Rolling Stones Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Today, July 12, marks a special date in rock history.

On this day in 1962, the Rolling Stones played their first-ever show, performing a set at London’s Marquee Jazz Club.

At the time, the band consisted of Mick Jagger on vocals, Keith Richards and Brian Jones on guitar, pianist Ian Stewart and bassist Dick Taylor.  The drummer has been debated over the years.  Some fans believe it was Tony Chapman, while Richards wrote in his 2010 memoir Life that is was friend Mick Avory.

As the story goes, the Marquee’s regular Thursday-night band – Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated – wasn’t available because they were scheduled on a BBC radio broadcast.  Jagger was one of the singers for the Blues Incorporated, but he didn’t participate in the broadcast and Jones pulled together his new band to fill in.

The band continued to play London clubs that summer, and as their popularity grew, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined on as bassist and drummer, respectively, making Jagger and Richards the only original members still in the band today.

According to the extensive Rolling Stones fansite It’s Only Rock and Roll, here is the setlist performed on July 12, 1962:

1. “Kansas City”
2. “Baby What’s Wrong”
3. “Confessin’ the Blues”
4. “Bright Lights, Big City”
5. “Dust My Broom”
6. “Down the Road Apiece”
7. “I’m a Love You”
8. “Bad Boy”
9. “I Ain’t Got You”
10. “Hush-Hush”
11. “Ride ‘Em on Down”
12. “Back in the U.S.A.”
13. “Kind of Lonesome”
14. “Blues Before Sunrise”
15. “Big Boss Man”
16. “Don’t Stay Out All Night”
17. “Tell Me You Love Me”
18. “Happy Home”

For those that want to reminisce about the Rolling Stones’ anniversary, check out a report from Sky News that coincides with a 50th anniversary photo exhibit at London’s Somerset House below.  And for more on the Stones’ history, check out our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Flashback piece.


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