The Rolling Stones, fronted by Sir Mick Jagger, came on the rock ‘n’ roll scene not long after The Beatles. Their Liverpudlian mates had shown what it was to be true rock stars, touring the world and winning millions of fans. While The Beatles may have paved the way, it turns out they did much more in inspiring songs by The Rolling Stones.
The Rolling Stones formed in 1962, just as The Beatles were about to make it big with their first hit, Love Me Do.
The group were playing small sets around London, while The Beatles were, from 1963, travelling the world and had fans screaming wherever they went.
Both bands started out playing blues, skiffle, and most importantly, covers, but The Beatles started writing music very early on, which became a major inspiration for other artists, including The Rolling Stones.
According to 1960s music expert Paul Endacott, of Music Heritage London, The Beatles’ success, and more importantly their songwriting, was really important for the development of The Rolling Stones.
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In fact, it was almost a symbiotic relationship with the USA, as British bands would take their blues music, cover it, then use it as a basis to write their own material, which in turn swept the USA in the British Invasion.
Paul added: “We had an element in the early 1960s of covers, doing blues covers, but then the creativity came into place.
“And you had some fantastic, original sounds that then went back to America with the British Invasion of 1964 to 1968.”
When Sir Mick inducted The Beatles into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, he made reference to this influence as well, adding that The Beatles even wrote a song for them, which became one of their first hits.
“And they had a record in the charts, with a bluesy harmonica on it, called Love Me Do.
“When I heard the combination of all these things, I was almost sick.”
While joking at the jealousy he felt about them, Sir Mick made sure to thank the band for their influence.
He added: “We were really grateful for that [song I Wanna Be Your Man] because that really broke us in England.
“But the example of the way they wrote and the original way they crafted their songs wasn’t lost on us.
“We had a lot of rivalry and a little bit of friction in those early years, but we always ended up friends and I like to think we still are.”
Sir Mick has even more to thank The Beatles for than this, as it was George Harrison who whispered in the ear of Dick Rowe, with whom he was judging a talent show, about signing The Rolling Stones.
Dick had, in years before, failed to sign The Beatles, meaning he had a reputation to regain and hastily went down to London to sign the band, almost immediately after George’s recommendation.
While Sir Mick jokes about a rivalry between the bands, clearly they have a lot to thank one another for in the long run.