This Day in Music 28.02.2016
Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones was born on February 28, 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire UK. He was the founder, second guitarist and multi-instrumentalist in the Rolling Stones.
Jone's parents were interested in music: his mother Luisa was a piano teacher and his father Lewis Jones played piano and organ and lead the choir at the local church. At the age of 15 Brian persuaded his parents to buy him a saxophone and two years later his parents gave him his first acoustic guitar as a 17th birthday present. Despite his high IQ Brian shunned accademic studies in favor of his passions for playing jazz and blues. In the early 1960s Jones moved to London and became a blues musician, for a few time calling himself Elmo Lewis and playing slide guitar.
He was spotted by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger playing Elmore James' Dusty My Broom with Korner's band at the Ealing Jazz Club. Brian joined forces with Richards and Jagger to form a band, The Rolling Stones. In the first year of their recording career Jones was the leader of the band. Keith Richards was the band's lead guitarist, but Jones was less a rhythm guitarist than a second guitarist whose chords and riffs were counterpoints as much as support. Jones was also a good harmonica player, an excellent slide guitarist and in the early years often served as a backing vocalist. His most important contributions to the band lay in his facilities for learning numerous instruments and adding unusual, creative touches to Stones recordings that gave them a pop appeal, in the best sense. These included the sitar on "Paint It Black"; the dulcimer on "Lady Jane"; the marimba on "Under My Thumb"; the recorder on "Ruby Tuesday"; the piano on "Let's Spend the Night Together"; and the Mellotron on "2000 Light Years From Home."
As the handsomest and most photogenic member of the group, Jones was also important to their image and making the band commercially viable. His attitude and stage presence did a good deal to help define The Rolling Stones' image in the 1960s. He was famous for his vanity, he hogged the bathroom even more than Jagger and was given the nickname “Mister Shampoo”.
In the late '60s Jones became estranged from the rest of the band, legal troubles, substance abuse and mood swings made very difficult for him to carry his weight on stage and in studio.
In 1968 he left the band. Jones apparently had ambition to form anther band, he contacted John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Ian Stewart to play together.
On July 3 1969, he was found drowned face-down in his own swimming pool. The cloudy circumstances of his death have been the subjects of various theories: some feel that he was murdered, other evidence indicates that it was an accident that might have been brought on by unwise combinations of substances and medications.
Brian Jones’ death began the “27 Club”, a group of artists who died tragically at the young age of 27.