“The Rolling Stones: Under Review 1962-1966″: Happy Birthday today to the Stones’ Mick Jagger

By on July 26, 2017

Today’s Mick Jagger’s birthday — he born Michael Philip Jagger on July 26, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England — so we thought we’d celebrate by sharing with you a Rolling Stones-related music documentary, The Rolling Stones: Under Review 1962-1966, which we’ve got streaming for our subscribers in our Under Review collection of music documentaries over on Night Flight Plus!

You’re not a subscriber? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to become an exclusive member of our little Night Flight club just a bit further down in this post.


The 90-minute documentary The Rolling Stones: Under Review 1962-1966 — “The Ultimate Review and Critical Analysis of the Music and Career of the Rolling Stones 1962-1966″ — is yet another in the series of “unauthorized” Under Review music documentaries created for Britain’s Chrome Dreams label, which is distributed through MVD, Night Flight’s content partner.


The film — narrated by Mandy O’Neal — takes a look back at the Stones’ during their formative years, reviewing the early part of the band’s career, with thoughtful (and sometimes provocative) commentary by:

Chris Welch (the esteemed former Melody Maker journalist and early Stones champion; Keith Althara (former NME editor in the 1960s and friend of the band; Tom Keylock (the Stones’ bodyguard and driver throughout the period of this film; Chris Farlowe (1960s R&B vocalist and a colleague of the band who was also under Andrew Loog Oldham’s umbrella and had hits with Jagger/Richards material); Dick Taylor (original member of the Rolling Stones and Pretty Things guitarist); Nigel Williamson (Uncut); and many others.


The Rolling Stones: Under Review 1962-1966 features rare musical performances (many which were never previously made available on DVD), obscure film footage, rare interviews and private photographs of, and with, band members, not to mention both live and studio recordings of Stones classics including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “The Last Time,” “Not Fade Away,” “Little Red Rooster,” Come On,” and many others.


The documentary is a rather straightforward chronological account, efficiently edited by Elliot Riddle, highlighting key recordings by the band, and supplemented with contextual information about important influences such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as clips by some of their contemporaries.

Everyone manages to set the scene in which the Stones worked, emphasizing the musical development from distinct covers to outstanding original songs.

We learn how the blues influenced their direction, how they developed the unique qualities of their own sound, and the importance to their career of the intuitive decision making of manager Andrew Loog Oldham.


Read more about the Rolling Stones and The Rolling Stones: Under Review 1962-1966 below.

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Mick Jagger had first met Keith Richards during their childhood, at primary school, but they would lose touch for many years thereafter, until they bumped into each other again on platform number two at the Dartford Railway Station in Kent, in the autumn of 1961.

They were both seventeen years old at the time.


Jagger was carrying a bunch of American R&B albums — including Rockin’ At The Hops by Chuck Berry and The Best Of Muddy Waters — which caught his school chum Keith’s eye.

They hit it off again instantly, and their reunion had an immediate and intoxicating effect.

Jagger — who was going to the London School of Economics at the time, while Richards had first gone to Dartford Tech, but had left that school to begin taking art classes at Sidcup Art College — realized that he was also old pals with a friend of Keith’s, Dick Taylor, who was going to the same school Richards was.

Jagger and Taylor had even played together in a little combo called Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys.


Since Taylor and Richards were already getting together to jam regularly on their guitars, the three of them soon began playing together: Mick singing and playing harmonica, and Keith and Dick Taylor strumming along on guitars.

On April 7, 1962, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met Brian Jones for the first time, at the Ealing Jazz Club in London.

At the time, Jones was playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s R&B band, The Blues Incorporated.


By May of 1962, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones were all playing with Alexis Korner.

A local music newspaper, Disc, even mentioned that Jagger had joined Korner’s group in a small article (“Singer Joins Korner”), saying that Jagger joined Korner on Thursdays and Saturday nights at the Marquee Jazz Club, which had opened downstairs at 165 Oxford Street in April of 1958.


Jones, however, was really itching to start his own group, and was quick to encourage Keith Richards to join him for rehearsals.

Brian would end up becoming the de-facto leader of the group, mainly because he was older than Mick and Keith, although he did lead their initial musical direction.


Later, Jones would also set up their shows, and he promoted the band in other various ways. He also came up with their name, from Muddy Waters blues song, “Rollin’ Stone.”

They were also joined by pianist Ian “Stu” Stewart, a 23-year old shipping clerk who had answered an advert that Jones had placed in a local newspaper.


Stewart — born in Scotland — was a boogie-woogie style piano man, and loved rock ‘n’ roll because it gave him the opportunity the really pound those piano keys.

He would continue on with the band in some form for many years but was never considered a full member of the Rolling Stones.

Pretty soon, Jagger was getting wind of Brian’s little combo, and he and Taylor started to come to Brian’s rehearsals and soon they had nearly everything they needed — two guitars, bass, piano and a singer — everything except a drummer.


They had also set their sights on drummer Charlie Watts — one of the best drummers in London, also playing in Alexis Korner’s band — but he wouldn’t play with Jones and his band unless he was getting paid, but they weren’t even close yet to making any money.

During the late spring and early summer of 1962, Jagger and Richards caught the train together, traveling from Dartford to London.

They often visited the Marquee Club on Oxford Street, where Mick would occasionally continue to get up and sing with Korner’s band.


Around this same time, Korner’s band would later be offered a steady gig, playing on BBC Radio’s Jazz Club program, and so he spoke to the Marquee Club’s booker, Harold Pendleton, and told them about this new four-piece R&B band.

Pendleton offered up Korner’s Thursday night gig at the Marquee to Brian Jones and his new band.


The Marquee turned out to be the perfect place for the band — any band, really — to have their first gig, as they were known for hosting a variety of impromptu blues and pop performances, and easy-going clubgoers went to the club not expecting to see perfection up on the stage.

In the very first mention of the band — a short article published July 7th about the upcoming show at the Marquee — Disc referred to the band as “Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones,” and from that point on, they were truly on their way.


Jagger, Richards and Jones — who was calling himself “Elmo Lewis” at the time, after his hero Elmore James, with Lewis being his actual first name: Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones — played their first public show as the Rolling Stones on July 12, 1962, at the Marquee Jazz Club.

Jazz News carried the band’s line up: Mick Jagger (vocals/harmonica), Keith Richards (guitars) Elmo Lewis (guitars), Dick Taylor (bass), Ian Stewart (piano), & Mick Avory (drums).


They continued thereafter to play regularly, often at The Bricklayers Arms Pub in Soho’s Broadwick Street, just a stone’s throw away from Oxford Street.

By the way, Avory — who would later become well known as the drummer for the Kinks — rehearsed with the band at the Bricklayers Arms pub in London during late May/early June 1962, but he claims it was another drummer, named Tony Chapman, who played at the band’s Marquee show (still more sources claim that Chapman didn’t join until the winter of ’62).


The Stones cemented their classic lineup not too much later, bringing Bill Wyman aboard to play bass — Taylor, who had moved over to bass, switched back to guitar — and even though they managed to find a temporary drummer for most of their gigs, they still had their sights set on Watts.

Their determined recruitment of Watts — which played out over several months in 1963 — would turn out to be possibly the savviest move the band ever made, as his drumming became integral to their sound.


In February of 1963, the Rolling Stones began playing regular gigs at the Station Hotel, and within two months, attendance at their shows jumped from an average of thirty clubgoers to more than three hundred.

Word of moth about this fiery R&B-based rock band soon spread across the city, and before too long journalists, record label executives and others — even members of the Beatles, soon to be a rival band — came to see the Stones.


Nineteen-year old Andrew Loog Oldham was likely the most important person to come and see the band play at the Station Hotel, as he’d worked as a publicist for the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, and he’d wanted to break out on his own as a band manager.

He watched what his boss Epstein did, and remembered the details about what had worked, and what hadn’t.

At the time, the Beatles were cruising the top of the charts, and thousands of screaming fans (mostly girls) were buying tickets to their shows.


Oldham was able to convince the Stones to let him manage their affairs, and he used the Beatles success to drive the Rolling Stones to their own level of superstardom.

It was Oldham who approached Dick Rowe at Decca Records for a recording contract. Rowe — who had let the Beatles slip through his fingers — was convinced by Oldham that he didn’t want to make the same mistake a second time.

Rowe couldn’t deny that the band were already heads and shoulders above other similar R&B-type rock ‘n’ roll bands he’d seen, and so he secured for them their first contract in May of ’63.


In fact, Oldham’s contract for the Stones turned out to be better than the ones the Beatles had with their record company, EMI.

Oldham had made sure that the Stones owned all of their master recordings, which meant that Decca couldn’t force the band to release any Stones songs they didn’t want to release.

They were given complete control over their creative output, still pretty unheard of at the time.


By 1964, the Rolling Stones were releasing their self-titled debut album — described in the documentary as creating “a new attitude…an album could be something in its own right” — which shot to #1 on the UK album charts, ending the Beatles’ year-long deadlock on the number one position.

The story continues throughout the band’s rapid ascent over the next couple of years, with one of the highlights being how several music journalists and friends all discussing, at inordinate length, about the greatness of Keith Richards’ riff from “Satisfaction.”


In this documentary, we’re also treated along the way to some fascinating vintage footage, such as the Stones sitting on a stage while they present Howlin’ Wolf on the TV show “Shindig,” and another idol, Buddy Holly, with a snippet of “Peggy Sue,” not to mention TV host and comedian Red Skelton, who — introducing the band in 1964, during a wonderful and somewhat lost clip of their performance of “It’s All Over Now” from “The Red Skelton Hour” — quips:

“Hey, aren’t those Rolling Stones something? Hey, how d’ya like that hair? They make the Beatles look like Yul Brynner!”


Happy Birthday today to Mick Jagger, and if you’re a subscriber, please have a look at The Rolling Stones: Under Review 1962-1966, and hey, while you’re at it, why not take a look at all of our Under Review music documentaries? They’re all streaming over on Night Flight Plus!


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.