To some Brian Jones was an enigma. He could be difficult, stubborn, even violent at times. He could also be creative, kind, and generous. There is one quality that all who knew Brian would agree he possessed the most; the need for love and affection.
Lewis Brian Hopkins-Jones was born on February 28, 1942 to Lewis and Lousia Jones in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. His father Lewis worked at Dowty's aircraft works, and his mother Louisa was a piano teacher. From the start, Brian was a beautiful, blond boy willing to play music, and learn. He attended Dean Close public school and from there went to Cheltenham Grammar School. He was suspended for encouraging fellow students to rebel against school authorities. He passed nine "O" levels and 2 "A" level GCE, which is very much above average.
Brian would sing in the choir at his church, while his father would play the organ. But, soon Brian would discover blues and jazz, and his life would never be the same.
By the age of 14, Brian had become a well known trouble maker, a reputation that was confirmed when he got a 14- year old girl pregnant. While the baby was put up for adoption, Brian was asked to leave school. Of course, he didn't care too much for school anyways, but his father was quite angry, since he dreamed of his son attending university, to become a dentist.
Brian met Pat Andrews, his first real girlfriend, and in 1961, she became pregnant with their son Julian (when Julian was born, Pat's mother attacked Brian with an umbrella, hitting him over the head several times at the hospital). Brian worked unskilled jobs such as a traineeship with Cheltenham Municipal Transport, and as a coalman, while living with Pat in a horrid, filthy apartment.
Brian's main love, his main passion in life was the blues. By 1962, he had become a skilled alto-sax player, idolizing such legends as Charlie 'Bird' Parker. While working a job at a Department store, Brian worked hard at forming a Blues band. He bought a Gibson guitar, and took on the pseudonym of Elmo Lewis, after one of his idols, bluesman Elmore James. While in Oxford, he met a musician named Paul Pond, who would later be known as Paul Jones of Manfred Mann, and the two of them got a slot with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in Ealing, England. While playing slide guitar,Brian was noticed by two young men named Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. They promptly introduced themselves and within a few days formed a band, with Richards on guitar, Dick Taylor on bass, Jagger on vocals, and Ian Stewart on the piano. They would eventually find a permanent drummer. By July, 1962, the band was offered their first gig at the Marquee Club in London. Brian named his new groups The Rollin' Stones, after the Muddy Waters Song.
Soon after, Keith, Mick, and Brian moved into a quite disgusting two-room apartment in Edith Grove, Chelsea.By this time, Brian had abandoned poor Pat and Julian, and assumed bachelor hood once again. Since neither Keith nor Brian had jobs, they survived on Mick's LCE grant and food brought to them by Keith's lovely mum. Bill Wyman joined on bass in 1963, and Charlie Watts soon joined on drums.
By 1965 the boys had hit it big, with the smash single "Satisfaction" and Brian couldn't be more thrilled. He divulged himself in the endless supply of girls,and later, drugs. But, again Brian learned he had yet another bundle of joy on the way, this time by girlfriend Linda Lawrence. (geez, Brian was awfully 'busy') In 1964 their son, Julian(yes, another Julian) was born. Of course a year later Linda, Pat, and a girl named Dawn Malloy (another ex, and the mother of Brian's son Paul Andrew) sued Brian for child support. Later in 1965 ,Brian met a woman who would cause much trouble in the stones camp. Anita Pallenberg was a German born model, who met Brian after sneaking back stage at a Stones show in Italy.Tall, thin, and blonde, Brian was instantly smitten. Anita was there to help his fragile ego, and ever changing moods. They would move into a messy, undone flat in Chelsea, near Mick and Marianne Faithfull, where many drugs were taken, and many fights were had. When the pair returned from Morocco in 1966, Brian's arm was in a cast, because in an attempt to punch Anita, he instead punched a wall and fractured his arm. Much is said about this relationship, mainly concerning the fact that there never seemed to be much love between the two of them. Anita proved to be quite a strange bird, practicing black magic(it is said she stabbed a voodoo doll with pins, causing Brian to get stomach cramps), and other things of the sort.
By this time, Brian was heavily experimenting with different musical instruments, and different drugs. LSD didn't seem to agree with Brian too much, as Marianne Faithfull said in her 1994 Autobiography: "The paranoiac condition worsened, naturally, on acid." When he wasn't seeing snakes crawling at his feet, he was teaching himself to play the dulcimer, flute, and of course, the sitar. Since his standing in the group had gone from leader, to background musician, his paranoia was very bad. He became mad at Mick, for taking his place as the band's spokesman. He continued to go into a downward spiral of drinking and drugs. It seems after the release of "Their Satanic Majesties Request", Brian was never the same.
In 1967, he was arrested and convicted of possession of drugs, and again in 1968. To make matters worse, Anita had left abusive Brian for Keith. He continued to retreat to drugs, and began to not show up for studio sessions.
In June of 1969, Brian left the Rolling Stones, citing musical differences. Of course, there are many sides of that story. He had taken up with Suki Potier, and later, a Swedish student name Anna Wolin, who moved right on into his estate Cotchford Farm, and Sussex. There, she and Brian enjoyed a tranquil life, where he had stopped taking drugs, and began to put a band together things were certainly looking up, but little did they know that fate had other plans.
In the wee hours of July 3, 1969, Brian and Anna went for a swim with Frank Thorogood, and his mistress, Janet. According to Anna, she went inside with Janet, only to find Frank walking into the house, his hands shaking. They went outside, to find Brian at the bottom of the pool, dead. After trying to revive him, they realized his was gone.
Though his death is a mystery, his life and talents aren't. If Brian was alive today, he surely would still be gracing us with the talent so many took for granted.