Jones announced his departure June 8th at his home in Hartfield, Sussex, stating: “I want to play my kind of music, which is no longer the Stones music.”
He said the split was amicable and that he and the Stones will remain close friends. But, as he restated, “The music Mick and Keith have been writing has progressed at a tangent, as far as my own taste is concerned.”
Mick Jagger confirmed the news the next day and announced Jones’ replacement.
“We’d known for a few months that Brian wasn’t keen,” he said. “He wasn’t enjoying himself and it got to the stage where we had to sit down and talk about it. So we did and decided the best thing was for him to leave.”
Neither Jones nor Jagger revealed what Jones is planning for the future. Said Mick: “He’s gotta do his own thing, man, and he hasn’t said anything to us about it.”
Mick Taylor was called in by Jagger while himself in a transitional stage. He had just left Mayall’s Bluesbreakers a few weeks ago and was about to take time off to think over his future in music. He’d been with the Mayall group for two years.
According to Jagger, Taylor was picked because “he’s been through the John Mayall school of guitarists — people like Peter Green and Clapton. I didn’t want to go through the whole bit of auditioning guitarists, so I spoke to Mayall, a man whose judgment I respect in these matters. John just sort of grunted when I told him we’d like to see Mick, so I took it as a ‘yes.'”
Jagger invited Taylor to do a session with the Stones at the Barnes studios, where the Stones have cut 17 tracks for their next two albums.
“I’d never heard him live before — only on records,” Jagger said, “but he got on well with Keith and he picked things up quickly, so we got the track done more quickly. He doesn’t play anything like Brian. He’s a bluesman and he wants to play rock and roll, so that’s okay.”
Taylor was scheduled to make his public debut as a Stone on June 25th and 26th at the Colosseum in Rome. The concerts are being filmed, Jagger said, for worldwide distribution. A London concert is being planned for the first week in July, and the “new” Rolling Stones may also tape a segment for David Frost’s TV show to be shown in the U.S.
This story is from the July 12th, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone.