THE ROLLING STONES | ROAD WORN, FORLORN & ALMIGHTY GUITAR PORN

When I’m feeling roadworn, forlorn, or the subject of scorn– nothing takes me to my happy place faster than great old pics of guitar porn.  I came across the below Stones’ porn pic sifting through the internets and became mesmerized by the artfully haphazard array of axes.  You can almost smell the sweat, smoke  and stale beer as you gaze at the overturned cans, ash, and listing guitars.

The late ’60s – early ’70s was an epic time for the Rolling Stones, and Rock & Roll as a whole.  It was a time I largely missed (being born in 1970), but feel like I experienced, partially at least, vicariously through my mom.  She was a music junkie, went to Woodstock, worshipped Janis Joplin.

Because of her we had stacks of records, taller than me as a kid, right at my fingertips. Aside from the epic music itself that I soaked-up, the album artwork and liner notes were pure magic, and heavily influential to this day– forever etched into my psyche.  I remember hearing “Paint it Black” crackling on the turntable– the sound of Brian Jones on the sitar lulling me into a sedated state of wonder.  Today I appreciate the Stones more than ever– as through the decades they’ve proven again and again that a band like that only comes around once or twice a generation in terms of musicianship, influence, and longevity.  And the icing on the cake is the epic tales of their early days and ways of excess.

1969 pic of the Rolling Stones’ guitar/bass lineup– appears they were hard on everything then.

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Brian Jones (on his Fender Telecaster) throwin’ some heavy, funk vibe — way pre-Lenny Kravitz. There’d be no Rolling Stones without Jones, who was undoubtedly the most versatile musician ever to bless the band, and easily rivaled Mick Jagger for sex symbol status.  Jones also had a very eclectic taste in guitars– amassing a very enviable collection.

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“YOU’RE WELCOME TO SWIM” #1 — Keith Richards and Brian Jones together in happier times– poolside at the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida on the day that Keith and Mick wrote “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”  Today this hotel is the headquarters of The Church of Scientology. Later Keith would “rescue” or “steal” Anita Pallenburg from under Jones’ nose, depending on how you look at it– and added insult to injury when both he and Anita (as well as Mick Jagger) were noticeably absent at his funeral. – image by Bob Bonis

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New York, 1972 — Keith Richards steps off the Rolling Stones private plane.

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Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones at his home “Cotchford Farm” in Sussex, England.  It was the former estate of famed author A.A. Milne, who created the beloved Christopher Robin & Winnie the Pooh series of children’s books.  It was there that the Rock & Roll legend met his untimely death– when he drowned in the pool under a cloud of suspicion.  Whether he was simply wasted or killed, either accidentally or in a fit of anger, by the contractor who was carrying out renovations on Jones’ home, will never be known with absolute certainty– though many steadfastly believe that it was the latter.

“It was a marvel to me, the antics of Brian Jones. After I had shot a few preliminary rolls of film, Brian disappeared and emerged dressed in an American flag shirt and then proceeded to prowl about the grounds of his new home, pausing to kick the statue of Christopher Robin. It seemed the kind of conflict destined to destroy him.” –Ethan Russell

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“BATTLIN’ BULLDOGS” – Keith Richards on stage with Brian Jones’ Gibson Firebird in Fresno, California on May 22, 1965. –image by Bob Bonis

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MICK JAGGER & BRIAN JONES, FRESNO 1965 – Mick Jagger and Brian Jones (with his epic Vox Teardrop guitar) on stage in Fresno, California on May 22, 1965.– image by Bob Bonis

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Keith Richards & Brian Jones at ABC television studios.

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Floppy hat – check.  Les Paul Custom – check.  Paul McCartney leanin’ in to vibe on your riffs – check.

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Brian Jones w/Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. — but oh man, those eyes say it all.  Forlorn and hard worn.

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Keith Richards on Brian Jones’ Gibson Firebird, and Brian on his Gibson ES-330 guitar.

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Keith Richards playing the Zemaitis custom inlayed “skull” guitar that was stolen during the ’70s.

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The late Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones

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Andy Warhol clutching a photo of the Rolling Stones.

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The Rolling Stones, 1966

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Another great shot of the Rolling Stones’ guitar arsenal.

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Brian Jones & Mick jagger of the Rolling Stones in the studio on dueling Gibson acoustics.

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Mick Jagger Gibson Les Paul

Mick Jagger in the studio on a Gibson Les Paul– Keith Richards in the background.

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Brian Jones, former member of the Rolling Stones (on an Epiphone), who tragically passed away in ’69 and was replaced byMick Taylor.Photo by John Rowlands/ZUMA Press

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The Rolling Stones — with the late Brian Jones, who founded the band.

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BRIAN AND KEITH BACKSTAGE AT ED SULLIVAN —  Reflections in the mirror of Keith Richards playing his Gibson Hummingbird and Brian Jones reading a British music paper backstage in the dressing room at the Ed Sullivan Show, September, 1966. Brian Jones had allegedly injured his hand in a domestic dispute, which forced the Stones to pre-record the two songs they had scheduled. Brian was supposed to play sitar on one song “Paint It Black” and dulcimer on “Lady Jane”, which he was struggling with due to his busted-up hand. – Photo by Bob Bonis

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Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones on stage with his Gibson ES-330 guitar.

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THE STONES ON STAGE, BERLIN 1965 — Keith Richards and Mick Jagger from the vantage point of the side of the stage. Brian Jones and Bill Wyman can be seen in the background and a line of police on the other side of the stage. A riot would break out in the audience moments after this photograph was taken. — image by Bob Bonis

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MICK JAGGER WATCHES THE STONES ON THE RED SKELTON SHOW —  Mick Jagger reclining on a day bed in a hotel room watching the rebroadcast of The Rolling Stones appearance on The Red Skelton Show on November 10th, 1964. – image by Bob Bonis

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Keith Richards & his Bentley S3 Continental, called “Blue Lena”, which he drove more like a battering ram than a luxury touring car.  “He was incredible,” a friend commented. “He’d just bounce off everything. He just didn’t care. We’d all be sitting there in the car and everybody would say, ‘Oh, I think we just hit a tree.’”

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Keith Richards with arranger, producer, keyboard player, Jack Nitzsche at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California. Nitzsche met The Stones when he was organizing the music for The T.A.M.I. Show and contributed keyboards to their LPs: “The Rolling Stones, Now!” (or The Rolling Stones No. 2 in the UK), “Out of Our Heads”, “Aftermath” and “Between the Buttons” as well as the hit singles “Paint It Black” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and the choral arrangements for “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.  –image by Bob Bonis

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January 15, 1967 — The Rolling Stones on The Ed Sullivan Show, they were asked to sing “Let’s Spend Some Time Together” and unlike The Doors, they complied.  But they would have the final word when they came back out on stage, dressed in Nazi uniforms complete with Swastikas, which pissed Sullivan off, and he demanded they change back.  The Stones left the studio, and Sullivan declared that he would never again allow them back on his show again.

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CHARLIE WATTS AND BRIAN JONES BACKSTAGE.  – image by Bob Bonis

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Black & white Rolling Stones guitar porn goodness.

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Keith Richards pickin’ and grinnin’ in the studio.

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THE ROLLING STONES WITH ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM, Hollywood, 1965 — The Rolling Stones with their manager and producer, Andrew Loog Oldham — during that pivotal time when the power balance was shifting from Brian Jones (the band’s original founder cuddling his Gibson Firebird), to Mick and Keith.  – image by Bob Bonis

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1972 — Mick Jagger & Keith Richards recording Exile on Main Street at Sunset Sound.

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Little Jake Weber, playmate to Marlon Richards, hanging out with Mick Jagger and the Stones’ guitars during the recording of Exile on Main Street in France.

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1972 — Mick Jagger & Keith Richards recording Exile on Main Street at Sunset Sound.Keith Richards in the studio on a Gibson Les Paul.

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KEITH RICHARDS AND MICK JAGGER “DRINK” on tour, 1972 – image by Ethan Russell

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Keith Richards on his Gibson Les Paul custom, Mick’s foot in the foreground.

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KEITH RICHARDS WITH JACK AND COORS. 1972 — The indomitable Keith Richards, looking remarkably young and healthy, with his palette of refreshments.Photo by Ethan Russellfrom one of his preferred vantage points — “through” the band “to” the audience. It is, after all, what they see.

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Keith Richards on a Gibson Flying V guitar.

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Keith Richards on a Gibson Flying V guitar.

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Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones in the studio on his Gibson Les Paul custom guitar.

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Keith Richards walking on the tarmac to his awaiting limo with a bottle of Jack Daniels in hand.

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BRIAN’S ENDOWMENT — Brian Jones and Keith Richards clowning around on location with photographer Guy Webster shooting the cover for the LP “Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass).” At the time they were being photographed for an LP to be called “Can You Walk on the Water?” but the record company rejected the title, which was then changed to “Aftermath” and the photographs were used for the Greatest Hits LP that followed instead.  – image by Bob Bonis

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TSY RELATED POSTS:

THE ROLLING STONES’ OTHER MICK | MICK TAYLOR’S SUBSTANCE OVER STYLE

1969 DESERT TRIPPIN’ | GRAM PARSONS, ANITA PALLENBERG & KEITH RICHARDS

KEITH RICHARDS & GRAM PARSONS 1971 | SUMMER IN EXILE @ VILLA NELLCOTE

THE ROLLING STONES IN EXILE | VILLA NELLCOTE, SUMMER OF 1971

MARIANNE FAITHFULL | SISTER MORPHINE

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Some good reading on early Stones & Jones here

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38 thoughts on “THE ROLLING STONES | ROAD WORN, FORLORN & ALMIGHTY GUITAR PORN

  1. again, a classic collection of images. Great work! Amazing when you look at Keef in these shots and then think about how he looks today. Like it’s not even the same guy.

    • a bit of before/after Dorian Gray, uh????

      Lovely post, JP. It’s a shame how poor Brian was treated, but the Glimmer twins have proved that ‘you’ve got to move’ in this rock and roll business’.

      More Charlie, man!!!!!

  2. great post and really great pix and i understand the focus was on jones and the band, but you were getting a lot into the 70s there and the reason they became the act they were in the 70s live was Mick Taylor. You coudn’t have spared just one pic of the greatest guitar player they’ve ever had?
    Not complaing about the rest, mind you.

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  4. The style, the clothes, the moves, the music, axes, and ‘tudes…the Stones in the 60′s-70′s; it doesn’t get any better in the realm of R&R. Was listening to ‘em this past weekend while cruising in southern Oregon with my daughter. She was ten when I took her to her first Stones concert in Motown around ’80. We both still love them.

  5. Absolutely amazing!! Too cool. Which is why I feel like I’m telling the host that just fed me an amazing 7 course meal that the dessert was a little sweet when I tell you the photo of Brian is with a 50′s Les Paul Goldtop, not a Les Paul Jr.

  6. Those pictures say so much. Keith with a bottle of Jack striding toward the limo – certainly seems very possessive of his carry-on bag. Likely full of…toiletries? Mick looking at Sullivan with complete disinterest, or is it barely veiled scorn? Keith in front of the Bentley – cool shoes! And notice how it was clearly Jones’ band in all the group shots, Mick merely a member and not the front and center attention grabber.

    Nice post – had never seen many of these.

  7. I saw them in ’65, my first concert, looking just like the Fresno shots. Then again in ’72, amazing show. Love your blog, found it via the Gram Parsons post a long time ago… but I had it in my mind you were in your sixties and had written for Rolling Stone or Esquire back in the day. Ha.

  8. i imagine the dude or dudes who stole the Zemaitis thought “look mate, keith is on his last legs, he’ll die any year now and when he does, we’ll make a killing selling this” and they waited, and waited … and waited. shit they’re probably dead now.
    great post tsy, in a long long line of great posts.

    thanks for brightening the cubicle farm today.

  9. When I read this one and the Mick Taylor entry, it kinda makes me hate Mick and Keith more. Seems like they were jealous of both of their talents. Just sort of looks that way in the candid shots, that could be just me though. And Jones’ mysterious death does add fuel to the conspiracy fire. But, that shot of Keith at the Bentley is pretty awesome. Those shoes!

  10. It must have in 68 or 69, I was talking to a friend about all the violence all around us. You have to remember, in that era, people were setting cities on fire, leaders were getting shot, it was quite a confusing time to be a teenager. We really thought that society was falling apart. I’ll never forget my friend ending the conversation by saying, “Well, what can a poor boy do, ‘cepting sing for a rock and roll band?”

    Great set of pictures.

  11. You are a godsend; your blog is a treasure. I cannot gush enough. THIS is how to use the powers of the Internet for good. I can’t even be witty or … hell, even concise. I love this blog.

    And as much as I’ve said I love the Rolling Stones, I don’t think I’ve given enough thought to Brian Jones until now. Seems I have some research to do. Thanks.

  12. Thank you JP god damn man you amaze me with your photographs. Brian passed way to young and was the consummate musician from everything that i have read about him.
    I disagree with mikethe revelator Mick Taylor was not even in the same league sorry but that’s my opinion. Keith always was the rock star attention whore but Brian was the reason they were even on stage period.Brian set the bar for the rest of the band not vice versa.

    Peace,Love,Happiness
    Back by popular demand

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  14. cool to see a Dan Armstrong guitar in the mix (the clear lucite guitar). never saw any of them play one in a live picture but cool none the less.

    • you see that one lots in the 69-tour/altamont docu ‘gimme shelter’. apparently the pirate-style zemaitis on the 1975-live pic is a replica, built after the one that got robbed from villa nellcote in ’71 along with the see-through dan-armstrong-guitar. keith’s main axe micawber entered the picture around that time as well – as a replacement for an older favourite tele which got stolen as well. don’t fuck with the corsican drug mafia!

      • gotta correct meself here: keith lost his original zemaitis, nicknamed “macabre” or “zemaitis pirate” in a fire that destroyed his rented home in los angeles in 1978 (so the one depicted here is the original). still, the see-through dan armstrong guitar was stolen from nellcote in 1971 and the replica built after it never made it soundwise in keith’s ears.

  15. I’m struck by the way the sign at the pool behind Brian’s head reads “You’re welcome to swim, no lifeguard on duty”. Such a pity.

  16. This is the best blog on the internet, bar none. Thanks so much.

    Just a minor clarification: The Firebird played by Keith in the picture in Fresno is an original reverse Firebird VII (big block inlays, 3 pickups, bound neck, Vibrola tailpiece) which was made from mid-1963 to 1965 while the Firebird Keith is playing in the studio in the subsequent picture is a later non-reverse model Firebird VII (still with 3 pickups and the Vibrola tailpiece but with dot inlays and no binding), which was made from 1965 to 1969.

    • Forgot to mention that it was nice to see the late, great Ian Stewart’s piano on the stage at Fresno. The Rolling Stones wouldn’t exist without him either. He just must might deserve a post of his own.

      Thanks again!

      • Ian Stewart??? the guy the boys kept out of the pictures because he was so average looking?? Indeed that Ian deserves more…. but like Brian & Mick: he was just another victim in the Glimmer’ twins’ ‘march to the sea’ as it were.

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  18. Like so many others have already said, thanks JP for yet another wonderful post and photos. “The Eyes say it all” is just what I thought when watching The great Rock and Roll Circus. Just watch Brian and you’ll see that by that point there was no connection between him and the rest of the band and maybe in reality itself. You may also want to check out the 2005 film “Stoned” which takes you through the story’s one possible end.

  19. Brian was very tired at the Circus, and this is why he looks so worn. He was ready to leave
    the band by the time they made this video. The Sixties were very rough on all bands back
    then and the stress, the demands, the touring was super demanding.

    Brian was always my favorite musician. He left the band because they had treated him
    terrible and he was finally fed up with it. He was doing very well when he left, had
    made a demo to be released on 7-4-69 and had his new band ready to go.

    He was murdered, and did not die from drink or drugs. Check out the Brian Jones
    Fan Club forum which is excellent and explains a lot.

  20. Talk about a man of many faces. In the shot with the green bug-eyed sunglasses he could be portrayed by Val Kilmer, whereas in the picture directly below he looks more like Willem Dafoe. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger set of eye bags in my life than the ones he displays in the fur coat picture.

    I know this post has been up for a while, but with so many great photos and articles to peruse it really takes time to enjoy them all fully.

    Great job once again my man!

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