Rolling Stones Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
Given how long they've been together, the Rolling Stones have actually weathered a surprisingly small number of lineup changes, and we've covered all the major ones below.
The Stones began to take shape in March 1962, when Brian Jones, an already established guitarist on the London blues scene, befriended some up-and-comers: singer Mick Jagger, guitarist Keith Richards and bassist Dick Taylor. The quartet shortly formed a group with drummer Tony Chapman and pianist Ian Stewart, making their debut as the Rollin' Stones at the Marquee Club on July 12, 1962.
Within six months, Taylor and Chapman were gone, replaced by Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. By the time they recorded their first single, Stewart, at the decision of manager Andrew Loog Oldham, moved Stewart into the role of road manager and sideman. Over the next six years, the quintet conquered the world, but Jones' personal demons led to his dismissal in June 1969.
Within a month, Jones had died, and his replacement, Mick Taylor, made his debut only two days later at Hyde Park. That lineup stayed together for five years, when Taylor left. In 1975, the Stones recruited Ron Wood from the Faces, who were on the verge of disintegration. Even though they spent a considerable time in the '80s not working together, they never officially broke up, and stayed together through 1993, when Bill Wyman decided to leave.
From 1994 to 2021, the Stones officially performed as a quartet, and they were reduced to a trio following Watts' death in 2021. With longtime Stones associate Steve Jordan behind the kit, the band soldiered on, bolstered onstage by numerous keyboardists, horn players and backup singers. Read below to find out more about their core lineups.