Today would have been Brian Jones birthday. Brian was one of the founders of the band, he was by far the best looking out of them, and hands down the most talented member playing over ten instruments.
Brian by many descriptions was not a nice guy, he was nasty sometimes, most of the times he was out of it, and yet he was the Stone that everyone loved.
A portrait of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones (1942 – 1969) sitting on a bed, London, 1964. (Photo by Terry O’Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
At the time of his passing, Jones’ life was in the midst of a severe upheaval. The year before, he’d been arrested for the second time for possession of cannabis, which further exacerbated tensions he’d been having with the Rolling Stones. On top of that, it seemed to many that his heart just wasn’t in the band anymore.
While recording went on for the Rolling Stones’ next album, Let it Bleed, Jones’ contributions remained minimal: He added only percussion to “Midnight Rambler,” and an autoharp section to “You Got the Silver.” The group, wary of both his spiraling substance abuse problems and overall erratic behavior, collectively decided it was time to show Jones the door.
(GERMANY OUT) UK, London, 1969 Rolling Stones 50 years. Photo: Brian JONES (Photo by Spiegl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
“It had come to a head and Mick and I had been down to Winnie the Pooh’s house,” Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography, referring to Jones’ estate – which at one time belonged to Pooh author A.A. Milne. “Mick and I didn’t fancy the gig, but we drove down together and said, ‘Hey, Brian. … It’s all over pal.’” Jones was subsequently replaced in the band by Mick Taylor, a former member of John Mayall‘s Bluesbreakers.
Just a few weeks after his dismissal, Jones was discovered floating face down in the pool by Anna Wohlin, his Swedish lover. She managed to pull him out, but it was too late to do anything. Brian Jones was gone, a member of rock’s notorious “27 Club.”
July 10, 1969, Jones was laid to rest at a ceremony at Cheltenham Cemetery. Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts were the only members of the Rolling Stones in attendance.