Little did the Rolling Stones know how apt their name - inspired by the title of a Muddy Waters song, "Rolliní Stone" - would turn out to be. Formed in 1962, they are the longest-lived continuously active group in rock and roll history. They are also, according to a slogan that is supported by critical and popular consensus, "the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band." Throughout four decades of shifting tastes in the arena of popular music, the Stones have kept rolling, adapting to the latest sounds and styles without straying too far from their origins as a blues-loving, guitar-based rock and roll band. In all aspects, theirs has been a remarkable career - and one with no apparent end in sight.
The Rolling Stones' earliest origins date back to the boyhood friendship of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Their acquaintance was interrupted when Richards' family moved out of the Jaggerís' London neighborhood but rekindled a decade later in 1960 when the two ran into each other on a train. Jagger, a student at the London School of Economics, was a hardcore blues aficionado, while Richards' interest leaned more toward Chuck Berry-style rock and roll. Richards soon joined Jagger's group, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. While making the rounds of London blues clubs, Jagger and Richards befriended guitarist Brian Jones, a member of Blues Incorporated (fronted by Alexis Korner, a key figure in the early London blues-rock scene).
The trio of Jagger, Richards and Jones became roommates and musical collaborators. By now, Jagger and Richards had infiltrated Korner's inner circle, sitting in with Blues Incorporated at the Marquee Club. When Korner skipped one of his regular Marquee gigs to appear on a BBC radio show, Jagger seized the opportunity to debut his group. And so it came to pass that the earliest version of the Rolling Stones - Jagger, Richards and Jones, plus bassist Taylor (later of the Pretty Things), drummer Mick Avory (a future member of the Kinks) and keyboardist Ian Stewart (the Stones' lifelong road manager and adjunct member) - made their first public appearance on July 12th, 1962.