Tag Archives: Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan

Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan

October 25, 1964
but first, Dean Martin’s Hollywood Palace

The Stones appeared on Dean Martin’s Hollywood Palace on June 3, 1964 at the start of their first American tour (June 5 > June 20) promoting the release of their first album, The Rolling Stones, England’s Newest Hitmakers. 

The band would do eleven shows in total. While not the kind of success that the Beatles met, the tour did give the Stones enough visibility and radio-play to keep them amongst the many British musicians dominating the charts.

You can easily hear how so-called established musicians thought these visitors were a temporary fad and one easily made fun of. Certainly Martin’s writers thought so.

True to their roots, the Stones played Willie Dixon’s  “I Just Want to Make Love to You.”

Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan

After meeting Dean Martin

It had been 259 days since THE night. That is, 259 days since John, Paul, George, and Ringo changed the way we Americans listened to music and what music we listened to.

For three weeks in a row we sat in our Sunday evening seats–likely a living room–in front of the TV–likely a black and white–and smiled at our group. Not our parents’ group.

Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan

British Invasion

The Beatles dominated the charts. By October 1964 they’d had five #1 songs and three #1 albums. In fact, the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack album had just dropped out of the #1 spot on October 24 after 14 weeks!

Of course, it wasn’t just the Beatles. The flood gates had opened and British performer after British performer saturated the top ten airwaves:

  • Dusty Springfield
  • Dave Clark Five
  • The Searchers
  • Billy J Kramer
  • Peter and Gordon
  • Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • The Animals
  • Manfred MAnn
  • Chad & Jeremy
  • The Honeycombs
  • The Nashville Teens
  • The Kinks
  • The Zombies
  • Herman’s Hermits

Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan

October 7, 1966

Ed Sullivan Meets Rolling Stones

And here came the Rolling Stones. Now their second American tour of 1964. This one from October 24 thru November 15, 1964. On this tour, the band supported their second album 12 X 5. There first chart hit would not come until “Time Is On My Side” which reached a high point of #6 on Billboard on November 7 that year.

They performed on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time on October 25. Still true to their roots, their first song was Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around.”  Their second song, also a cover was “Time On My Side” written by record producer extraordinaire, Jerry Ragovoy.

The audience, mainly teenage girls, screamed over their song, an occurrence now familiar to viewers. Ed Sullivan, as he’d done with the Beatles, gushed over their performance while some critics felt that the Beatles, formally not very clean-cut, appeared dapper compared to the “unkempt” Stones. Such it would be. One critic sent a telegram calling the act “trash.”


Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan


The Rolling Stones returned to the Sullivan show the following spring and eventually went on to make 6 appearances. Here’s the list.

Rolling Stones Meet Ed Sullivan

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Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

“Come On” is a straight-forward tune written by the straight-forward rock n’ roll icon Chuck Berry. The Rolling Stones were searching for the “right” first song to release as a single and “Come On” met the criteria. It was by Chuck Berry, one of their favorite composers and one of British youths favorites as well. It’s about frustrated love, broken cars, and wrong numbers. A fine recipe.              

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

June 7, 1963

The Stones released the song on June 7, 1963, nine months after their friends, The Beatles, had released their inaugural single, “Love Me Do,”on October 5 , 1962 [a song without cars, phone calls, or by Chuck Berry, but it did have frustrated love].

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

Not quite Chuck

According to an All Music review, the  Stones’s song differs from Berry original in several ways:

  1. the Rolling Stones quickened the tempo
  2. they put more emphasis on off-beat guitar chording and wailing harmonica
  3.  the rhythm came close to reggae
  4. on the chorus, Mick Jagger was backed up by high harmonies
  5. they changed one of the lyrics substituting “some stupid guy” for the “some stupid jerk”
  6. an upward key change was thrown in for the last verse

           I would have never noticed, but some do and find the differences important. You can listen and decide for yourself.

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

Can you tell the difference?

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

Willie Dixon

The Stones’ B-side of “Come On” was “I Want to Be Loved” by Willie Dixon.  It was written in 1955 and reflects the Rolling Stones’s love of American blues roots.

Here’s their version:

This song’s theme has frustrated love, frustrated dancing, and frustrated attention.

The single did well, but did not catapult them into stardom.

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

1963 touring

In July, they played their first gig away from London in Middlesbrough, England. They shared the bill with The Hollies.

In the autumn of 1963, they toured the United Kingdom and opened for Little Richard, Bo Diddley and The Everly Brothers.

Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry

Second single

              They also released their second single, “I Wanna Be Your Man.” The title may sound familiar and it should. The song was written by those upcoming Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The single reached #12 on the UK singles chart.
Rolling Stones Come On Chuck Berry
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Rolling Stones Circus 1968

Rolling Stones Circus 1968

Rolling Stones Circus
Rolling Stones Circus

Almost Woodstock

Less than nine months before the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and its 130-plus performers, the Rolling Stone Circus came to town.

Organized by the Rolling Stones just after their release of Beggars Banquet, they were looking for a way to promote the album in a fun way. Why not a Rock and Roll Circus?

Rolling Stones Circus 1968

December 11, 1968

They filmed it on December 11, 1968. As well as clowns and acrobats, John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed as part of a super group called The Dirty Mac which included Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. The Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and Jethro Tull also performed. It was originally meant to be aired on BBC, but the Rolling Stones withheld it because they were unhappy with their performance. A film was eventually released in 1996.

Here’s the Lennon clip with some wonderful conversation between Mick and John before “Yer Blues.” Two mates having some fun.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want” with Woodstock Music and Art Fair alum Nicky Hopkins on piano (he sat in with the Jefferson Airplane for their sunrise serenade).

Rolling Stones Circus 1968

Brian Jones

Sadly, this also marked the final appearance of Brian Jones, who died within six months of filming the special.

The Ultimate Classic Rock site saysFor all the controversy and mystery surrounding it..‘The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus’ now comes across as a quaint time capsule of the last days of Swingin’ London. And as strange as the idea of combining a rock concert and a circus may be, it manages to work, even if the only person who wasn’t stoned was the guy who ate fire. 

Rolling Stones Circus 1968
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