Manager Andrew Loog Oldham publicized The Stones by asking "Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?" He was positioning them as bad boys as opposed to the goody-goody Beatles. Contrary to popular belief, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were actually friends. Though at the time, The Stones were illustrated as being the anti-Beatles for publicity, the two bands were on very good terms. They even attribute some of their early accomplishments to the other; for instance, The Stones got their first recording contract from Decca on the suggestion of George Harrison to Decca's head man. The Beatles admired the Stones for their refusal to wear the matching stage suits that the Beatles dawned to win affection from the fans, and Brian Jones' ability at playing the harmonica. (thanks, Emily - Philadelphia, PA)
Piano player Ian Stewart, considered the "6th Stone," was not an official member of the group because manager Andrew Loog Oldham felt he didn't fit the Stones image. He died of a heart attack in 1985.
In 1968, The Stones taped a British TV special called Rock and Roll Circus. It featured music and circus performances, with guests Jethro Tull, John Lennon, Taj Mahal, and The Who, among others. Lennon's first performance without the Beatles, it never aired on TV, but was released on video in 1995.
In 1989, Bill Wyman opened a restaurant in London called Sticky Fingers.
Their long hair was considered outrageous in 1963. They took out a Christmas ad in a paper saying "Best wishes to all the starving hairdressers and their families."
Jagger and Richards did a lot of drugs. Brian Jones did enough to kill him, but Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts stayed mostly clean.
The Stones are named after Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone Blues." Blues artists like Waters had a strong influence on The Stones.
They almost became a Rock and Roll casualty in 1963 when their van skidded off a bridge, but it didn't flip over. Their road manager and piano player Ian Stewart was driving.
Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool on July 3, 1969. The coroner's report listed "death by misadventure." He had major drug problems and left the band a few weeks earlier.
When Mick Taylor left in 1975, The Stones considered Jeff Beck, Wayne Perkins, Havey Mandel, Rory Gallagher, and Peter Frampton before deciding on Ron Wood.
Richards was arrested for heroin possession in 1977. As part of his sentence, he played 2 shows for blind children in Toronto with The New Barbarians, a group he formed with Ron Wood, Stanley Clarke, Bobby Keys, Joseph Modeliste, and Ian McLagan. Richards was facing a long jail sentence but got off easy. He thinks the judge went easy on him after hearing from a blind girl who Richards helped go to Stones shows.
Their 1981 world tour was the first tour to be sponsored. Jovan perfume paid them $4 million. Kimo Kekeahuna-Vail, the Hawaiian Kahuna, shaman and impresario, served as executive producer of the tour and convinced Mick Jagger and The Stones to take on a sponsorship. Kahuna never sponsored another Rock act because, as he said... "How can you top touring with the gods." Kahuna followed up with award winning tours sponsorships with Julio Iglesias/Coca-Cola and then Willie Nelson/Wrangler Jeans, creating the genre of tour sponsorship. (thanks, Kahuna - Maui, HI)
In 1983 Jagger was commissioned to write his autobiography. After the first manuscript, he gave back his advance and quit the project.
Most of their songs were credited to Jagger/Richards. This angered Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman, who did not receive writing credit for their contributions. Ron Wood got occasional credits.
The Stones did not appear as a group at Live Aid, but Jagger did duets with David Bowie and Tina Turner, and Richards and Wood played with Bob Dylan.
They are the highest earning rock band in history. Their concerts have grossed over $750 million.
It is rumored that Bill Wyman coined the term "Groupie" during their 1965 Australian tour.
In 1971, the powers that be behind the production of A Clockwork Orange briefly toyed with the idea of casting Jagger in the lead role as Alex and having the rest of the Stones along as his "droogs." Yeah, that could have been Mick sitting their with his eyeballs propped open screaming "Me glazzies!"
Jagger was knighted in 2002. Richards thought it was very hypocritical of him to accept the honor, since the Stones have always been critical of the British monarchy and English law.
Jagger (on their music): "It's a noise we make. That's all. You could be kind and call it music." (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
Before joining The Stones, Brian Jones used the stage name Elmo Lewis. He was in the duo Lewis and Ponds with Paul Jones, who used the name "Paul Pond." Paul Jones was offered the job of Stones lead singer, but turned it down. (thanks, whitney - Houston, TX, for above 2)
In 2002, The Stones played a private concert for a Texas investor named David Bonderman, who also hired John Mellencamp and Robin Williams to perform. The show was in honor of his 60th birthday, and The Stones' fee was $7 million.
They were the headliners of the most-attended concert in Canadian history. They headlined the SARS benefit show in Toronto in July, 2003. Some of the supporting bands in the lineup included AC/DC, Rush, and the Guess Who. (thanks, Kyle - Wingham, Ontario, Canada)
Their famous tongue logo was inspired by the Indian Hindu goddess Kali The Destroyer. It was designed by John Pasche, who was a student at the Royal College of Art in London when he got a gig designing a poster for The Stones 1970 European tour. Mick Jagger was wowed by the poster, so he asked Pasche to create a logo for their new record label. Jagger suggested Kali as a starting point, and Pasche incorporated Mick's mouth into the design. The logo first appeared on the inner sleeve of the Sticky Fingers album. The cover of that album was designed by Andy Warhol, who is sometimes mistakenly credited with creating the lips logo.
Jagger (1983): "I'm totally anti-nostalgia; I never listen to old Rolling Stones records. I'm not really interested in them. They're funny, sometimes, to hear." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards grew up together in Dartford, Kent, in England. They went to the same primary school together (very similar to children's' daycare) but parted when they went on to different grammar schools. They met up again in their late teens at a train station, when Keith noticed Jagger carrying some blues records under his arm. Blues, which were inaccessible in England at the time, were Mick and Keith's mutual passion.
The Stones' most infamous drug bust occurred at Redlands, Keith Richards' English estate. Richards was holding a house party with a large number of guests, of whom was Mick Jagger and his girlfriend at the time, Marianne Faithfull. (George Harrison also attended, but left conveniently before the police arrived.) Mick and Keith were arrested after amounts of LSD and other drugs were found in their possession. They were both sentenced with significant jail time, but their charges were dismissed after a newspaper editor published an article condoning the court for issuing unfairly harsh punishments for a relatively minor offense, with an alleged bias against their growing fame. (thanks, Emily - Philadelphia, PA, for above 2)
They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in January 1989. In his acceptance speech, Jagger honored 2 people who were not presently with the band: Brian Jones and Ian Stewart.
Ron Wood's brother Ted was in the band The Temperance Seven, who had a hit with "You're Driving Me Crazy" in 1961.
Jagger was knighted in 2003 for "services to popular music." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3)
The Rolling Stones don't go on tour without their snooker table. In addition, the rock stars asked for video games and a ping pong table in their USA '97-'98 rider. For the 2005 "A Bigger Bang" tour the band has dropped video games for watching cricket on satellite or cable TV. The latter rider also reveals what names the rock singers give to their dressing rooms backstage: Mick Jagger's is "Workout," Charlie Watts has "Cotton Club," Ron Wood is in "Recovery" and Keith has "Camp X-Ray."