The story of when Ian Gillan saw the Stones live for the first time

In 1962, The Rolling Stones kicked off their journey in London, England. During those early days, they performed in small clubs and even churches, offering a glimpse of their talent to aspiring musicians like Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan. Gillan fondly remembers catching the Stones for the first time at a festival held at a Catholic Church.

He recounted the experience in an interview, highlighting Mick Jagger‘s impressive harmonica skills and Bill Wyman’s unique bass guitar technique, which initially puzzled him due to his unconventional posture on stage.

Gillan shared, “The Stones were making a name for themselves even before their first hit. They played at venues like the Station Hotel in Richmond, where they were a local band. I saw them perform at the Catholic Church in Hayes. The priest there was quite progressive and organized rock festivals. When Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and Mick Jagger took the stage, it was mesmerizing.”

He added, “Their music represented a fusion of influences, from Trad Jazz and Skiffle to Blues and Rhythm and Blues. They even covered Chuck Berry’s ‘Come On,’ which became one of their early hits.”

Years later, Gillan found himself sharing the stage with The Stones as Deep Purple gained prominence. He joined Deep Purple in 1969, took a break in 1973, and reunited with the classic lineup in 1984, showcasing their timeless hits worldwide alongside Roger Glover and Ian Paice. Today, they continue to tour with renowned musicians like Don Airey and Simon McBride.

Leave a Comment