Rock and roll history was witnessed by just a roomful of people on this day in 1962, when the Rolling Stones made their performance debut at the Marquee Club on London’s Oxford Street.
Lead singer Mick Jagger had been performing regularly with the capital’s current undisputed kings of rhythm and blues, Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, who were due to perform in their regular slot at the Marquee that night.
But when Korner’s band were invited to perform – without Jagger - on the BBC’s Jazz Club radio show that day, making them unavailable for the gig, the singer persuaded Marquee owner Harold Pendleton to allow his new six-piece band to take their place.
Naming themselves the Rollin’ Stones after a Muddy Waters record, the band that performed that night featured three of the classic line-up that would soon find superstardom: Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones.
This trio was complemented by Dick Taylor on bass and Ian Stewart on piano, but there is some confusion over who played the drums at the historic gig; most sources name Tony Chapman, but Keith Richards insists that future Kinks sticksman Mick Avory was behind the kit that night.
The band’s set-list for the evening is also slightly disputed, but seems to have included three songs each by their heroes Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed and Elmore James, as well as numbers by Fats Domino and Robert Johnson, among others.
With Stewart moved into the background and new recruits Bill Wyman (who replaced Taylor at the end of the year) and Charlie Watts (who joined on drums early in 1963), the Stones (above, in their classic line-up) would soon hit the UK charts, and go on to become one of the biggest and most popular rock bands in the world.