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Style icons – Brian Jones

May 19, 2010

Brian Jones shouldn’t really need much of an introduction, anyone who has even a passing interest in music should know who this man is. He was Born on the 28th February 1942 in Cheltenham, was a multi-instrumentalist (being able to play guitar, harmonica, keyboards, Appalachian dulcimer, mellotron, sitar, tambura, recorder, saxophone, percussion, autoharp, and marimba), he was an asthmatic and also a founding member of the Rolling Stones.

He’s part of music legend – lost to rock and roll due to drugs and booze, or maybe taken from us by murder? No one really knows the answer to that which means conspiracy’s rumble on and that legend continues to grow.

Whilst most of my favorite Stones output was done after Jones’ death it is without doubt that the man had a huge influence on the band he had a hand in forming. Not only was he the guy in the band who could actually ‘play’ the guitar, he could knock out a tune on pretty much anything you stuck in front of him and he was also the most stylish of the lot of them.

Obviously the partnership of Richards and Jagger produced the songs but it’s Jones that gave them texture and you can hear this leave the band around the time Of Beggars Banquet as he retreated into himeslf and then tragically died. In my opinion they became a less musically dynamic band because of this.

You can see how in the early days as a clean-cut almost boy band when they were sharply dressed he always stood out (when they weren’t all dressed exactly the same that is) and he always played the coolest, quirky guitars. In the short time he was in the band you can see the transformation from young lad keeping it snappy to full on rock and roll decadence.

That blonde bowl haircut that’s so indicative of Jones started to grow out as the suits and striped jumpers were replaced with velvet jackets and shirts with cravats. The jeans got tighter, the boots got bigger and what is that stars and stripes shirt about? Not to mention whatever it is that he’s wearing in that brilliant photo of him with Jimmy Hendrix. For me Jones was one of the first true Rock & Roll stars, a real pioneer and an icon.


Brian Jones died on the 3rd July 1969, at the age of 27.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. John Drury permalink
    April 8, 2011 7:22 pm

    Everything you say about Brian Jones is true. People with imagination and creativity are drawn to him. He is to this day infinitely cooler than Mick Jagger, and Brian was a beautiful good/bad angel whereas Mick was and is – let’s face it – an ugly freak. Brian had this musical genie inside him, and was the one most influenced by blues, real blues, such as Elmore James, not silly trash like Chuck Berry songs.

    The band lost a great deal when Brian Jones retreated into a world of booze and drugs, just as Pink Floyd did so when Syd Barrett went forever off into his own LSD-created reality, or The Doors did when Jim Morrison became an alcoholic.

    Although I admire all of these men, especially Brian, I am also sad and a little angry at them for deciding that getting high was more important than remaining a cutting edge artist continuing to create. Brian Jones had started the Rolling Stones a white blues band. The egomaniac Mick Jagger took it in a totally different direction. This made Brian despondent. John Lennon told a despairing Brian that he should form a new band, and with all the incredible blues/rock talent in Britain in the latter ’60s it could have worked really well – look at Cream. Brian should have listened to John. But he did not get the message. A pity.

  2. August 31, 2012 7:09 am

    Keith says he was a woman hitter, Napoleon asshole who didn’t write their songs.

    • Jack Knife permalink
      March 2, 2014 2:47 am

      Looks like the Brian-haters are on full power here. Look here, Saint Keef himself isn’t perfect either, nearly ruining the band with his incessant, childish drug taking behaviour in the 70’s. Perhaps the Brian-haters ought to take a look at themselves in the mirror before trampling on the grave of a young man who died before he could make amends for his faults. There’s really no difference between Saint Keef and Brian, except that one is dead and the other is the walking dead.

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