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Stones Studio Catches Fire

Fire brigade soaks band equipment extinguishing blaze

The Rolling Stones recording their album Beggar's Banquet in the studio while Jean-Luc Godard accompanied by his technical team, films One Plus One his first English film on May 1st, 1968 in London, England.
Keystone-France/Getty
July 20, 1968

A Rolling Stones recording and filming session in London was interrupted by fire Tuesday, June 11. The incident occurred at 4:15 a.m., when the roof of Olympic Sound Studios was seen furiously ablaze. A three-engine fire brigade put the conflagration out.

The Stones were recording a track for their next album, Beggars Banquet, and the session was being filmed by French director Jean-Luc Godard with whom they are working on film called One Plus One. The blaze was the fault of a malfunctioning arc-lamp.

Photos: Rare and Intimate Pictures of the Rolling Stones

Commented Mick Jagger: "The fire brigade was so thorough in extinguishing the blaze, our Hammond organ and all the electrical equipment was completely drenched. The sequence will have to be retaken." And the phlegmatic Charlie Watts added, "It was bloody frightening."

The Stones, whose most recent music (such as the current "Jumpin' Jack Flash") has shown a return to electric rock sounds from the jungle-and-outer-space style of Their Satanic Majesties Request, must have given their fiercest performance (albeit to a small audience) since the famous on-stage electrocution in Sacramento in 1966.

This story is from the July 20th, 1968 issue of Rolling Stone.


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