Brian Jones (Rolling Stones member)
Legal name: Lewis Brian Dawson Jones
Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969) was an English musician, the founder and the original leader 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, dulcimer and marimba, was integral to the unique 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. Jones developed a serious drug problem over the years and his role in the band steadily diminished. The band asked Jones 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. ... he was very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away."
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