This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones and while all is quiet in the Stones camp for a concert, the only official event named to mark the anniversary is a documentary, currently in production.
The Rolling Stones have recruited director Brett Morgen for the job of compiling the 50 year story of The Stones. Morgen expects to have the documentary ready to screen in September.
The Rolling Stones officially formed in April, 1962 with Mick Jagger (vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Ian Stewart (piano), Brian Jones (guitar). Dick Taylor (bass) and Tony Chapman (drums).
They played their first gig as The Rolling Stones in London on July 12, 1962.
Bill Wyman replaced Taylor in December, 1962. Charlie Watts replaced Chapman in January, 1963. Ian Stewart became their tour manager and concert keyboard player in May, 1963.
The nucleus of Jagger, Richards, Wyman, Watts and Jones was in place in January 1963 when Charlie joined making the anniversary arguably from either April, 1962 or January, 1963. Keith says January, 1963 is the date they go by.
When I wrote the story that Charlie had left the band in September, 2009, it sent Stones fans into a frenzy yet with the 50th anniversary on the doorstep now, the band is doing little to confirm they will even mark the occasion with shows or new music.
Following the story, Stones spokesperson Fran Curtis issued the following statement: “Contrary to a fabricated story that ran this morning on a small music web site in Australia, drummer Charlie Watts has not left The Rolling Stones.” Regardless of that denial, the 50th anniversary has arrived and it is all quiet on the Stones front.
Last month, NME reported any live Stones activity had been pushed into 2013, quoting Keith Richards as saying, “Basically, we’re just not ready”.
In the article, Richards said he considered 1963 to be their formation year anyway. “The Stones always considered ’63 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts, drummer] didn’t actually join until January,” he said. “We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year.”
To be continued …