Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969) was the founder and original bandleader of the Rolling Stones. Jones was a multi-instrumentalist, with his main instruments being the guitar, harmonica and keyboards. His innovative use of traditional or folk instruments, such as the sitar and marimba, was integral to the changing sound of the band.
Although he was originally the leader of the group, Jones’s fellow band members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soon overshadowed him, especially after they became a successful songwriting team. He developed a serious drug problem over the years and his role in the band steadily diminished. He was asked to leave the Rolling Stones in June 1969 and guitarist Mick Taylor took his place in the group. Jones died less than a month later by drowning in the swimming pool at his home on Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex.
Original Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman said of Jones, “He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played. He got us gigs. … Very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away.”
- February, 28, 1942
- July, 03, 1969
- Cheltenham Cemetery