Brian Jones

 Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones born Cheltenham, Gloustershire 28th February1942

Multiinstrumentalist

A Stone From 1962 To 1969

 Brian Jones died

 Died 3 July, 1969

Brian's father, Lewis, worked at Dowry’s aircraft works, the biggest engineering works in the arc. His mother, Louisa, was a piano  teacher.
He was sent to Dean Close public school as a day boy and went from there to Cheltenham Grinner School. Even though he was suspended for a short spell for encouraging rebellion against be prefects, be passed nine 'O' levels and 2 'A' level GCE'S, way above average.
Lewis was the organist at the local church and Brian sang in the choir. In 1958, Brian's interest in music led him to become membership secretary of the 66 Club, a local Jazz club. Ha played saxophone in several local jazz bands including Bill Nile's Delta Jazz Band and joined The Ramrods, a loud Gloucester rock band that played local dances and art schools.
He became notorious in Cheltenham after getting several young girls pregnant and this led to his leaving school early and becoming estranged from his family. Instead of going on to University, he worked on the buses, as a coalman, in a record shop, but his only real interest was music.
When Alexis Korner played Cheltenham with the Chris Barber Jazz Band, Brian became friendly with him and thenceforth hitch-hiked to London to hear him play with Blues lncorporated. Here he met Charlie Watts who was already playing drums with Alexis.
Another of the young English players who had to fallen in love with the blues was Brian, who so identified with the work of slide guitar expert Elmore James, he called himself Elmo Lewis.
Brian, blond, beautiful and attractive to men and women alike, Brian was a keen jazz and blues fan and first met Alexis Korner at a concert in Cheltenham. Later Brian travelled to Scandinavia where he played guitar and harmonica for a while before returning to Cheltenham to play sax with local band The Ramrods.
He moved to London where he shared an apartment in trendy Kensington with his girlfriend, and got of job working
in a department store. Determined to form his own band he advertised for musicians and met up with pianist Ian Stewart and guitarist Geoff Bradford. Eventually a band evolved featuring Brian, Ian, Geoff and singer Paul Jones     ( who later came to fame with Manfred Mann)
Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated played every Saturday night at the Ealing Club and in the steamy, exciting atmosphere, the pounding beat of "I Got My Mojo Workin” drove the beer-crazed youths who flocked to the club into a frenzy. This melting pot of musicians was where Mick Jagger and Keith Richard met Brian Jones for time on April 7, 1962. Keith in particular was blown away by Jones skilful playing style on “Dust my blues”.

They approached Brian after the gig, who was amazed to discover that Jagger and Richard had a band playing the same sort of material. “He’d been doing the same thing as we’d been doing” laughed Richard,” thinking he was the only cat in the world who was doing it”
Brian invited Keith to see his band again at different London clubs, where the guitarist met piano player Ian Stewart, who had developed a highly impressive boogie style based on at work of Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. The pieces were slowly beginning to fall into place.
One evening when he was playing a guest set with Blues incorporated, Mick and Keith were in the audience and immediately recognised a fellow blues fanatic. Mick became one of Blues Incorporated’s vocalists and Keith began to sit in. The inchoate Rolling Stones were born.

He did not receive any individual song writing credits for songs that the Rolling Stones recorded; he did not sing lead vocals on any of their records; and he was not a star guitar soloist. Nevertheless, he is more famous than any of the Rolling Stones except Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and for good reasons. His attitude and stage presence did a good deal to help define the Rolling Stones' image in the 1960s, and his skills on a variety of instruments lent many of their records a diversity and eclecticism that the group would never match after his departure. He also did a couple of little-known recordings under his own name, although those were ones in which he was a composer or a documentaries, as opposed to a featured performer. brian20b.jpg (50051 octets)


Jones was already a rebel who embodied the more flamboyant aspects of the Rolling Stones' lifestyle even before the Rolling Stones formed. As a teenager he got into trouble by fathering illegitimate children, and despite his high IQ, he shunned academic studies in favour of his passions for playing jazz and blues. In the early 1960s he was spotted by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger playing Elmore James-styled guitar while sitting in at an Alexis Korner gig. Jones moved to London and joined forces with Richards and Jagger to form a band, the Rolling Stones, who played their first shows in 1962. By most accounts Jones, a bit older than the others and more musically experienced, was at this point the band's leader and most important musical force.


By the time they made their first single in 1963, the Stones had settled into the five-man line-up that would carry them through most of the 1960s. In the first year or so of their recording career, Jones would continue to be the leader, if anyone was. Keith Richards was the band's lead guitarist, but Jones was less a rhythm guitarist than a second guitarist whose chords and riffs were counterpoints as much as support. Jones was also a good harmonica player (who helped teach Mick Jagger how to play the instrument), an excellent slide guitarist (best heard on the Stones' 1964 British chart-topper "Little Red Rooster"), and in the very early days a backup vocalist, although he would rarely function in that role after the mid-'60s. As the handsomest and most photogenic member of the group, he was also important to their image and making the band commercially viable. Jones was so determined to think of himself as the Stones' leader that he arranged to have himself paid five pounds more per week than the others for a while in 1963, which didn't go over well with the rest of the gang.


Brian Jones' influence in the Rolling Stones began to diminish in the mid-'60s, when Jagger and Richards began to establish themselves as the band's songwriters. Jones probably contributed to the several early Rolling Stones originals that were credited to the group pseudonym of Nanker-Phelge, but he never did have a song that he wrote, or co-wrote, under his own name recorded by the band. As a womanizer and heavy substance sampler, he helped set the pace for the Stones' bad-boy persona, but he also began to miss some performances and recording dates due to ill health and erratic behaviour. His truly important contributions to the band lay in his facilities for learning numerous instruments and adding unusual, creative touches to Stones recordings that gave them a pop appeal, in the best sense. These included the sitar on "Paint It Black"; the dulcimer on "Lady Jane"; the marimba on "Under My Thumb"; the recorder on "Ruby Tuesday"; the piano on "Let's Spend the Night Together"; and the Mellotron on "2000 Light Years From Home."


Jones did a couple of low-profile solo projects, one of which was not released until after his death. He composed the soundtrack for the 1967 film A Degree of Murder, starring his then-girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, playing sitar, organ, dulcimer, autoharp, and harmonica. He also recorded traditional Moroccan musicians at the Rites of Pan Festival in Morocco in 1968. Excerpts of these were released in 1971 as Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. His interest in Moroccan music in all probability influenced the Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request album, which occasionally employed African-style percussion and flutes. He was one of the first rock musicians to help expose this sort of music to Europe and North America, although it wouldn't be until the 1980s and 1990s that it gained an appreciable audience there. Jones also did some scattered guest appearances on other artists' records, the most famous by far of which is his jazzy saxophone solo near the end of the Beatles' "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)."


In the late '60s, Jones became further estranged from the rest of the band as some personal and physical problems made it more difficult for him to carry his weight on-stage and in the studio. A hand injury in 1966 affected his guitar playing, and although he did not go to jail for drug busts, because of his police record it was feared that he (and, thus, the band) would be unable to tour the United States. He lost his glamorous girlfriend, actress Anita Pallenberg, to Keith Richards. It is thought that his general ability to function was so impaired that he did not play on some of the sessions that produced the Rolling Stones' 1968 album Beggars Banquet, although that's probably him on slide guitar on "No Expectations."
Jones played on a little bit of Let It Bleed, but before that album was finished, he left the Rolling Stones.

 

On Sunday 8th June-69 came a decision that had been predicted in rumours for almost two years. Brain Jones left the group. They agreed that it would be best for Brain to go his own way. The Stones had already decided on a replacement for Brain. He was Mick Taylor a 22 year old guitarist who had been playing for the John Mayall Blues Breakers.
On the night of the 2nd July Brain decided to go for a midnight bathe in his swimming pool, his girl friend Anna Wohlin and Frank Thorogood went with him. For twenty minutes Brain swam around, the others went back inside. A little later they found him face-down at the bottom of the pool. All the members of the Stones were informed on Thursday and they were shocked. Brain had been a member of the Stones for seven years. The planned Hyde Park concert was dedicated to Brian, as Mick said: he would have wanted it to go on. One day before the concert Honky Tonk Women and You Can't Always Get What You Want was released as a single.

On Saturday 5th July-69 the Stones performed in Hyde Park for a great crowd, an official estimate of three hundred thousand people. Mick read out a poem by Shelley for Brian and after that they started their gig, with some new songs like Midnight Rambler.

On Thursday 10th July-69 Brian was buried.
 

 

May 1998 BRIAN JONES the late founder member of The Rolling Stones, is at the centre of a political row in his hometown of Cheltenham which has caught the attention of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Pat Andrews, the guitarist's former girlfriend, launched a campaign last March for a statue to commemorate Jones in the town he was born in, reports The Times newspaper. The Rolling Stone died in a swimming pool accident in 1969 at his property Cotchford Farm, the house where previous owner A. A. Milne wrote the Winnie The Pooh stories, and is buried in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham mayor Les Goodwin is aghast at the proposal. He says: 'Brian Jones wasn't a popular man. He lived in a drug culture. When you remember what this man did in his lifetime, you have to think, 'Does he deserve a statue?'. The local MP for the area Nigel Jones (Liberal Democrat and apparently no relation to the Stone) sent Blair's office details of the situation. The Prime Minister, whose Oxford university band The Ugly Rumours played Stones covers, replied with a message of his support to Pat Andrew wishing her and co-campaigners 'all the best'.
MP Jones says: We were thrilled. Mr Blair is in very good company. Marianne Faithfull also wants to recognise the enormous contribution that Brian made to the '60s. The Prime Minister's support has earned him a lifetime membership of the Brian Jones Fan Club.
 

July 1999: Swedish Girlfriend Claims Stones' Jones Murdered STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish woman who found Rolling Stones star Brian Jones drowned in his own swimming pool has said she believes the guitarist was murdered. Anna Wohlin, who was Jones's girlfriend at the time of his death 30 years ago, has broken her years of silence with a new book, 'The Murder of Brian Jones,' published this week. Wohlin, now 53, told Swedish newspaper Expressen it had taken her this long to be able to talk about the night of July 3, 1969, when she found 27-year-old Jones' dead in the pool at his luxury farmhouse in Hartfield, England.
'It hurt so much and went so deep. It was as if it had not happened to me,' Wohlin said in the interview. 'I was in such shock that I was sick. Then I repressed it -- I got married.'
A verdict of misadventure was recorded at the inquest into Jones's death, which happened a month after he quit the Rolling Stones. He was believed to have been swimming while under the influence of drink and drugs. But Wohlin, who now runs a woman's clothes shop in Stockholm, insists that by the time of his death Jones had stopped using hard drugs and had cut back on his drinking. She claims builder Frank Thorogood, now also dead, killed Jones in a dispute over money. Thorogood was doing some work for Jones at his farm. This theory gained credibility in 1994 when a recording of an alleged death bed confession by Thorogood came to light. Police briefly re-opened the investigation but with no progress. Wohlin said she decided after her divorce recently to write down her version of Jones's death.
'I felt that I wanted to tell what really happened, mainly for the sake of his son and his closest friends who also believed that he died when he was on drugs. That wasn't true. I knew what was going on,' she said.

 

Children:
59 son, adopted by other people (Brian and Miss Valerie)
4 Aug 60 daughter (Brian and Mrs. X)
22 Oct 61 Mark (Brian and Pat Andrews)
23 Jul 64 Julian (Brian and Linda Lawrence)
24 Mar 65 Paul (Brian and Dawn Molloy)

 


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