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13 November 2014

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You are in: Gloucestershire > People > Profiles > Brian Jones (1942-1969)

Brian Jones (Photo: BJFCC)

Brian Jones (Photo: BJFCC)

Brian Jones (1942-1969)

Brian Jones died on 3 July 1969. Forty years on from his death discover more about the Cheltenham-born rock star and founding members of the Rolling Stones...

Gloucestershire born Brian Jones (Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones) was one of the founding members of the legendary British band The Rolling Stones and an original martyr of rock-and-roll.

Brian Jones (Photo: BJFCC)

Brian Jones performing (Photo: BJFCC)

Jones was born in Cheltenham's Park Nursing Home on the 28th of February, 1942. He attended Dean Close Preparatory School (1947 - 53) and Pates Grammar School in Cheltenham (1953 - 57) before leaving for London to find fame in The Rolling Stones, skilled in playing over 30 musical instruments, most of which were self-taught.   

The band began playing at London jazz and blues clubs, causing an infectious stir and rapidly developing an immense fan base. The Rolling Stones' first single 'Not Fade Away' reached number three in 1962 and became the first of many hits Jones enjoyed with the band.

Jones's position in The Rolling Stones was clearly marked out from the start. He was thought to give the band an extra dimension that secured their initial recognition and with them he boldly made his mark as an influential musician that undoubtedly inspired endless musicians.

Jones was known to have played over 15 instruments in the band including piano, clarinet and the guitar with which he became most famously associated.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones (Photo: BJFCC)

Jones' personal magnetism and charisma ensured his female fan-base equalled that of his musical recognition. He swiftly grew as a sex symbol and fashion icon due to his unique rebellious style making him a cutting edge pioneer in forming the original rock star look.

Always embodying the cliché of revelling in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, Jones fathered five children out of wed-lock, the first mothered by a fourteen year old school girl.

As the Rolling Stones gathered proclaimed success, Jones' drug taking heightened and contributed to his increasingly troubled existence. Proclaiming that recreational drug use should be legal, he began frequently using LSD, Cocaine and Cannabis which did nothing to aid his imperfect health, being a known asthma sufferer.

This behaviour only increased Jones' status as a rock guru and his notoriety has been greatly imitated since. It did however mean repercussions for The Rolling Stones.

Brian Jones Bust (Photo: BJFCC)

Brian Jones Bust in the Beechwood Shopping Arcade

Hostilities developed between him and his equally famed band mates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards after Jones’ continuous no-shows at gigs and increasingly erratic behaviour associated with his drug taking, which had often led to him being arrested.

He became alienated from the rest of the group with various rumours surrounding his official departure. His situation spiralled downwards from then on.

On the third of July in 1969 Jones’ life was cut remarkably short when at just 27 he died in a controversial accident. The star was found dead in the swimming pool at his farm home in East Sussex; Cotchford Farm - formerly owned by writer A.A. Milne.

It was officially stated a ‘death by misadventure’ and speculations of murder are still rife. However, Jones’ liver and heart were found to have been heavily enlarged from drug and alcohol abuse.

Jones' funeral took place at St Mary’s Parish Church in Cheltenham. He was buried in Cheltenham Cemetery in a grand silver and bronze casket that was commissioned by his close friend Bob Dylan.

A bronze bust of Jones was produced by the Brian Jones Fan Club Cheltenham (BJFCC) and can now be found in the Beechwood Shopping Centre in his home town.

last updated: 17/06/2009 at 11:45
created: 20/07/2006

Have Your Say

What are your memories of Brian Jones? What was it about him that made him so special?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

rob mace
i was there at his funeral and i think he was the biggest rock star androle plus i can remember him as a milkman as i lived in cheltenham

petruzzello vito
Brian jones il bello dei rolling stones

MF
R.I.P.

Patti Hartz
What can't I say about Brian? I can't say enough! He could play any instrument that he touched, and if he couldn't he would soon figure it out. And What a harp player (harmonica). No one can touch him there!

Janusz Bartolik
Brian was an exceptional musician and I hope that the investigaton into his death will be resumed.

LINDA FROM THE UNITED STATES
EXTREMELY TALENTED!!!...WHAT ASHAME ABOUT HIS DEMISE......HE WAS ONLY A KID......

W SEEL
I WAS ONLY 14 YEARS OF AGE ON ONE OF MY MANY DAYS AT TOP OF THE POPS IN MANCHESTER MY FRIEND AND I WENT BEHIND THE SCENES WE WALKED INTO THE ROLLING STONES CHANGING ROOM AND WHO WAS THERE WAS ALL THE STONES BRIAN NOTICED ME THROUGH HIS MIRROR WHILE COMBING HIS HAIR AND LOOKED RIGTH AT ME AND SMILED THAT SMILE AS STAYED WITH ME I AM NOW 58 AND WOW WHAT A MEMORY LOVE TO BRIAN ALWAYS

Jenifer Taylor
As a teenager in England my friend and I actually got to speak to the Stones via telephone when they visited our home town. I recall Brian as being the most well spoken and gentle member of the group and I enjoyed our conversation. He took time to really ask me questions and, looking back, I realize how considerate that was toward a young fan.

Sue Gold
Brian was an outstanding musician. Unfortunately, the outside people surrounding the Stones in '69 did not care for him. He was a confused and trouble young man. He just needed someone to care.

Karen Brockman
I still dream of Brian about twice a year, after 39 years! He made such an impression on me as a teen.It's such a tragedy he died so young.He loved my town of Penzance! I never met him, though. Wish I had.

Patricia
he was a typicle jack the lad, he chatted my sister in law up but done her head in so much so her brothers had to warn him off, i hate the way people jump on the band wagon because he hit the big time, drugs were his downfall no questin....

lara
im 17 and wasn't around at the time of the stones but for me i adore brian, a complete legend. really admire him and of course he was gorgeous. i hope that one day the truth of brian's death will be revealed and it won't just be a cover up!

Margaret Grahaj
A great musician and someone I will miss

david
brian was never able to realize his full potential as a man and musician. it so often happens in life and is sad. God bless!!

Anny
I think,his sad live is what made him so special.Because all of us if we only could,would like to make him happy,but there is no way.He was the greatest,i love him so much.

lorna forbes
brian jones was a very talented guy,and gorgeous.the talent brian had off adding different instruments to the stones music he was simply a genius.this tv prog in this article wasnt shown in scotland..why plenty brian jones/stones fans up here too.

matthew woolston
Brian was a visionary and had the all important look.He was the face of the 60's

Barb Lodermeier
I always loved him. They even showed Pamela Franklin in the movie "The Nanny" with Betty Davis and she was holding a magazine with Brian Jones on the cover as the best dressed man in Britain. I have his music of Moroccan Music at Jajouka. And his harmonica playing I think was better that John Lennon, Paul Jones, Bob Dylan, and Donovan!!!!!Especially on Buddy Holly number "Not Fade Away"

Daniel
It sounds VERY plausable, the idea that murder and not 'misadventure' was the cause for Brian's untimely demise. I wasn't a big Stones fan, but I admired Brian... his charisma was bigger than life. I lost interest in the Stones upon hearing the news that the band had sacked him. But thought he'd resurface with even more musical success... after all, many new ideas and musicians were springing up all over and Brian was friends with many. And many wanted to associate with Brian. It's a tragedy, the loss of his life, but not an uncommon event for those years. And even though he had problems with drugs and the law, this shouldn't rob him of any recognition for his contributions as an artist and a musician. After all, many an artist throughout history has had problems with the same kinds of behaviour and substance abuse, yet they are respected for their role in history and their field of talent or talents. It was the sixties and we as a world of youth were shaking the old off and anyone over 30 didn't get it. They thought it was apalling and immoral. WRONG! It was social reform and history was being made!Thank You Brian for your contribution.

glynis
Brian Jones, Charismatic, clever,and greatly under-estimated as an academic, my brother had the good fortune to meet him months before he died, and was charmed. Unfortunately,as with many who seem to have everything , there are many jealous souls.....god bless yah Brian!

sara from rome italy
brian was a genius,looked like an angel and no doubt was killed.please destroy that horrible bust that does not resemble him at all.it's an insult to brian's fab looks and dignity.please blow that monster away.Brian we love u 4ever

Linda Zerr
I have loved Brian Jones since I was 14 andthat was 44 years ago. He was extremelygorgeous, sexy and beautiful. He could playso many instruments. I miss him each andevery day.

CAROLINE MILLER
A TALENTED LIFE CUT SHORT

Janet McDonagh
His contribution to the music world was phenominal and today I still marvel at the many different instruments he could play plus the fact that he was GORGEOUS. Very sad loss the day he died.

John
Obscurity. That I only knew his name and not his talents -- I was only 9 years old when he was gone. That he brought together the greatest rock band ever formed, continuing to this day, and that he was simply brushed aside, nearly forgotten. Possibly urdered, under the most petty of circumstances. "Between the Button" will always be one of my favorite LP's.

Rusty Martell
i don't think that brian jones was that much of a junkie/drug user to ruin everthing. he remembered that he had nothin. it's just kinda strange...but he understood what was going on around him. I was 7 or 8 years old when he died, so i dont really have an opinion, but mum loved the Stones

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