What is Keith Richard's favorite song

Rolling Stones

Two old friends and the blues

The story of the Rolling Stones begins in late 1961 at a train station in Dartford, about 30 kilometers south-east of London. There, 18-year-old Keith Richards meets a high school friend named Mike Jagger.

Richards sees the Chuck Berry record Jagger is carrying under his arm and the two realize that they have the same musical preferences: Chicago blues by Muddy Waters, Howlin 'Wolf or Jimmy Reed.

Jagger talks about his band "Litte Boy Blue And The Blue Boys". He invites Richards, who plays guitar, to the rehearsal room. A little later he shows up there, plays a little on his Hofner guitar - and convinces right away.

Beginnings of the band

At a concert in London, Jagger and Richards meet guitarist Brian Jones, whose band has just split up. The chemistry is right with him too, and together with Blue Boys bassist Dick Taylor they form a new band. Jagger calls himself Mick instead of Mike - supposedly because that sounds less bourgeois.

Tony Chapman joins the drummer, while Ian Stewart is on the keyboards. With this line-up, they played their first concert on July 12, 1962 at the Marquee Club in London.

Their music sounds rough and dirty and with its blues influences and the "black" vocals of Jagger is miles away from the smooth-ironed assembly-line pop à la Cliff Richards, which dominates the charts.

Brian Jones calls a newspaper before the concert to place an ad. When asked what the band is called, he has to fit first - there is no name yet. Then his gaze falls on a Muddy Waters record, one of the songs there is called "Rollin 'Stone". Without further ado Jones decides: "We are the Rollin 'Stones."

The first single

In the slipstream of the Beatles, who from 1962 revolutionized the British and a little later the rest of the pop world, the Stones' career also picked up speed. Taylor is replaced by Bill Wyman and the new drummer is jazz drummer Charlie Watts.

And Andrew Loog Oldham is a manager who has worked for the Beatles and is on good terms. In fact, he got the Stones a record deal with the Decca company, which had recently rejected the Beatles.

On June 7, 1963, the Rolling Stones released the first single: "Come On", a cover version of Buddy Holly. Before that, manager Oldham advises keyboardist Stewart to leave the band. His appearance does not match the image he has in mind for the Stones, according to Oldham. Stewart stayed with the band as tour manager, live and studio musician until his death in 1985.

The soundtrack to the rebellion

Oldham succeeds in staging the band as anti-Beatles: The Stones look grim instead of friendly at photos, wear longer hair and give themselves an aura of aloofness and danger.

Then there is their sound and their stage show: loud, rude, vulgar and charged with lots of sexual innuendos. The Rolling Stones were the best way for teenagers of the time to shock their parents.

In 1964, Oldham persuaded the band to record their own songs in addition to the cover versions of their blues models. A move that pays off. In the spring of 1965 "The Last Time" stormed to the top of the charts, shortly afterwards "Satisfaction" was released and became the number one hit worldwide.

The Stones get into the treadmill that was typical of the time: tour follows tour, and the rare breaks in between are used for recordings and press appointments.

There are regular riots at the concerts: hysterical teenagers scream and faint, visitors start fights, while the band pours additional fuel on the fire with provocative announcements and suggestive gestures. After the concerts, which are often violently broken off by police officers, many of the halls resemble real battlefields.

Death in the swimming pool

Life in the fast lane takes its toll. In parallel to the worldwide success, the band's drug consumption is also increasing. In 1967 the investigators find what they are looking for in several house searches: Jagger, Richards and Brian Jones come to court and are sentenced to suspended sentences.

But the band members don't take the warning shot seriously. Jones in particular develops a full-blown drug problem. He increasingly loses the pleasure of the constant stress of the touring, even with the studio recordings he hardly gets involved.

When, after another drug offense, he was unable to obtain a work permit for the United States and the planned tour threatened to cancel, Jagger, Richards and Charlie Watts pulled the line on June 8, 1969.

They drive up to Jones and tell him that they plan to move on without him. Three and a half weeks later, Jones is found drowned in his swimming pool. The circumstances of his death are never clarified.

Altamont and the end of the "Love and Peace" era

Just two days after Jones' death, the Stones are on stage in front of several hundred thousand people at a long-planned concert in London's Hyde Park and introduce their new guitarist Mick Taylor.

The concert becomes a tribute to Brian Jones, the Stones recite poetry, play his favorite songs and raise hundreds of white butterflies for him.

At the end of the year the band goes on a US tour for the first time in three years, but this ends with another catastrophe. Violent riots broke out at a festival in Altamont, California.

During the Stones' performance, a member of the notorious Hells Angels rocker club, which the Stones hired as security, stabs an 18-year-old to death right in front of the stage. Two other people die in a car accident, and a young man drowns in a canal.

The Altamont Festival, which was planned as the "Woodstock of the West", is a swan song for the "Love and Peace" era and is henceforth a symbolic end of the 1960s.

The band is drifting apart

For the Stones, the seventies start like the sixties left off: with a lot of trouble. Disputes with the record company and its management paralyzed the band for a long time. In addition, there are horrific tax demands, which mean that the band is on the verge of bankruptcy despite worldwide success.

The Stones flee from the British Treasury to France, where they performed "Exile On Main St." in 1972. reach the artistic zenith of their work and record an album that many consider the best Stones record ever.

But the band is drifting apart. Jagger enjoys the jet set life, socializes in artistic circles and is involved in film projects, while Richards is mainly interested in parties and drugs.

In 1974 Mick Taylor left the band because he did not see his creative contribution appreciated. He is replaced by the Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood, who is not considered a full band member for a long time.

The quality and relevance of the Stones recordings has been declining since the mid-seventies. The band, which once stood for rebellion and an anti-attitude, is now part of the musical establishment itself. Attempts by the band to orientate themselves on trendy styles such as funk, reggae or punk rock are often seen as pandering.

Just before the breakup

As a live band, the Rolling Stones continue to move the masses, their tours are getting bigger, more spectacular - and more successful. The concert halls have long since ceased to be sufficient; from the late 1970s onwards, the band played almost exclusively in stadiums in front of tens of thousands of spectators.

From 1982 onwards there was a long time in the band. Richards has not been addicted to heroin since the late 1970s and is full of action. However, Jagger refuses to tour with the Stones. Instead he tries his hand at a solo career and tours with his own band.

But he plays a lot of Stones songs - which annoys Keith Richards immensely. The Stones are about to break up and do not get together again until 1989 when the band is inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame.

Guinness book entry in the new millennium

In 1993 Bill Wyman left the band and was replaced by Darryl Jones. At the same time, the Stones make Ronnie Wood from an employed artist to a full member.

The band has now found a modus operandi that satisfies the egos of everyone involved. Every member has the opportunity to let off steam solo and pursue other activities, as long as it is ensured that the Stones go on a world tour every five years, which should be accompanied by a new album if possible.

A working concept that will also work in the new millennium: The tour for the album "A Bigger Bang" (2005) was visited by 4.6 million people and grossed 558 million dollars, which earned the band an entry in the Guinness Book. The "No Filter" tour from 2017 also generates sales of more than $ 400 million.