May 12, 1968

May12On this day in 1968, Brian Jones played his final live performance with The Rolling Stones.

They appeared at Empire Pool in Wembley, England, at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert. Jones was the founding member of The Stones. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soon dominated the group, specifically after becoming a successful songwriting team. Jones developed serious substance abuse problems over the years, and his role in the band steadily diminished.

Jones had placed an ad in the Jazz News in May of 1962, asking musicians to audition for a new R&B group at the Bricklayers Arms pub. Singer Mick Jagger applied and brought along his childhood friend Keith Richards. It was Jones who came up with the name The Rollin’ Stones (later changing the name to add the ‘g’). The name came about when he was on the phone with a venue owner who asked for the name of his group. There was The Best of Muddy Waters record lying on the floor and track one was ‘Rollin’ Stone Blues’. The name popped out of Jones’ mouth; little did he know at the time of the impact that that name would have in the world of music history.

By 1967, animosity had grown between Jones, Jagger, and Richards. Jones was alienating himself further from the group and continued abusing drugs. He was increasingly absent from Rolling Stones recording sessions. When Jones’ girlfriend of two years, Anita Pallenberg left him for Richards, it proved too much for Jones to handle, and caused further damage to the already-strained relations between Jones and Richards.

During this period of his decreasing involvement with the band, Jones was living at Cotchford Farm in East Sussex, the residence formerly owned by Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne, which Jones had purchased in November 1968. He would die there shortly after.

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