30 Facts That Prove Why The Rolling Stones Continue Rocking

This rock and roll band from the United Kingdom does not need any introduction at all. Formed in April 1962 by guitarist Brian Jones and Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman and singer Mick Jagger, they came to be one of the most famous bands of rock and roll of all times. Keep with us to see the most incredible facts about the band. Our favorites, and which you should not miss, are #24, #15 and #3!

#30. Rocking in Morocco

The Rolling Stones former guitarist, Brian Jones, was a mind to contemplate. On their first trip to Morocco, his girlfriend left with Keith Richards, but that did not stop him. When the band returned in 1968 to Morocco, he traded his guitar for pounding tribal drums and reed pipes, to try new sounds.

Photo: Courtesy of Night Flight

The guitarist went into the Rif Mountains, to visit the Master Musicians of Joujouka. These so-called masters of music are a group of bards that have been playing for almost 1,200 years, generation after generation. Brian Jones produced the album The Pipes of Pan at Joujouka which was the first album to be released under the Rolling Stones Records.

#29. Margaret Trudeau

One of the most strange guests to be with the Rolling Stones in 1977, and who shared several legs of their tours, was a very good friend of guitarist Ronnie Wood. We are talking about the wife of the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Margaret. This union made the tabloids go wild!

Photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

Margaret was known for being the first First Lady to redefine what that role meant and what she could or could not do. Everyone made promises that there would be nothing funny, but the wife of the Prime Minister showed the world wrong. She was having fun with their friends, the Rolling Stones!

#28. Honky Tonk Women

Although they were having a good time, the turning point for the band came with the single Honky Tonk Women. This was the last song played by Brian Jones before leaving the band, and even though the song is set was in the south of North America, it was written in South America, more precisely, in Brazil.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

The song was intended to be a country ode in the minds of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. But the new incorporation to the band, the guitarist Mick Taylor, said that the song should have groovy, thumping guitar licks. This way, he made his presence known to the band and became to be very respected.

#27. Diary

Bassist Bill Wyman had had a very occupied life by the time the Rolling Stones’ career started to take off. He had served in the Air Force, he was married and had a baby. He knew how to prioritize his time and he was known for being the one that kept a journal about the band.

Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan

Wyman was known for his reserved personality, and he never forgave his mother when she threw away his childhood journals. As a consequence of that, Bill became determined to document his whole life completely. He even adapted parts of his diary to his autobiography!

#26. Urban Jungle Tour

When the Rolling Stones decided to do the 1990 Urban Jungle Tour, they would never have believed that they would reach Czechoslovakia, right when its inhabitants were overthrowing the Communist regime that had governed and oppressed them throughout the past decades. The posters that advertised the concert in Prague read: “The Rolling Stones roll in, the Soviet army rolls out”.

Photo: Courtesy of Blesk 

This concert was so important for the Czechoslovakians that the newly-elected president, Vaclav Havel, gave the band a personal tour of the Prague Castle. The public that saw the concert had been subject to years and years of dictatorial regimes and during that period, their music taste had been completely restricted. It was a very powerful show for both the band and public.

#25. Brazil

The Rolling Stones is one of the best and most famous bands of all time, and as such, it’s no surprise that they hold really big records. During the Brazilian leg of the A Bigger Bang tour, they decided to have an incredible big free concert in Copacabana Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo: Courtesy of Extra

Their free show was held on February 18, 2006, and it coincided with one of the best-known festivals of Brazil, the Carnaval. It is estimated that there were two million people on the sand that night. some of them were actual fans that went there knowing that the band was playing there, while others were just random people that were looking for a cool outdoor Carnaval plan.

#24. In Cold Blood

The famous novelist Truman Capote was tasked with reporting on the Rolling Stones. Everybody knows that the famous actress Audrey Hepburn had to thank Truman Capote for writing Breakfast at Tiffany’s and even Harper Lee herself based a part of her most known novel To Kill a Mockingbird on the novelist.

Photo: Courtesy of Annie Leibovitz

Truman Capote covered the 1972 American tour, but it turns out that the band and the novelist did not get along at all. One day, guitarist Keith Richards shattered a bottle of ketchup on Capote’s hotel room door, as a subtle reference to the novel In Cold Blood of Truman Capote.

#23. Brown Sugar

Brown Sugar is one of those songs that will make you go to the dance floor and dance your socks off. The song is supposedly inspired in actress Marsha Hunt, who is said to have had an affair with Mick Jagger while she appeared in the London play Hair. Nonetheless, some say that the song was made under different circumstances.

Photo: Courtesy of Popmatters

Mick actually wrote the song while he was starring in a historical film about an infamous bushranger by the name of Ned Kelly. The film was being shot in Australia, and the singer found time to write the song between every filming session!

#22. Tequila Sunrise

Every fan of the Rolling Stones should remember the Tequila Sunrise Tour, but do you know why it was named that way? The band The Eagles made a song about the mixed drink, but it became really popular due to that tour, and the story goes that Mick Jagger got a taste for the cocktail on their 1972 tour.

Photo: Courtesy of Rolling Stone

The drink was first served to the band at the Trident Hotel in San Francisco, at a private party held and organized by one of the most famous concert promoters, Bill Graham. The drink resulted to be one of the band’s favorites and it would accompany them for the rest of the tour across North America.

#21. Logo

Before the release of the band’s first album, Sticky Fingers, Mick Jagger went to the London Royal College of Art to look for an artist to design a logo for the band. Mick had always shown interest in the imagery of the Hindu goddess Kali, who is depicted by having her tongue out of her mouth.

Photo: Courtesy of Rolling Stone

The answer to the question of the band’s logo was found in a young Master of Arts student named John Pasche. His inspiration was not a Hindu goddess, but the singer himself. The logo of the band is the mouth of Mick Jagger, and it resulted in one of the most marketed symbols in history.

#20. Fireball

Many of the Rolling Stones fans may remember the concert held in Sacramento, California, on December 3rd, 1965, and every fan knows that Keith Richards is a rock and roll artist with many aces up his sleeves. He always strives to deliver incredible shows and performs a series of wild stunts in every concert.

Photo: Courtesy of Dominique Tarlé

In the concert in Sacramento, during one of the songs, Keith’s guitar touched the microphone stand and a fireball eruped, causing Keith to trip and fall over while being shocked by a power surge. It was later confirmed that he was saved because his shoes had very thick soles that absorbed the current. The following night, he was playing again. Nothing can stop him!

#19. Cover Art

It was 1968 and the band was not happy with how their previous albums had ventured into the psychedelia subgenre of rock. Thus, The Rolling Stones had new plans for their new album, Beggars Banquet, which was released in 1968. What was most amazing about this album wasn’t the war protest lyrics or the casual references to Satanism, but the cover… which showed a toilet!

Photo: Courtesy of Soundbard

The toilet was photographed in a mechanic shop in Hollywood Boulevard, and the wall in which the toilet was located was full of graffitis. The album’s release was delayed by the battle between the Rolling Stones and the record company regarding the cover. In the end, they chose a simple wedding invitation for the cover.

#18. Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Jumpin’ Jack Flash is one of Rolling Stone’s most famous songs, and it was also covered by Aretha Franklin. Not only that: the song’s title was also used for a film in which Whoopi Goldberg starred. So, who is the famous Jumpin’ Jack that the song talks about?

Photo: Courtesy of Annie Leibovitz

One day, when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were at Keith’s house in the countryside, they were awakened by the stomping boots of the gardener, Jack Dyer. Keith then informed Mick that the gardener was also known as “Jumpin’ Jack”. Mick Jagger said in several opportunities that it is one of the songs he most enjoys playing.

#17. Sailors

The song It’s Only Rock and Roll is remembered by its promotional video where the band’s outfit consists of sailor clothes. The song and video were recorded in Ronnie Wood’s house before he joined the band. Besides, it was inspired by one of David Bowie’s songs, who also did backup vocals.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

The promotional video shows the band members splashing around in a room filled with laundry detergent. In order to avoid ruining their fabulous and famous wardrobe, they used the sailor’s outfit. If they wanted to show that they could rock and roll in every outfit possible, the did it!

#16. Inspiration

For the residents of the city of Excelsior, Minnesota, located west of Minneapolis, their local celebrity is an ordinary man that goes by the name of Jimmy Hutmaker. This man claims that he was the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones’ hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Do you believe him?

Photo: Courtesy of Aculco

The story says that in 1964, Mick Jagger went into a drugstore one day after a concert, where he met “Mister Jimmy” and complained that the cherry Cola he ordered was a plain Cola. Jimmy Hutmaker joked and said, “You can´t always get what you want, sir“. According to Jimmy, it was his answer what inspired Jagger to write the song.

#15. Dark Secrets

The recording of their double album Exile on Main Street was a long and arduous process, during which the band and the crew stayed in the picturesque Villa Nellcôte in the south of France. However, it appears to be that the studio was actually hiding a dark secret.

Photo: Courtesy of Dominique Tarlé

What the band and crew did not know before they stayed in Villa Nellcôte was that during World War II, the estate had been taken over as a local Nazi headquarters when the Germans were occupying France. The story goes on that the band found the Nazis insignia on the floorboards in the basement of the Villa.

#14. Far East Tour

As part of their Far East Tour in 1965, the Rolling Stones played in Singapore for the first time. This was the last leg of a tour that covered the whole continent of Oceania and part of Southeast Asia. When they arrived at the airport, they knew that their fans would be completely excited. However, they encountered one big problem: the concert coincided with the Chinese New Year.

Photo: Courtesy of YouTube

The band was not prepared and did not expect to share the show with the sound of firecrackers and gongs that sounded outside. Minutes before the show was going to start, a gate collapsed outside the venue while the police tried to keep back everyone. The craziness of the moment prepared the band for years to come.

#13. Gimme Shelter

The Rolling Stones was one of the bands that best captured the main events of the 1960s, such as the social and political turbulence of those years. The chorus by Mick Jagger on the song Gimme Shelter is accompanied by the incredible vocals by singer Merry Clayton, who has a really powerful voice.

Photo: Courtesy of IORR

Singer Merry Clayton received a call by Mick Jagger to record at the Los Angeles Studio in the middle of the night! At that time, she was pregnant but she did not doubt going to the studio for a minute. After she arrived, she gifted one of the most incredible performances of her time, and even Mick Jagger was surprised!

#12. Careers

Everybody knows the story about how Jagger met Richards once again on a train going back to the London School of Economics, right? But this is not the only story of the Rolling Stones about this subject. There was another member of the band on that train, drummer Charlie Watts, although he was studying a completely different career.

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Before dedicating to music, Charlie Watts was a graphic designer and worked both in the United Kingdom and in Denmark. The drummer was the last member to join the band in 1963, and he found the way to combine his long-life career with music, and designed the cover art for the back of the Between the Buttons album.

#11. Hotels

When they arrived in New York City as part of their 1966 summer tour, the Rolling Stones already had a reputation of taking parties and mayhem wherever they went. In the city, they encountered a really big problem: they could not find any hotel that wanted them!

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As a matter of fact, fourteen different hotels denied lodging for the whole band, due both to the habits they had with room service, and the cost that the hotel would have to pay in order to protect them from their insatiable fans. This concert was even featured in an episode of the Mad Men TV series.

#10. Circus

All fans of rock and roll in the 60s wanted to see all of their favorite bands together in one place. Rock and Roll Circus was a film created by the Rolling Stones and had guests like The Who, John Lennon, and Eric Clapton, among a lot of other guests. Also, it was the last time that Brian Jones performed live.

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Nonetheless, one incredible rock band was forced to drop out of it at the last minute. If you can’t guess which we’re talking about, it was Led Zeppelin. When Mick Jagger heard their demo tape, he believed it to be too heavy for the Circus. So they selected a new band, Jethro Tull, to play instead of Led Zeppelin.

#9. Devil

Did you know that one of the most famous hits from the Rolling Stones, Sympathy For The Devil, covers a lot of topics? From the Russian Revolution and World War II to the Kennedy Assassination and Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. In fact, it was inspired by a Russian political satire.

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In his novel The Master and Margarita, by author Mikhail Bulgakov (which was published posthumously), the author imagined two incredible alternate scenarios: the Devil himself visiting the Soviet Moskow, and a retelling of the trial of Jesus in Jerusalem. When Mick was gifted with the translated book, it turned out to be a deep influence for him.

#8. United States

The first time that the Rolling Stones set foot in the United States was in June 1964 and they were famous enough to have to evade the insatiable hordes of fans that came before them. One of the things they were not really fond of in the United States was one celebrity host on the tour: Dean Martin.

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During a live TV show on Hollywood Palace, the host, known as The King of Cool, made a series of jokes at the band’s expense regarding their long hair, their music, and a couple of other things. He said that the band “picked fleas” out of each other while backstage. Even Bob Dylan said that the host should apologize!

#7. Dance

Being the lead singer of the Rolling Stones can make you one of the most famous singers of the world. On top of that, his crazy dance moves have made Jagger very unique and otherworldly. If asked about where his dance steps came from, he would say that his mother taught them, but in reality, another rockstar can take credit for it: Tina Turner.

Photo: Courtesy of The Guardian

Long before they played together in the Live Aid 1985, Tina Turner and Mick Jagger had been great friends. In the 1960s, Ike Turner, husband of Tina, joined the Rolling Stones for the UK tour. She stated that she and her backup dancers had several things to teach Mick, and that’s how he got his moves.

#6. Unimaginable Friendship

Before the Rolling Stones became famous and their songwriting took flight on their own, it took several years of hard work. Their first single, titled Come On, was in a fact a cover of rock and roll superstar Chuck Berry. But one of the most unknown facts of their story is which were the other rockstars that helped them.

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Even though the Rolling Stones and The Beatles competed constantly for the spotlight, they were incredibly respectful of each other. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the 1963 song I Wanna Be Your Man before Keith and Mick in the Rolling Stones studio.

#5. Lyrical Problems

The lyrics of the Rolling Stones are completely suggestive and controversy may arise in more than one occasion. A very famous television show, The Ed Sullivan Show, was known for making artists use a completely naive vocabulary. In one of the band’s six appearances on the show, they had a problem with the lyrics of one of their songs.

Photo: Courtesy of Rolling Stone

For 1967 American television, the lyrics of the song Let’s Spend the Night Together were very suggestive. Ed Sullivan in person had an argument with Mick Jagger over the lyrics, and he had an ultimatum for the singer. Or they sang as he wanted, or they had to go. Eventually, the lyric was changed to “spend some time together”.

#4. Bad Luck

A day before the Rolling Stones had a concert in Boston, they had the worst of lucks. When they were on their way to Boston, they were grounded in Rhode Island due to foggy weather. After that, an altercation with a photographer resulted in Mick and Keith in jail. As a consequence, the mayor of Boston feared that if the band did not play, the fans would cause a riot.

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In order to avoid that, the mayor of Boston paid the Rolling Stones bail and sent them to the city which was 45 miles away, with a full limousine escort. Even though they started the concert at 12.45 AM, the crowd was incredibly happy they finally appeared. Sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

#3. Angie

One of the most known ballads of all time is the 1973 song Angie, which was recorded in Jamaica. Rumor has it that the song was dedicated to David Bowie’s first wife, Angie Bowie, who claimed that her husband cheated with Mick Jagger. So the song is a kind of apology to her.

Photo: Courtesy of Reddit

According to Keith Richards, that story is not true, and he says that the song was inspired by his daughter, Dandelion Angela. Years later, Keith said that the song’s name was chosen randomly, way before his daughter was born. One way or another, we are glad the song was made!

#2. Satisfaction

According to the Rolling Stone Magazine, the song (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction is considered the second greatest song ever made. This is obvious from the fact that even those who do not like the Rolling Stones or are not into rock and roll, know the five chords of the song. Another very interesting fact is that it was almost not released as a single!

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It is thought that after Keith Richards wrote the song he fell asleep snoring while the tape recorder was still running. When he woke up a few moments later, he and Mick Jagger were impressed by the song. Then, it was put up to a vote, and everybody said yes to it!

#1. Exercise

For those of you who go to the gym every day, you should try to keep up with Mick Jagger. Even though he is 75 years old, the Rolling Stones lead singer keeps on exercising every day, and that is demonstrated in each of the band’s performances. It looks like he will never stop doing it, either.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

According to some statistics by fans, everything that the leader of the Rolling Stones does onstage equals about twelve miles. From the first chord in every performance, Mick Jagger starts running, jumping and dancing to the rhythm of the music. He is, in effect, a very active person.

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  • About Author

    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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