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The Beatles see The Rolling Stones perform for the first time

The Beatles had a rare night off so, after their third appearance on the ITV show Thank Your Lucky Stars, they drove to Richmond to see a new group, The Rolling Stones, perform.

We’d been at Teddington taping Thank Your Lucky Stars, miming to ‘From Me To You’, and we went to Richmond afterwards and met them.

They were still on the club scene, stomping about, doing R&B tunes. The music they were playing was more like we’d been doing before we’d got out of our leather suits to try and get onto record labels and television. We’d calmed down by then.

The Rolling Stones at the Crawdaddy Club, London, 1963

The Beatles arrived dressed identically in long suede leather jackets and matching hats, which they had bought on their previous Hamburg trip.

Mick tells the tale of seeing us there with long suede coats that we’d picked up in Hamburg, coats that no one could get in England. He thought, ‘Right – I want to be in the music business; I want one of those coats.’

This was the first time The Beatles had seen The Stones, the group who would become friends and occasional chart rivals throughout the 1960s.

I remember standing in some sweaty room and watching them on the stage, Keith and Brian – wow! I knew then that the Stones were great. They just had presence. And, of course, we could tell – we’d had five weeks in the business; we knew all about it!

We talked to them. I don’t know what about and I don’t know if we ended up backstage.

The Rolling Stones were performing at the Crawdaddy Club, situated at the Station Hotel pub, 1 Kew Road, Richmond, where they were the house band. The venue later changed its name to The Bull.

We first went to see the Stones at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond and then at another place in London. They were run by a different guy then, Giorgio Gomelsky. When we started hanging around London, the Stones were up and coming in the clubs, and we knew Giorgio through Epstein. We went down and saw them and became good friends.

I remember Brian Jones came up and said, ‘Are you playing a harmonica or a harp on ‘Love Me Do’?’ because he knew I’d got this bottom note. I said, ‘A harmonica with a button,’ which wasn’t really funky-blues enough; but you couldn’t get Hey! Baby licks on a blues harp and we were also doing Hey! Baby by Bruce Channel.

Last updated: 8 April 2019
Television: Thank Your Lucky Stars
The Beatles live: Bridge Hotel, Tenbury Wells
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