top of page
  • Writer's pictureU+C


Updated: Oct 6, 2023

Where the heck do you start a new blog post about The Rolling Stones? With Brian Jones being asked by a journalist for the band's name in 1962, and grabbing instant inspiration from a Muddy Waters’ LP lying on the floor, which included a track called "Rollin' Stone”? Maybe… or maybe bang-up-to-date with the release of their latest single ‘Angry’ from the new album ‘Hackney Diamonds’, 61 years later? Woah now, hold on right there, back up for a moment. 61 years? That can’t be right, surely? ’62, ’72, ’82, ’92, ’02, ’12, ’23. Yes, it’s crazy, but it’s been sixty one years. So where is the best point of departure for a blog? That’s a tough one.

I’ve got an idea. Let’s swing into this with a fun story from 2005. Picture the scene if you will. It’s the 50th anniversary edition of the iconic Ivor Novello Song Awards, which are in full swing over lunch at the fancy Grosvenor Hotel in London. Acts like Natasha Bedingfield, The Streets and Keane are battling it out for an elegant Ivor Novello trophy for the best song of 2004 and I’m lucky enough to be there, loving every minute. The climax of the lunch is traditionally the Songwriting Lifetime Achievement Award. Previously neglected by snooty committees of judges, the British Academy has finally decided to honour the maverick songwriting team of Jagger and Richards. But both are on tour it's announced, so Keith’s son Marlon will accept the award on their behalf.

A stunning video presentation follows, featuring songs such as Paint It Black, Lady Jane, Ruby Tuesday, As Tears Go By, Under My Thumb, Out Of Time, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Mother’s Little Helper, Let’s Spend The Night Together, Satisfaction, Street Fighting Man, Sympathy For The Devil, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Women, Gimme Shelter, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Brown Sugar, Wild Horses, Tumbling Dice, It’s Only Rock ’n Roll, Miss You, Beast Of Burden and Start Me Up. The video presentation over, Marlon Richards mounts the stage and takes the highly coveted statuette in his hand. He smiles broadly, leans into the mic and says ‘This is great! It’ll be on eBay within the hour!’ The whole place erupted, a few in anger at the disrespect shown to the UK’s greatest music award, but most in fits of laughter at the audacious humour and outright cheek of the speech, reminding us all once again of the irreverent spirit of the Rolling Stones.

Over those sixty one years, The Stones have increasingly come to represent Bravado, Character and Freedom in an increasingly homogenised, corporate world. And for many they are still seen as symbolising a louche, libertarian lifestyle, perfectly summed up by their famous red 'tongue and lips’ logo.

Yet ironically, they also symbolise hard work and perseverance. In that contradictory recipe lies a lot of the magic. Since their formation in 1962, the Rolling Stones have encompassed several important line-up changes and survived multiple feuds. They have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums, 12 official compilation albums and many recognised bootleg recordings, all of which comprise over 340 songs, in the process becoming the first act to top the UK album charts across six different decades. Since their first concert on 12 July 1962 at the Marquee Club in London, the Rolling Stones have performed more than two thousand concerts around the world and have gone on over 48 tours of varying length, including three of the highest-grossing tours of all time: Bridges to Babylon, Voodoo Lounge, and A Bigger Bang.

There have been some unforgettable lighter moments along the way. The committed anti-establishment tearaway Mick Jagger being knighted by Queen Elizabeth. Keith Richards appearing as Captain Jack Sparrow's father in Pirates of the Caribbean films. And perennial ‘new boy’ Ronnie Wood, who journeyed inevitably to his place at the centre of The Stones in 1975 via UK bands The Birds and The Faces, hanging out with the Corrs for their tribute version of Ruby Tuesday:

The new album Hackney Diamonds, is said to feature Elton John, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, among others. On 6 September 2023, Jagger, Richards and Wood appeared in a live Q&A with Jimmy Fallon to announce that Hackney Diamonds will be released on 20th October 2023. The album will feature the final two songs Charlie Watts recorded with the band prior to his death, and to bring their story full circle, it will also feature the band's original bassist Bill Wyman and a new version of the song that inspired their name, 'Rollin' Stone' by Muddy Waters.

Like so many of the stones best songs, 'Angry' is driven along by a 'Keef Riff' and the video pays tribute to former members who have helped build the legend. The Stones have never stopped and the ‘greatest rock and roll band in the world’ are still rolling…

157 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page