The sweet, devilish Jagger-Richards essence of the new rock that rolled, The Rolling Stones, was born on this day 54 years ago.
Triumphant tour commemorating the run now in the books, in the meantime, let’s roll the clock back and wax on that first gig at London’s Marquee Club, billed without the ‘g’ as The Rollin’ Stones, on account of the young Brits love for American blues heart Muddy Waters.
Drummer Charlie Watts wouldn’t join the band for another year, guitarist Ronnie Wood not for another 13. Richards quipped last year to MSNBC, “The Stones always really consider ’63 to be 50 years…we look upon 2012 as sort of the year of the conception. But the birth is next year.”
Even so, the three stand-in musicians that filled out the lineup on that day — Dick Taylor on bass, Ian Stewart on piano and Mick Avory on drums — kicked out a couple dozen blues covers laced with an edge the world was thirsting for. Dig on their purported second number that night, a harmonica cruiser of a cover of Billy Fury‘s “Honey What’s Wrong,” contorted to “Baby What’s Wrong,” ramshackling up your hips and things will all make sense, Jagger taunting:
Hey now babe, honey what’s wrong witch you
Well now don’t treat me baby like you used to do