Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Day of Destiny

Forty five years ago today in 1962 it was also a Tuesday. A young drummer from south east London had been playing with a group of blues fanatics led by a young lad from Cheltenham called Brian Jones. The drummer's name was Tony Chapman and the group he'd been in before joining Brian's band were called the Cliftons and their bass player was called Bill Perks, although he was already calling himself Bill Wyman 'on stage'. Tony went round to Bill's house and played him some tapes of what The Rollin' Stones were playing; it was mostly Jimmy Reed songs. Tony and the Rollin' Stones needed a regular bass player and he suggested Bill went to The Red Lion in Sutton to meet one of the members.

And so on Tuesday 4th December Tony and Bill went to Sutton where a reasonable crowd was listening to Glyn Johns and The Presidents (Glyn would go on to produce the Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin to name but a few). In the interval Bill was introduced to Ian Stewart, who suggested he went along to their rehearsal on Friday (7th December).

Bill went with Tony to the Wetherby Arms pub in Chelsea where they entered through a side door into the back room. According to Bill, "I met Stu again, and then Mick, who was quite friendly. I was then introduced to Brian and Keith, who were at the bar. They all had hair well over their ears and looked very scruffy, all bohemian and arty. They were very cool and distant, showing little interest in knowing me. We brought in my equipment in and set it up, suddenly everyone was interested. I had my old homemade bass, my wardrobe size bass cabinet and a spare Vox AC30 Amp that I’d bought on hire purchase in August. I was dressed in a suit and tie, as I thought a band should dress, it did not impress them but my equipment did!" And the rest is history....

The modern day pictures of the two pubs were taken by Richard Evans and we used them in Bill's book, 'Rolling With The Stones'

1 comment:

r morris said...

What a serendipidous event. Imagine how many other great rock bands never formed because people never met like this.
Must be fate or destiny.