Perusing 1962 issues of ‘Jazz News’ I came across a quote from Mick Jagger – presumably the first time he had been quoted anywhere in print – commenting on his band’s impending Marquee Club debut the following evening, Thursday 12 July.
And what did Mick say? “I hope they don’t think we’re a rock’n’roll band.”
Obviously, I will inform the band’s management without delay that, owing to some ghastly 55-year misunderstanding, they must immediately cease billing the Rolling Stones as “the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world”. It’s what Mick would want.
And who else was in the band that night? Keith Richards, ‘Elmo Lewis’ (i.e. Brian), ‘Stu’ on piano, Dick Taylor (bass) and Mick Avery (drums). If Johnny C were around he would tell us more about those last three. The band were titled ‘Rolling Stones’ in the brief news item, though a week or two later it was back to ‘Rollin’ Stones’.
And who was on at the Marquee the night before, you ask? Why, it was Dougie Richford’s London Jazzmen with Nat Gonella, featuring Big Pete Deuchar on banjo. The DRLJ had already released a single that year, recorded by Joe Meek and issued on Parlophone, ‘On Sunday I Go Sailing / Yip-i-Addy-i-Yay’. It’s good stuff – but no one would confuse it with rock’n’roll.