Friday, October 19, 2007 10/19/07-Just Not Commercial

In today's excerpt--a guy named Brian Jones forms a band called the Rolling Stones:

"Brian Jones formed a band he called "The Rolling Stones," or as they were sometimes billed, "The Rollin' Stones," that performed publicly for the first time at London's Marquee club in July 1962. Brian, who was calling himself Elmo Lewis at the time, along with Mick [Jagger], Keith [Richards], Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor--later of The Pretty Things--and Mick Avory, who played with The Kinks. ... Back then they were a Blues band that received most of their press coverage in the jazz magazines. ... Enter Bill [Wyman] with his quality amps, and love of Rock and Roll rather than the Blues, who played his first gig with the band in mid-December 1962. ...

"[A] recording session in early March ... produced a demo record that Giorgio [Gomelsky, their manager] used in an attempt to get the band a deal. After trying at least half a dozen labels there was no deal--'they are just not commercial' was the general consensus. ...

"Two weeks after The Beatles had been to see the Stones at the Richmond Club, managers Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton turned up, '48 hours ahead of the rest of the industry,' as Andrew recalled ... and Giorgio was out of the frame. Two weeks later Dick Rowe at Decca Records, the man who had turned down The Beatles--and he wasn't going to be wrong twice--had signed the band, and a month later, on 7 June, the band's first single, a cover of Chuck Berry's Come On, was released. ...

By September they had secured a spot on the Everly Brothers' package tour and played twice a night in cinemas and theaters the length and breadth of Britain--sometimes even wearing matching outfits. Mid-way through the tour they recorded John Lennon and Paul McCartney's I Wanna Be Your Man, and two days before they finished with the Everlys it was released and managed to make No. 12 on the UK charts."

Bent Rej, The Rolling Stones in the beginning, Firefly, 2006, pp. 22-23.


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