The band members of The Rolling Stones have together made a reputation of being rambunctious adult-kids, living the life we all want: never growing up. Let’s take a look at their current members, and how they got to where they are today.
Mick Jagger has been with the band since its beginnings. He was born into a middle class English family, with a teacher for a father and a hairdresser for a mother. His paternal grandfather had also been a teacher, and as these things go, there was parental pressure to keep the job chain on the same path, along with his younger brother.
But Mick, who liked to be called Mike, had a different passion. “I was one of those kids who just liked to sing.” He was in his church choir and loved listening to singers on the radio or watching them perform.
He was also no idiot. He passed in school with high quality grades, earning himself a scholarship to a prestigious economics school. But he didn’t let his academic ties keep him from where his heart lay, in the world of music. A club near his school that he frequented eventually had him on as a singer even though he had never had any formal training during the previous nineteen years of his life. Eventually he met up with classmate Keith Richards, and the two hit it off. When they met again in 1960, their friendship furthered with their mutual love of R&B. Together and with Brian Jones they moved to an apartment. Jones and Richards were putting together a plan to form a rock band while Jagger continued at school. Fortunately for the musical world, Jagger left his promising school career to form up with the other guys after a rehearsal put on by Jones. They named the band after one of Jagger’s favorite “Muddy Waters” songs.
Keith Richards has a history of a slightly different background. Born in Dartford, Kent (the same birthplace of Jagger), Richard’s father was a World War Two vet who worked as a factory laborer in spite of his injuries earned during the war.
His interest in Guitar was sparked by his Mum’s Father who toured Britain with a big band jazz group. His love of jazz was further supported by his mother who bought him his first guitar for seven pounds.
He went to the same primary school as Jagger, meeting Mick when they were still very young (who knew they would be world sensations in less than two decades), but didn’t foster his singing voice until he joined the choir as a soprano at a technical school.
Interestingly, he was expelled and sent to a nearby art school in 1959. There he met Dick Taylor, also an early member of The Stones, and the two stayed up into the nights (with the help of various drugs) to work on their music.
On a train ride, he met up with Mick Jagger by chance, and the two reminisced about where they had been and where they were going, and eventually Richards left school to go off with Mick and Brian. Obviously the rest follows in line with Mick. His mother divorced his father around that time, but she always remained supportive of Keith as a musician (and bless her for it!).
It is amazing how the whims of fate can bring random things together and make great ideas. Mick and Keith are the only original members that still are with the band, and continue to write songs as they have always done.