The Rolling Stones are one of the longest-lasting rock bands, having passed the half-century mark.
Most fans are familiar with the band’s primary songwriters, singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, affectionately dubbed the Glimmer Twins. Then there’s Ronnie Wood, who wasn’t around for the Stones’ founding in 1962 but slid seamlessly into place as a guitarist in 1976. A couple of founding members have died: Brian Jones, a multi-instrumentalist who passed away at the age of 27 in 1969, and drummer Charlie Watts, who died in 2021.
Then some musicians have come and gone, like keyboardist Ian Stewart, who was an official Rolling Stone at first but then became a regular session player; guitarist Mick Taylor, who was in the band for five years; and bassist Bill Wyman, a co-founder who was with the group for 31 years.
In some ways, the band’s lineup hasn’t been that big of a deal to the Stones; it’s always had more to do with the overall attitude. “Because when it comes out, it doesn’t matter how many people are playing and who’s doing what,” Richards told Rolling Stone in 1981. “When that sound comes out, does it hit you between the eyes and does it grab you?”
On the other hand, there were several times during the Rolling Stones’ career when the band needed a new member to move forward. And that’s always not an easy decision when legions of fans are watching.
Being accepted into the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world is nothing short of a monumental accomplishment. Below we run down 15 Musicians Who Almost Joined the Rolling Stones and could have had their lives changed forever.
15 Musicians Who Almost Joined the Rolling Stones
Becoming a member of one of the longest running rock bands of all time is no easy feat.