Here is a recent music milestone that went unmentioned: the 45th anniversary of the passing of the Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones. His death at 27 of drowning on July 2nd, 1969 (often cited, in error, as the 3rd) was the first tragically premature loss of rock’s modern era, yet it recedes further from view every year, eclipsed by the history his band made without him and the inevitable parade of mortality now mounting on rock’s obituary pages.
Published on October 9th, Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones (Viking) by the British journalist and former MOJO editor Paul Trynka is the first serious, thoroughly reported biography of the ill-fated Stone, with extensive new research into Jones’ privileged but difficult childhood and his transformation by the exotic language and vitality of American blues. The story is a consistent, downward spiral but comes with a still-astounding soundtrack. This playlist features a few of the records on which Jones left a profound mark, as an eager bluesman and explorer, along with new music by John Mayall, Robert Plant and Ryan Adams plus a strong hint of what Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden are up to on their shotgun-Nineties summer tour.