Debut of the Rolling Stones
The Marquee Club is one of British music’s most celebrated venues. Opened in Oxford Street (it later moved to Wardour Street) in April 1958 by one-time accountant Harold Pendelton, the club provided a place where new music could blossom – though some of that new music perversely was trad jazz played by the likes of Chris Barber . Blues too got its chance at the Marquee, legends like Alexis Korner playing residencies there. But the greatest claim-to-fame of the Marquee Club is that it saw the first gig of what was to evolve into The Rolling Stones.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had discovered a mutual love of the blues in their hometown of Dartford . They came to the club to see Korner (for whom Charlie Watts played drums) and many foreign performers, jammed with some acts, and became part of the scene, joining up with Cheltenham exile Brian Jones and with Ian Stewart.
It was thanks to a booking at the BBC for Korner and his band on a Thursday night, when they normally played the Marquee, that a spot at the club opened up for Jagger, Richards, Jones and their friends. They played a very bluesy set, including Kansas City, Hush-Hush, Blues Before Sunrise, and Bad Boy. They didn’t call themselves The Rolling Stones until they gigged at the same venue in January the following year, but to all intents and purposes the Stones were already rolling as of July 12 1962.
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