On 12 July 1962, the Rollin’ Stones performed their first-ever gig at London’s Marquee jazz club. Down the line, a 'g’ was added, a spark was lit and their destiny was sealed. No going back.
These five white British kids set out to play the music of black America. They honed a style that bled bluesy undertones into dark insinuations of women, sex and drugs. Denounced as 'corruptors of youth’ and 'messengers of the devil’, they created some of the most thrilling music ever recorded.
Now, their sound and attitude seem louder and more influential than ever. Elvis is dead and the Beatles are over, but Jagger and Richards bestride the world. The Stones may be gathering moss, but on they roll.
Yet how did the ultimate anti-establishment misfits become the global brand we know today? Who were the casualties, and what are the forgotten legacies? Can the artist ever be truly divisible from the art?
Lesley-Ann Jones’s new history tracks this contradictory, disturbing, granitic and unstoppable band through hope, glory and exile, into the juggernaut years and beyond into rock’s ongoing reckoning . . . where the Stones seem more at odds than ever with the values and heritage against which they have always rebelled.