Brian Jones- a lost soul
Brian Jones- a lost soul

Brian Jones- a lost soul
Brian Jones- a lost soul

Coni T Poni wrote this celebration of Brian at 70 which we are running again as the band retrain for their 50th anniversary tour…

Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones, Born on this day Seventy Years ago, known to music lovers and those with a passing interest in music, as one Brian Jones, founding member of The Rolling stones, flamboyant Dandy, and lover, who owned the term Bohemia.

Spawned from the original seed of the Bohemian plant, Multi- instrumentalist Brian Jones began the trek into his adult life seeking escape, and was described once, as being an Irresponsible Drifter, in a letter submitted, Anon, to a College in Cheltenham, where he was to attend. This subsequently contributed to the Colleges refusal of his admittance.

Quite Lucky for us, (the eardrum and beat of bloody great music,) Brian Jones continued on in his Bohemian trek, spending a summer in Northern Europe where he busked on the streets to make money, Before returning to England, and eventually Co-founding, The Rolling Stones, with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, in 1962. The three lived together in a flat that Richards would christen, ”ËœA Beautiful Dump.’

Inevitably, this was the beginning of a beautiful amalgamation of magick, and although I have never witnessed the Mind, Body and Soul, of The Magick live, (The youth of my parents, will always be my eternal burden) I play them on my tape deck and sway and grind and swing my eager toosh, as though I am the Rainbow on this Ruby Tuesday, on an almost daily basis in my life as a fellow irresponsible Drifter.

For I, Brian Jones, is, was, and always will be The Rolling Stone, of The Rolling Stones. It has been said before that Keith and Mick were the mind and body, respectively, of The Rolling Stones, and Brian was the soul. It was Jones who started the band, made the calls, pushed the boundries beyond limits, he was the Founding father who gave life to, nurtured, maintained and fed the band it’s nutrients, only to lose access once the band was old enough to walk on it’s own to feet, flourished on his wisdom, The band had flown it’s nest and Jones’ uses were becoming lesser.

A fashion Icon, sharply dressed and always clean cut, Jones wore meticulously fitted velvet jackets. Always more than often, donned in shirts, some striped, others plain, or patterned and often worn with Cravats. Style of an eccentric. Eventually, the jeans got tighter, and the boots bigger. The epitome of unconventional, his famous Blonde Bowl haircut, hazel eyes, An Art unto himself, an aesthetic effigy. And although style and beauty are not just aesthetic, decorum and grace define both.

Jones was featured, alongside his then lover, Anita Pallenberg, in an issue of ”ËœMen in Vogue’, in 1966. Anita Pallenberg suggested he always tried to look like Francois Hardy. He certainly took a good swing at it, almost hitting the look of Darling Hardy, on the very fine nail.
At a time when music and fashion were the law of life, Brian Jones immersed himself in beautiful women of the Moment. He attended Monterey Festival in 1969 with a Beautiful and equally tragic Nico on his arm. They dated briefly during this time.

Beyond the music, trend setting hair style, loves, loathes and lusts, Jones was burdened, like many of his fellow artists, with the abuse of substances such as drink and alcohol.

While I am often reluctant to take heed to read or write about the demise of such talents, Brian Jones’ demise is a tragic one. Jones pulled out of (or was forced out) The Rolling Stones in 1969, prior to a planned North American tour, which Jones was unable to join, due to his criminal record for possession of Cannibis.

In July of the same Year, Brian Jones was found slumped in a pool and died a short time after. There are few conspiracies surrounding his death, with many loyal fans suggesting he was murdered.? While there is little evidence to suggest this, it is certainly plausible.

Today, I’ll remember him by not just listening to the music of Brian Jones, The stones and Nico, but so to by the influence and inspiration he has cast unto those who continue to make music in his honour.

Especially that of the glorious,”Brian Jonestown Massacre. The Brian Jonestown Massacre is a portmanteau of The Rolling Stones founder and the infamous mass cult suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.
Shine a Light.

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  1. The legacy of Brian Jones is certainly something that is essential but often overlooked in the often revisted, revised, reappropriated history of the band. The image of the drunkard, junkie, wayward, spoilt child, loner, wife-beater and general pain in the arse is often more attributed to Jones than his unique, creative and starry-eyed approach to the early Stones sound. When his preferred authentic blues and black r’n’b was slowly edged out of the band’s recorded work in favour of Jagger/Richards originals Jones stepped to the fore as a multi-instrumental wunderkid, bolstering often simple pop structures with exotic instrumentation, bizarre arrangements and ideas and an overhelming vibe of smouldering genius.
    Given that he was ‘allegedly’ dragged unwillingly to or practically comatose during sessions for Aftermath, Between The Buttons and Their Satanic Magesties Present, his contributions to these albums are nonetheless incredible. Turning his natural talents to a manner of instruments from Sitar to Dulcimer to Saxophone, Recorder, Flute etc he also proved to be a dynamic and demonic exponent of the Mellotron – his otherworldy ‘Tron soundscapes on 2000 Light Years From Home are worth the price of admission alone.
    It’s funny that when contemporary bands are classed as having a ‘Rolling Stones influence’ it always seems to be an influence from the post-Jones albums – particularly Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street*. Whilst the quality of these albums is without contention I just can’t (and I’ve tried) get round a seemingly gaping hole within the music – and that hole is shaped like a strange young boy in a blonde page-boy haircut! Mick, Keith you can keep the rest of it for yourselves but that first era belongs to Brian.

    *The aforementioned BJM being the only band I can think of off the top of my head who ape the Jones era.

  2. Forgot to add a top ten (in no particular order) of essential Brian moments to my last comment, so here it is now;

    1. 2000 Light Years From Home (from Their Satanic Majesties Request 1967) – One of the Stones greatest moments from that period (and album) is made even greater by Jones’ eerie, otherworldly Mellotron. For a (now) vintage keyboard Brian makes it sound simply space-age – it still sounds futuristic now.

    2. We Love You (single A-side 1967) – Like 2000 Light Years Brian’s Mellotron playing is more than just a proto-synth embellishment and his swirling arabesques add beautifully to the underlying menace and anti-establishment pointedness of the song.

    3. Little Red Rooster (single A-side 1964) – Brian was possibly the first white British guitarist to master the delta-blues bottleneck style and this is his defining recorded moment for that style.

    4. I Wanna Be Your Man (single A-side 1963) – When Andrew Oldham asked Lennon and McCartney for a track for the Stones to cover they slyly handed over this Ringo-intended knockoff. The plan backfired as the band’s urgent garage rock arrangement made it their own and almost blew their benefactors out of the water. Jones’ overdriven swooping slide seals the proto-punk deal in a way only he could and seems to scream “nice try, beat that then!”.

    5. Ruby Tuesday (single A-side 1967) – Whilst the use of (primary school classroom favourite instrument) recorder in less capable hands might reduce an already fey song into pure whimsy, Brian’s parts are perfectly placed and judged and seem to create a strange and sinister air on this record.

    6. Paint It Black (single A-side 1966) – Copping the Sitar idea from The Beatles was always going to meet with copyist accusations from fans of the Fabs but whilst Harrison’s use of the instrument is more studiously rooted in classical Indian technique Jones simply threw the rulebook out of the window and used the Sitar like a lead guitar.

    7. Citadel (from Their Satanic Majesties Request 1967) – Jones is present here on Mellotron and Saxophone playing each with such unruly abandon that its sometimes hard to differentiate between the two – like an eight armed, two headed musical Shiva his presence in this strange acid rocker is near godlike.

    8. All Sold Out (from Between The Buttons 1967) – the recorder is back but would you really expect it on this fuzz drenched garage punker. No, me neither and all the better for it.

    9. No Expectations (from Beggars Banquet 1968) – whilst Jones’ contributions to the band’s recordings had begun to wane severely at this point, when he does turn up it is enough to make the song inseparable from his part, in this case a worthy return to the bottleneck. Superbly captured by producer Jimmy Miller, just listen to the precision in his melody and the stuttering, vibrato he executes at the end of each line.

    10. Please Go Home (from Between The Buttons 1967) – in a return to the Bo Diddley strum of earlier album track Mona, Brian dominates proceedings here with a ramped up tremeloed part that pushes the song into pure sonic overdrive.

  3. Agreed! As much as I love just about all the Stones back catalogue, when I discovered Little Red Rooster and I Wanna Be Your Man in my Mum’s record collection I was blown away and most of that was down to Jones and his direction and playing.

    Also, as we’re on the subject, how about a reappraisal of Bill Wyman? His bass on most Stones tracks is sheer class.

  4. Who cares?! The guy was a spoiled overprivileged PIG and crackhead who also beat up women he was NO hero or role model may he burn in hell!

    • You could say that about Sir Mick and Saint Keef actually. They’re no better than Brian, even though you may like to think so otherwise in your deluded opium dreams. How do you know Hell exists? At least he actually did something noteworthy with his life, unlike yourself. Come to think of it, did you actually know Brian Jones intimately and can therefore make an informed judgement about him being this demonic monster? I’d rather trust the judgements of Pete Townshend, George Harrison, Eric Burdon, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix over yours anyday. And if Nasty Old Brian was so awful to women, then why the fuck is it that his old girlfriends speak of him in mostly glowing terms?! Whatever. Long live Brian Jones, a true rock n’ roll outlaw whose persona and image was ripped off by Saint Keef ! The Stones went to Hell after he left, playing the same cliched hackneyed country/blues shit while being tyrannised by the overbearing corporate control-freak nature of the Grimmer Twins.

      And you might want to go back to grammar school, m’ dear…

      • Unfortunately and conveniently for Mick and Keith, Brian’s not here to defend himself against their revisionist history of the band or distorted, self serving and drug addled (at least in Keith’s case) remembrances of events fifty years ago.

        • Sorry if I sound rabid and delusional. I don’t hate Mick and Keith, only their hypocrisy (as well as that of their fans), regarding Brian. It’s like there’s a preconceived notion of him being some sort of villain who nearly ruined the Stones, even though the Glimmer Twins are guilty of selfish and thoughtless behaviour themselves. But I continue to stand by my words that it did no good for the Stones that they painted themselves into a corner with the continued blues-based guitar-oriented sound (even though its good), as they were capable of a lot more. The 60’s era was eclectic and innovative; after that, the Stones gradually kept on repeating themselves until you ended up with cookie-cutter drivel a la Voodoo Lounge. Good to know there are others out there who appreciate ol’ Jonesy! :)

  5. I would like to state that Brian Jones formed the RollingStones back in 1962, he named the group after a blue tune of Muddy Waters… Jones was entralled with the different sounds various musical instruments could produce, incorporating these unique sounds onto otherwise run of the mill songs of this era, made an astounding imprint of magic and mystic… Lady Jane was an absolute masterpiece, with it’s folk/blues genre, Brian pays homage to this track on dulcimer, transforming this tune to heights of sheer genius…Paint it Black, we are tranformed to India on this satirical landscape brooding mood where we are engulfed in a society that’s gone wrong, the sitar works it’s magic evoking a menacing, mystical journey through the corridor of the subconscious.. Other gems of Brian Jones /RollingStones era include : Little red rooster, I am waiting, That’s how Strong my love is, Ruby Tuesday, Route 66, Jigsaw puzzle, Memo from turner,Satisfaction,Tell me ,Walking the dog, Play with fire, Under my thumb, no expectations, Out of time, Time is on my side, Blue turns to grey, Off the hook, Lets spend the night together, Sympathy for the Devil, Child of the moon, Street fighting man, Citadel and on and on… Brian Jones signiture is on all these and more, his raw genius, a musical virtuoso, was undoubtedly 2000 light years from home….

  6. Brian Jones did not start the Rolling Stones, Ian Stewart did. Brian Jones was a domestic abuser and manipulative man. Brian Jones was certainly not the soul of the Rolling Stones, Mick and Keith wrote and composed the songs, Brian Jones was merely a guitar player who got too wrapped up in the appeal of fame and cared more about being an A-lister than the music

  7. Brian Jones advertised for band mates in the Jazz News and Ian Stewart found a practice space and joined with Jones to start a rhythm and blues band playing Chicago blues.


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