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Rock’n’roll was forever changed 50 years ago, when an unknown British band called The Rollin’ Stones performed their first ever gig at the Marquee Club in London on July 12, 1962. The band, then comprised of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart, Tony Chapman, and Brian Jones, has done more than just tack a “G” to their name; Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood were added onto the line-up in ’63 and ’75, respectively.
Since they started up half a century ago, the legendary act has released eight consecutive number one albums in the US, brought us hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Sympathy for the Devil,” and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. The Rolling Stones have forever left their mark on the music industry as one of the greatest bands to ever play.
The Rolling Stones continue to release live or re-issued albums, such as ‘Exile on Main Street’ in 2010 and ‘Some Girls’ in 2011, while their last studio album with new material, ‘A Bigger Bang’, was released in 2005. So what have the rock stars of the Stones been up to since then?
Mick Jagger forms supergroup SuperHeavy
Dressed in hot pink from the top of his suit-and-tie combo down to his sneakers, lead singer Mick Jagger teamed up with Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, A. R. Rahman, and Damian Marley for an eclectic collaboration project called SuperHeavy. The group’s sound combined rock and roll, reggae, and Indian orchestras to create a uniquely earthy swagger, and was kept secret until 2011. Their first self-titled album received mixed reviews, but the CD’s single “Miracle Worker” was about as bright and upbeat as Jagger’s wardrobe choice.
Charlie Watts survives Cancer, joins Jazz Band
The band’s notoriously calm drummer Charlie Watts received a diagnosis of throat cancer in 2004, and after undergoing treatment that same year, thankfully survived the condition. He has never reported any complications.
Since then, Watts has followed his passion for jazz through involvement with the group “The ABC and D of Boogie Woogie,” named after its members—Axel Zwingenberger on piano, Ben Waters on piano, Charlie Watts on drums, and Dave Green on bass. The band is currently on tour.
Ronnie Wood continues solo career
Wood first began his solo career in ’74, a year before joining the Stones, and continues to release albums on his own. He was just recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the second time in 2012 as guitarist for the British rock band, the Faces. The band announced plans to reform in 2010 without singer Rod Stewart, playing several concerts throughout Europe.
Keith Richards releases autobiography
Anyone wishing to learn more about Keef’s world of drugs and debauchery as the Stones’ guitarist can now satisfy their curiosity by picking up his autobiography, Life, released in 2010. Life is a page-turning account of Richards’ drug use, relationships from his mother to Mick Jagger to women, to the birthing of the Rolling Stones. It was actually voted Amazon’s Audiobook of the Year in 2010.
“The Rolling Stones: 50” and upcoming world tour
The only officially authorized book to celebrate the band’s anniversary, “The Rolling Stones: 50” allows rare insight into the band’s behind-the-scene life, including photography, narrative, and much more. Members says of the book:
“This is our story of fifty fantastic years. We started out as a blues band playing the clubs and more recently we’ve filled the largest stadiums in the world with the kind of show that none of us could have imagined all those years ago. Curated by us, it features the very best photographs and ephemera from and beyond our archives.”
-Jagger, Richards, Watts, Wood
The Stones’ members have also talked of another world tour, rumored to begin in the near future.
Image Courtesy of The Rolling Stones