, and that playing covers would not sustain a band in the limelight for long. Further, Oldham wanted to make Jagger's charisma and flamboyance a focus of live performances. Jones saw his influence over the Stones' direction slide as their repertoire comprised fewer of the blues covers that he preferred; more Jagger/Richards originals developed, and Oldham increased his own managerial control, displacing Jones from yet another role.[28]

Estrangement from bandmates

His aptitude for playing a wide variety of instruments is particularly evident on the albums Aftermath (1966), Between the Buttons (1967) and Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967).

Richards maintains that what he calls "guitar weaving"[27] emerged from this period, from listening to Jimmy Reed albums: "We listened to the teamwork, trying to work out what was going on in those records; how you could play together with two guitars and make it sound like four or five".[18] Jones's and Richards's guitars became a signature of the sound of the Rolling Stones, with both guitarists playing rhythm and lead without clear boundaries between the two roles.

In the early years, Jones often served as a backing vocalist. Notable examples are "Come On", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "I Just Wanna Make Love to You", "Walking the Dog", "Money", "I'm Alright", "You Better Move On" and "It's All Over Now". He contributed backing vocals as late as 1968 on "Sympathy for the Devil". He is also responsible for the whistling on "Walking the Dog".

Jones also played harmonica on many of the Rolling Stones' early songs. Examples of Jones's playing are on "Stoned" (1963), "Not Fade Away" (1964), "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "Now I've Got A Witness" (1964)" (from The Rolling Stones), "Good Times, Bad Times" (1964), "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (1964) (from E.P. Five By Five), "The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man", "One More Try" (1965) (from Out of Our Heads), "High and Dry" and "Goin' Home" (1966) (from Aftermath), "Who's Driving Your Plane?" (1966), "Cool Calm and Collected", "Who's Been Sleeping Here" (1967) (from Between The Buttons), and "Dear Doctor" and "Prodigal Son" (1968) (from Beggars Banquet).

Examples of Jones's contributions are his slide guitar on "Let's Spend the Night Together"; marimba on "Under My Thumb", "Out of Time" and "Yesterday's Papers"; recorder on "Ruby Tuesday" and "All Sold Out"; saxophone on "Child of the Moon" and "Citadel"; Appalachian dulcimer on "I Am Waiting" and "Lady Jane", Mellotron on "She's a Rainbow", "We Love You", "Stray Cat Blues", "2000 Light Years from Home, and "Citadel"; and (for his final recording as a Rolling Stone) the autoharp on "You Got the Silver".

Jones's main guitar in the early years was a Harmony Stratotone, which he replaced with a Gretsch Double Anniversary in two-tone green.[25] In 1964 and 1965, he often used a teardrop-shaped prototype Vox Mark III. From late 1965 until his death, Jones used Gibson models (various Firebirds, ES-330, and a Les Paul model), as well as two Rickenbacker 12-string models. He can also be seen playing a Fender Telecaster in the 1968 "Jumpin' Jack Flash" promo video.

Bill Wyman (left), Brian Jones (centre) and Mick Jagger (right) onstage with the Rolling Stones, 1965

Musical contributions


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