The Rolling Stones
Formed in 1962 and still going strong, they're probably the richest band on the planet, with individual fortunes running into the many millions. When they began they were the boys you wouldn't let your daughter date, and now, for all their wild ways, they're part of the establishment they once rebelled against. In their heyday they were called the world's greatest rock band, and they can still pack stadiums on their tours.
How It BeganAccording to legend, middle-class student and blues aficionado Mick Jagger first met Keith Richards on a train, when Richards was carrying a pile of albums from the Chicago blues label, Chess. They hit off an immediate friendship, and began frequenting Alexis Korner's club in London, looking for musicians for a band. Korner introduced them to Brian Jones, who'd moved up from the West Country, a very talented guitarist with a deep love and knowledge of the blues. Once they added drummer Charlie Watts, pianist Ian Stewart, and the oldest member, bassist Bill Wyman, they were ready, and made their start at Korner's club at the Marquee.
Very soon they were playing every week at the new Crawdaddy Club, and word spread about this wild new blues band, reaching the ears of Andrew Loog Oldham, an ambitious young man who'd been working as a publicist for the Beatles. Sensing their potential, he stepped in and became their manager, arranging a record deal with Decca, who quickly put out their first single, a take on Chuck Berry's Come On. It sold reasonably, but it was only with their next effort, Lennon and McCartney's I Wanna Be Your Man, that things clicked into high gear and suddenly the Stones were a new force in British pop, the bad boys who seemed the opposite of the more clean-cut Beatles (by now Stewart had adopted a backing role, playing some piano for them, but also acting as road manager).
But really they needed their own material, and the apocryphal tale has Oldham locking Jagger and Richards in the kitchen of their Edith St. flat until they'd written a song together. From those humble beginnings the composing partnership flourished, reaching its first high in 1965 with (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, the single that made them superstars on both sides of the Atlantic.