On July 12th 1962, a band known as The Rollin’ Stones had their first gig at The Marquee ‘Jazz’ Club, Wardour Street, London. In January 1963 the legendary line up of the Rolling Stones became the entity consisting of Mick, Keith, Brian, Bill & Charlie.
The debut July 62 gig featured Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones. Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor & it is thought Mick Avory (Drums). Another Drummer Tony Chapman is also often associated with the debut gig and he certainly seems to have been a regular behind the kit in subsequent months of 1962. The highly revered Carlo Little from Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages is also thought to have backed the Stones in the days prior to Charlie Watts.
The opportunity for The Stones to play the Marquee Jazz Club came about thanks to Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated being offered a special appearance at the BBC. Blues Incorporated’s R & B credentials had been growing following their March Ealing Club launch and burgeoning gigs at the Marquee. The Jazz press was regularly highlighting the rise of so called ‘R & B’ live bands in London who were challenging the popularity of “trad jazz’ that dominated live music clubs.
According to Ray Coleman’s Book ‘Stone Alone” July and August provided The Rollin’ Stones 3 gigs in Ealing and another at the Wooden Bridge in Guildford.
In July/August 62, Mick had completed first year of study at LSE, Keith finished Art School and Brian was changing jobs while supporting a wife and child. Ian Stewart was working steadily at ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries)
The first Rollin’ Stones bassist, Dick Taylor (later of The Pretty Things) who appears in the Story of the Ealing Club – Suburban Steps To Rockland was set to pursue his art school studies vacating his spot for Ricky Fenson.
The Summer of 62 saw Ealing Club gigs along with a decision by Mick & Brian to rent a flat at 102 Edith Grove. It was here that Keith would later become a permanent resident at the ‘student digs’ in Chelsea.
Keith Richards commemorated 102 Edith Grove and The Ealing Club during the launch of his solo album Stolen Heart in 2017.
In Nov 2020, The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism show will re-launch at the Groningen Museum, Netherlands. No doubt it will cleverly recreate the atmosphere of the Edith Grove flat recalled here by both Mick and Keith back in 2018.
If travelling to the Netherlands by KLM Airlines don’t miss Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of the Ealing Club screening inflight. DVD’s are available at The Ealing Club Shop here.