Setlist History: Mick Taylor's 1st Show with The Rolling Stones

On July 5, 1969, a free concert held in Hyde Park headlined by the Rolling Stones was supposed to be an introduction for their new guitarist, Mick Taylor. Tragically, it turned out to be a way to mourn their founder, Brian Jones.

In early June of 1969 the Stones officially fired Jones for many reasons, mostly stemming from the multi-instrumentalist drug use and unreliability.

The 1968 recording sessions of Beggars Banquet saw Keith Richards handling both the lead and rhythm guitar parts because Jones would miss sessions or show up to the studio with the wrong instruments. Mick Jagger said the only tune on the album Jones truly put his heart into was his slide guitar work on "No Expectations."

"No Expectations" with footage from the Rock & Roll Circus

Jones' last live performance with the group was in December of '68 for the Rock & Roll Circus special. He was not all there and it was quite apparent to the star-studded co-stars.

"That was the period when Brian Jones took six hours to tune up and they were really having trouble getting kick-started," Who bassist John Entwistle recalled.

"You could see he wasn’t in very good shape," Jethro Tull flutist Ian Anderson said. "He was the Stone From Planet X. That’s how it appeared to me."

Two days before the Rolling Stones were scheduled to play to 250k-500k fans in London, they received word that Jones had died in his swimming pool due to "misadventure." He was 27.

It's still unclear if it was due to his behavior, his health, an accident, or something more sinister. But the show in the park would go on. Mick Taylor had been rehearsing with the band for a month.

That was much longer than when a 16 year-old Taylor got backstage before a John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and told the blues legend that he noticed Eric Clapton had missed the first set and he could fill in if it was ok.

Mayall said it was ok and teen Taylor was so impressive Mayall kept his number and hired him a few years later when Peter Green left to start Fleetwood Mac.

19 year old Mick Taylor playing with the Bluesbreakers in '68

It was Mayall who suggested to the Stones that then-20-year-old Taylor should be Jones' replacement, and after some jam sessions the band heartily agreed.

On July 5, Mick Jagger took to the stage and told the crowd to hush up. He then read excerpts of Percy Shelley's "Adonaïs," which the Romantic poet wrote when he heard a contemporary, the poet John Keats, had died of TB at just 25. 

Probably the only time the Stones opened their show with a poem.

After the poem, thousands of white butterflies were released from boxes and the band broke into the Johnny Winter tune “I'm Yours and I'm Hers,” a favorite of Jones. It would be the only time the Stones would perform it.

Because the band hadn't played a proper concert for a few years, about half of the set was live debuts, including "I'm Free," from 1965's Out Of Our Heads.

The out-of-tune guitars are easily noticeable here.

It would only be played 13 times in '69 and never again until two shows in 2006. Odd since the Soup Dragons had a hit covering it in 1990.

On July 10 Brian Jones' funeral attracted lots of fans, loved ones, and celebrities. The only Stones, however, who attended were the rhythm section of Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman.

Taylor would remain a member of the band for five years from '69-'74 and he appeared on a run of now-classic Stones albums: Let It Bleed , Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main St., Goats Head Soup, and It's Only Rock 'n Roll.

Jimi Hendrix dedicated a song to Brian Jones upon hearing about his death. Sadly Hendrix would die a year later, also at 27 years old.

After quitting the band for numerous reasons (including the fact Richards stole his girlfriend and he never got any writing credits for his contributions), he made solo albums and even recorded and toured with Bob Dylan in the mid 1980s.

Taylor returned to the Top 10 when he provided the lead guitar solo to Joan Jett's 1988 hit "I Hate Myself For Loving You."

Karma Police - Please Share:

Most played songs