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24 September 2014
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Rolling Stones
Five headline grabbing moments for Britain's lippiest band...

Mick Even before the broody bunch had so much as had a hit single they were already gaining column inches due to their scruffy appearance - which in those days meant that they didn't wear suits and ties. At at time when the UK public could just about get their heads around the Beatles' bowl cut mop tops, the Stones were shocking with their - gasp - shoulder length hair, prompting many of the tabloids of the day to ask: "Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?" To which most of the girls replied: "Yes, please"!

Picture this scene. It's 1967 and the Stones are hotter than a devil in a sauna with hits coming out of their armpits. Jagger was dating London socialite and posh crumpet singer Marianne Faithful and the pair were the toast of swinging London. During an infamous drug bust at guitarist Keith Richards's house, a rather interesting incident is rumoured to have occurred. When the police busted in the house to make their arrests, they found Marianne with a Mars bar inserted into her nether regions. Erm, tasty! Marianne and other people who were at the house denied the story, but it has become an enduring urban legend.

Although Jones had once been the driving force behind the band, by 1967 he was becoming a liability - falling deeper into drug addiction and paranoid delusions. Tensions were high, and Keith Richards's wooing and impregnation of Jones's former girlfriend Anita Pallenburg can't have helped much. By 1969 he had left the group and a month later he was found dead in a swimming pool. He was 27. A free concert at London's Hyde Park two days after his death was attended by a crowd of 250,000. The Stones were still grabbing the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons.

Keith Richardsno 1ALTAMONT
As 1969 drew to a close, the Stones staged a massive free concert at Altamont Speedway on the outskirts of San Francisco. With the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young billed to play it looked likely to be a fantastic flower power affair but the event was to end in tragedy. The Hell's Angels provided security, and what with their over-zealous drug taking and drinking, soon resorted to violence to calm the ever-swelling crowd. Small fights kept breaking out as the Stones played and Meredith Hunter, an 18-year-old black man, was spotted near the stage with a knife and a gun. He was beaten to death as Mick sang 'Sympathy For The Devil'. The group laid low for the next year.

Years after many of their contemporaries had dismissed them as champagne-swilling old geezers who should give up the ghost, the Stones are still going strong. They began the '90s with the biggest grossing international tour of all time, and ended speculation about their future by saying they would play on forever. Rock and roll! Latest album, 'Bridges To Babylon', boasted storming songs and spectacular drumming from Charlie Watts. There's certainly life in the old dogs yet!

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