While the discussion around the untimely death of Brian Jones is never far away from the headlines, today we step back in time and revisit a rare interview with The Rolling Stones founder dating back to 1965.
Jones, who is credited as being the Stones’ founder and original leader, was discovered motionless at the bottom of his swimming pool at Cotchford Farm in July 1969. The subsequent investigation ruled that his death was nothing more than a tragic accident.
His then-girlfriend, Anna Wohlin, was adamant that Jones still had a pulse when he was dragged out of the pool but, when doctors arrived, it was too late and he was pronounced dead. Jones, who was battling alcohol and drug problems at the time of his death, was given an official cause of death as ‘death by misadventure’.
Aged just 27 at the time of his death, the discussion once again resurfaced around the 50th anniversary of his passing, a moment of reflection which culminated in his daughter, Barbara Marion, suggesting that her father was, in actual fact, murdered on the night of his death. “I think he was murdered and I think the police did not investigate it the way they should have,” Marion said. “I would love to have them reopen [the case] and to get some answers.”
In 2009, Sussex Police decided to review the death of Jones first time since his body was found. “The death of Brian Jones was investigated in 1969 and was also the subject of two reviews by Sussex Police, in 1984 and 1994,” the force said. “From time to time over the past 49 years Sussex Police have also received messages or reports from journalists and other individuals about the death. Each is considered on its individual merits and reviewed wherever appropriate”.
The police concluded: “No such report has been received since 2010 and no new evidence has emerged to suggest that the coroner’s original verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ was incorrect. The case has not been reopened and there are no plans for that to happen.”
Initially forming the band as a British blues outfit in 1962, Jones began as a slide guitarist before going on to develop a significant role in the group and playing numerous different instruments including piano, drums, harmonica and more. However, as the songwriting partnership of band members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards developed, Jones’ heavy use of drugs and alcohol became a major issue. As Jones’ reliability in the studio began to worsen, he was slowly fazed out of the group that he formed and, eventually, he was kicked out in June 1969 and replaced by Mick Taylor. One month later he was found dead.
“He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played,” Rolling Stones bass guitarist Bill Wyman once said of Jones. “He got us gigs, he was very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it—highly intelligent—and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away,” he added.
Jones, who spoke in a very gentle manner, was often contemplative and self-analytical of his existence in the public eye. In the below interview, dated 1965, he discusses how he ended up in a band and, more importantly, how he “never really wanted to be a pop star”. He was discussing marriage, official contracts and his fear of being locked into serious commitments.
See the clip, below.