50 years and still going strong

When the Rolling Stones played their first ever live show on July 12th, 1962 in London’s Oxford Street Marquee Club, the face of music changed forever. They would quickly become one of the biggest rock bands of all time, and a key player in the British Invasion.

Mick Jagger recently told Rolling Stone magazine, “It was so long ago. Some of us are still here, but it’s a very different group than the one that played 50 years ago.”

The lineup during that first show was Jagger on vocals, Brian Jones and Keith Richards on guitar, Ian Stewart on piano, and Dick Taylor on bass. Richards insists the drummer was Mick Avory, but fans are sure it was their frequent drummer at that time, Tony Chapman.

Jagger feels uneasy celebrating the milestone because the band’s lineup has changed so much since those days.

“One part of me goes, ‘We’re slightly cheating,'” he says. “Because it’s not the same band, you know. Still the same name. It’s only Keith and myself that are the same people, I think. I’ve tried to find out when Charlie’s first gig was, and none of us can really remember and no one really knows. But it’s an amazing achievement, and I think it’s fantastic and you know I’m very proud of it.”

Richards noted that next year is the real milestone, saying “The Stones always really consider ’63 to be 50 years, because Charlie didn’t actually join until January. So we look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception. But the birth is next year.”

They are currently discussing the possibility of recording new material, and suggesting the possibility of a celebratory tour in 2013. Although nothing has been officially announced just yet, the news is likely to come within the next week.

They’ve also hinted that former guitarist Bill Wyman – who was with the band from 1962 intil 1993 – may make an appearance.

“I saw him last week and he was in top form, rocking. We also did a rehearsal with him a few weeks ago. It’s like he’d never been away,” Wood told Reuters.

With more than 400 songs, 24 albums, 10 mega world tours, and enough stories and turmoil to fill countless biographies, they are still as celebrated and respected as they were 50 years ago. While most bands call it quits after a decade, the Stones have kept it going for five, and there is no sign they will be stopping anytime soon.