Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Death of Brian Jones

Brian Jones
Brian Jones
by Alice Frances F Wickham

Terrible Last Days of Brian Jones

For over thirty years the mysterious fatality of this boy has spooked British music.

What really took place on that terrible night, in July, 1969?

The fatality of Jones was described by some skeptics as 'an overdose waiting to happen' yet a lot of Jones's fans think otherwise.

Brian Jones founded the Rolling Stones, dominating their style in the very early years.

He was the epitome of sixties cool, generating media attention, grabbing spotlights, pushing the band towards uncharted waters, but this remarkable voyage of discovery finished when Jones was found floating at the bottom of his pool.

Stories are now arising in the British press that Jones's life was complicated by poor relationships with those around him. When Jones declined to turn over his artistic rights to the band (after they sacked him), this led to sour feelings.

In the beginning, the Stones portrayed themselves as anxious rock icons, snarkily rebellious, with a homegrown passion for American music.

By the late seventies everything was cooling off and they were a corporation as much as a band. In the beginning, it was Jones who inspired their raw rock sound, a franchise, made in America.

Brian was an ingenious comparison to the prissy well-kempt stars of the era. More than a rock-and-roll pretty boy, he was the crucible of musical change happening in England in the mid-1960's.

With rare capacity, Brian was at odds with standard middle class values. His individuality may have bothered several of those dealing with him, the Stones manager for instance, who described him as 'a shit' but working with him in the studio was amazing. Like Hendrix, Brian could play nearly any instrument offered to him.

Naturally, Richards and Jagger refuted his songwriting contributions. However, it seems likely Jones wrote the Elizabethan melody in Lady Jane, or the dark chords of Paint It Black.

Andrew Oldham later encouraged Jagger and Richards to pen a few songs, intitially though, Jones was the creator of their early and most unique material

Working on the institutional album, Beggars Banquet, Jones's status within the band deteriorated to the point where he wandered off in a drug haze in San Antonia.

He had no genuine ambition to continue working with Jagger and Richards, he was searching for new direction, hooking up with Hendrix, and even writing songs with Lennon.

When Jagger and Richards enacted the famous 'heave ho', well recorded in the annals of history, Jones was barely astounded, possibly even happy.

It was the loss of the 'evil glamour bitch queen', Anita Pallenberg that caused him to suffer most. The Stones' women were interchangeable, and Richards was adept as a pirate. Jones knew that the partnership with his erstwhile bandmates, was over permanently.

He was just pulling himself together when he died.

Home of Funk, Percussion and Blues.

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