Formed in 1962, The Rolling Stones have become one of the world's most recognized and enduring bands. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first crossed paths at Dartford Maypole County Primary School. A decade later the two had become avid fans of blues and American R&B, and shared a mutual friend in musician Dick Taylor. Jagger and Taylor were jamming together in Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. Richards would soon join the group and become expelled from Dartford Technical College for truancy.

Meanwhile in another part of town. . . .Cheltenham's Brian Jones had begun a career in truancy to practice the sax. By the time Jones had reached sixteen, the future Stone had fathered two illegitimate children and skipped town to Scandinavia, where he began to pick up guitar. Jones eventually drifted to London where he spent some time with Alexis Korner's Blues, Inc., then made the move to start up his own band. While working at the Ealing Blues Club with a loose version of Blues, Inc. and drummer Charlie Watts, Jones began jamming with Jagger and Richards on the side. Jagger would front the new band.

Jones, Jagger and Richards, along with drummer Tony Chapman, cut a demo tape that was rejected by EMI. Chapman left the band shortly after to attend Art College. By this time Blues, Inc. had changed their name to the Rolling Stones, after a Muddy Waters song.

The Rolling Stones' first show occurred on July 12, 1962 at the Marquee. In January of 1963, after a series of personnel changes, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts rounded out the Stones' line-up.

A local entrepreneur, Giorgio Gomelsky, booked the group for an eight month stint at his Crawdaddy Club. The highly successful run at the Crawdaddy attracted the attention of manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who signed them as clients. With the Beatles quickly becoming a sensation, Oldham decided to market the Stones as their wicked opposites.

In June of 1963, the Stones released their first single, a Chuck Berry tune, "Come On." The group performed on the British TV show "Thank Your Lucky Stars," where the producer told Oldham to get rid of "that vile-looking singer with the tire-tread lips." The single reached #21 on the British charts.

After proving themselves with a series of chart topping hits, Jagger and Richards began writing their own songs using the pseudonym "Nanker Phelge." "Tell Me (You're Coming Back)" became the band's first U.S. Top Forty hit. January of 1965 was the year the Stones broke another # 1 in the U.K. with "The Last Time" and broke the top ten in the U.S. with the same tune. The band's next single, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," held the # 1 spot for four weeks and went on to become probably their most famous.

The Stones released their first album of all-original material in 1966 with "Aftermath." The impact of the release was dulled, due in part, to the simultaneous release of the Beatles' "Revolver" and Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" - a good year for rock and roll. The following year, the Stones were back in the limelight when the group performed "Let's Spend The Night Together" on the "Ed Sullivan Show." Amid threats of censorship, Jagger mumbled the title lines of the song. Some claim Jagger sang "Let's Spend Some Time Together."

With the release of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper," it seemed every band began to gauge themselves against the landmark recording - including the Stones. In December of '67, the Stones released "Their Satanic Majesties Request" - panned as an "ambitious mess."

The following year the Stones went back to their roots with the release of "Jumping Jack Flash." The song landed them a # 3 hit. "Beggar's Banquet" was hailed as the band's finest achievement.

On June 9, 1969, Brian Jones announced he was leaving the group saying: "I no longer see eye to eye with the others over the discs we are cutting." Within a week, Jones was replaced by Mick Taylor (ex-John Mayall guitarist). Plans Jones had made to start his own band were cut short when on July 3, 1969, he was found dead in his swimming pool. After the death, at a concert in London's Hyde Park, Jagger read an excerpt from a poem by Shelley and released thousands of butterflies over the park.

More tragedy was about to strike the group when the Stones gave a free "thank-you America" concert at California's Altmont Speedway. A young black fan, Merideth Hunter, was stabbed to death by members of the Hell's Angels motor cycle gang. The Stones had hired the gang - on the advice of the Grateful Dead - as security for the event. The murder was captured on film by the Maysles brothers in their documentary "Gimmie Shelter." As a result of public outcry, "Sympathy for the Devil" was dropped from the set-list for the next six years. The band had actually been playing "Under My Thumb" when the murder occurred.

In 1970, the Stones formed their own record label - Rolling Stones Records and released "Sticky Fingers," which reached # 1 in 1971. The album also introduced fans to the Andy Warhol designed "lips and lolling tongue logo." That same year Jagger married Nicaraguan fashion model Bianca Perez Morena de Macias.

After the release of "Goats Head Soup," Mick Taylor left the group and was replaced by Faces guitarist Ron Wood . The Stones had auditioned a number of top session men, many of whom appeared on the "Black and Blue" LP, after which the group chose Wood. After settling commitments Wood still had with Rod Stewart and the Faces, he officially joined the Stones in 1976.

In March, 1977, Richards and his common-law wife, Anita Pallenberg were arrested in Canada for possession of heroin. The arrest jeopardized the future of the Stones - but Richards was given a suspended sentence and subsequently kicked his habit in 1978.

One of the Stones' busiest years came in 1981 with the release of "Tattoo You." The album cruised at # 1 for nine weeks and produced such Stones classics as "Start Me Up" and "Waiting On a Friend." The tour for the album produced a live album, "Still Life," and a concert film - Hal Ashby's "Let's Spend the Night Together."

The eighties began to take their toll on the group after a series of less than phenomenal releases. Though each of the group's next two releases, "Undercover" and "Dirty Work," featured one Top Twenty hit, the group was beginning to do little more than go through the motions. The relationship between Jagger and Richards began to drift and the group would not see a studio for the next three years. During this time, Jagger released his 1984 solo album, "She's the Boss," which earned the singer platinum success. His next effort, "Primitive Cool" in 1987, didn't even break the Top 40. It was at this point that Richards, who had long stated that he would never make the solo leap and resented Jagger for making albums outside of the Stones, released 1988's "Talk is Cheap." The feud was on. Jagger and Richards took shots at each other in the press and in song. Richards' single "You Don't Move Me," was aimed at his longtime songwriting partner.

The antidote came when the songwriters traveled to Barbados to begin work on a new Rolling Stones album. The result would be the critically acclaimed "Steel Wheels" in 1989. The success of the "Steel Wheels" tour spawned the group's fifth live album, capturing the spirit of the Rolling Stones which many had believed was gone.

Nearly three decades after the group was formed, the Stones forged ahead into the nineties. The early half of the nineties saw Stones solo albums from Richards and Jagger, but it was apparent that fans were more interested in the two artists as a team.

In '94, two years after bassist Bill Wyman's departure, the group released "Voodoo Lounge." The critically hailed album was the first under the group's new multi-million dollar deal with Virgin Records. The deal also gave Virgin the rights to some of the Stones most well known works including "Exile on Main Street," "Sticky Fingers," and Some Girls." The album won the Stones a 1994 Grammy Award for Best Album.

In 1996, the group released "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus." The film brought together bands like the Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Marianne Faithful and of course the Rolling Stones. Recorded over two days in December, 1968, the film was kept in the archives because the Stones felt their performance left much to be desired - especially after the show the Who had put on. Nevertheless, the Stones "Circus" is an important document as well as a window to a time when, as the liner notes proclaim, "for a brief moment it seemed that rock 'n' roll would inherit the earth" - David Dalton, 1995.

Source: The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock And Roll

In 1997 The Stones released Bridges To Babylon & embarked on another extremely successful world tour, which came to an end in September 1998. In November 1998 we saw the release of yet another live Stones album, entitled No Security. Then, in January 1999 the Stones began yet another tour in Oakland, California, which is set to take them across the US playing arena sized venues & eventually land them back in Europe in May 1999. In June 1999 they will finally play the UK (Edinburgh, Sheffield & London), shows that were cancelled on the B2B Tour due to Britain's tax laws. So, as you can see, 37 years after the band began they are still going strong & without a doubt will continue to roll right into the Millenium!

The Rolling Stones' Discography

Mick Jagger Solo

Keith Richards Solo