“The Rolling Stones is not just another group, but a whole lifestyle.”shot producer Andrew Loog Oldham, intrepid, in May 1963. There wasn’t much to hold onto then to risk so much, other than a certain intuition. What there was was just a live debut at the Marquee in London on July 12, 1962, and a few more shows, without much shame or much glory. A drummer from Wembley, last name Watts, first name Charlie, who had joined, having seen the band at the jazz and skiffle club instead of Tony Champan. A bass player named Bill Wyman, also a newcomer, basically because he had a good amp. And a name that Brian Jones had come up with, fanatical and expeditious, thinking of Muddy Waters.
There was little then, when Oldham’s prediction took its first step in the form of a disc, and this Saturday sixty years have passed since the Stones’ recording debut. From a two-song album in the style of the time, which was not liked too much either inside or outside the group, exacerbating the manager’s risk for a while. But that, despite those chiaroscuros, it was already marking territory in its central guidelines, based of course on an unconditional love for blues and black music. By Howlin’ Wolf. By Slim Harpo. By Jimmy Reed. By Muddy Waters…
The single contained “Come On” on the A side. And “I Want To Be Loved” on the B side. He added songs to a list (“Confessin’ The Blues” by Walter Brown-Jay McShann; “Dust My Blues” by Elmore James; “Baby What’s Wrong” by Willie Dixon) that the fledgling band used to play live for in the Bricklayer’s Arms, the Richmond Sutton, or the Crawdaddy Club, where the Beatles themselves would see them, who were already on “Please, Please Me”, and also Mr. Oldham, whose first reflection, upon hearing them there, was to offer them an exclusive representation contract.
From there to the single at 45 RPM published by Decca, no more than four months passed. “Come On”, the star theme, was by Chuck Berry and the recording -in mono, of course– took place on May 10, after some rehearsals at the Wetherby Arms, in Chelsea. Its reverse side –“I Want To Be Loved”–, was one of Willie Dixon recorded in 1945 by Muddy Waters, who could not miss the first date, like the one that gives entity to the opening phrase: “The spark in your Eye, set my soul on fire.”
Jagger, Jones, Richard, Wyman and Watts took no more than three hours to record the debut pair, which was involved in a series of problems related to the bands that activate quickly. Oldham, also a “producer”, had no idea how to act in a recording studio. Jagger even less. “We were a bunch of fucking amateurs, ignorant as hell, going to make a record,” Mick would say years later. Legend has it that what happened to any rookie band: the label gave only four copies of the album to the boys, who had to go out and buy it in the neighborhood record stores if they wanted to give it to their friends.
Sixty years have also passed since the day the Stones debuted on the ABC television show, “Thank Your Lucky Stars.”perfect for music archaeologists from the year 3000 to investigate how the greatest rock and roll band of the 20th century dressed when it started: houndstooth jackets with black velvet half-collars, dark trousers and polished ankle boots, Herman’s Smiths vibe . But the debut “en acto” was not auspicious either, where obviously “Come On” and “I Want To Be Loved” sounded, which, with Monday’s newspaper, should have been the A side.
“If you have any ambitions regarding the Stones, get rid of the singer. His appearance is repulsive, he has tires instead of lips.”, a producer told Oldham, as soon as the cameras were turned off. Far from giving it importance, of course, Andrew removed another from the group -Ian Stewart-, because he did not find the corrosive and savage image that he was trying to install in the imagination of a generation eager for a break. For similar reasons he had the “s” dropped from Keith’s last name and another story began to roll.
“Come On” and “I Want To Be Loved” were recorded at the Olympic studios in London and, to install them in small pay, Oldham put together the first official tour of England, where the Rolling opened for Little Richard and Bo Diddley. The first had been recorded by Berry two years earlier at Chess Studios, but no one in London knew of it. Its author told problems, talked about cars and wrong phone calls, all under a frenetic pace. What the Stones did to her was pick up the pace even more, drop a key, tone down her rhythm and blues with laughing potions of merseybeat, and change the lyrics of the chorus a bit. But nothing could be done for her, to the point that Jagger considered her “shit”.
And Richard declared, more moderately, that the group had recorded it just to have a record on the market. “We never wanted to hear it”, he confessed. The other side was the happiness that seized them when they heard it for the first time on the radio, according to Jagger: “At one point, Decca informed us that the single would be played on the “Saturday Club”, Brian Matthew’s show on the BBC. I saw it as unlikely to be true, as Decca had failed us many times. But when the day came, I was glued to the radio at 10 o’clock…and it happened. Our first 45, “Come On”, was playing… We were touching the sky”.
It represented so little for the “Come On” group that the last time it was heard live was as far back as 1965. It was not heard from again until Jagger took it up again at a June 2013 concert in Toronto, but only to remember that it was the 50th anniversary of its recording. Not to play it –they barely outlined a couple of chords with Watts-. Another effect on the fate of the first Stones single was that it appeared on several of those compilations for music lovers such as More Hot Rocks (1972); Singles Collection: The London Years (1989); Singles: 1963-1965; Rolled Gold: The Very Best of the Rolling Stones (2007) and Grrr!from 2012.
“Come On” according to the Stones also passed through several hands in the future. In those of The Chocolate Watch Band, for example, an unknown American garage band that did not contribute or take away anything when it took over in 1967. In those of the Dutch New Adventures in 1980, perhaps the most successful, after that of its owner Chuck, and in those of a woman who assimilated it well: the Australian Renée Geyer, at the dawn of the ’80s.
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60 years after the first recording of the Rolling Stones | It was a single with two songs, “Come On” and “I Want To Be Loved”