Brian Jones (Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones)
Brian Jones was born in Cheltenham, Glouscestershire, England on February 28th, 1942. He received his first guitar when he turned 17. Blues and Jazz were his favorite styles of music and so it is no surprise that he ended up playing in Blues and Jazz clubs.
He formed the Rolling Stones in 1962 by placing an Advert in the 'Jazz News'. By 1963 the lineup of Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts & Bill Wyman was complete. In addition to playing guitar, Brian played numerous other instruments for the band including the sitar, organ and saxophone. Early on, Brian also acted as the band's manager setting up gigs for the band in Blues and Jazz clubs.
Allegedly, Brian Jones began to use alcohol and drugs to excess and was even arrested for drug use on May 10th 1967. This resulted in a fine and probation as well as being ordered to see a counsellor.
Although Brian had formed the Rolling Stones and was it's initial driving force, he gradually became alienated from his band mates. His management duties were taken over by a Manager, their music went from R&B covers to songs written by Jagger & Richards and one thing that definitely couldn't have helped was Jones' girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, leaving him for Keith Richards. Around this time, Jones' musical contributions to the Rolling Stones began to decline.
On May 21st 1968 he was arrested again, this time for possession of cannabis. Because of his drug convictions the government would be unlikely to let him tour with the band in North America in 1969. This coupled with the fact he now contributed almost nothing musically to the band, led Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts to tell him that he was out of the group. They left it to him to tell the public in the manner of his choosing and on the 8th of June 1969 he released a statement which made the split appear voluntary.
At about midnight between the 2nd and 3rd of July 1969, Brian Jones' body was discovered at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm. (Cotchford Farm had previously been owned by Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne.) His death has been surrounded by mystery ever since. The coroner's report listed it as "Death by Misadventure" and also noted that his heart and liver were enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse. However rumors of murder have been around ever since. Most of these rumors center around a laborer who had been doing some work on Brian's house and a former driver.
'The Rolling Stones'
Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg.