Mick Jagger had been performing regularly with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated who were known in London as the kings of rhythm and blues. The band were due to perform in their regular slot at the Marquee Club that night but they were invited to perform without Mick on the BBC’s Jazz Club Radio Show. Mick persuaded Harold Pendleton – the owner of the club – to allow his new six-piece band to take their place.
When Brian Jones called local listings paper Jazz News to advertise the gig the famous story goes that when he was asked what the band was called his eyes went straight to the first song on a nearby LP The Best of Muddy Waters: “Rollin’ Stone.”
Jazz News advertised the band’s line up that night as: Jagger (voc), Keith Richards, Elmo Lewis (gtrs), Dick Taylor (bass), “Stu” (pno), Mick Avory (drs). Brian Jones was calling himself Elmo Lewis, Elmo, after his hero Elmore James and Lewis being his real first name – his full name being: Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones. “Stu” was Ian Stewart. However, according to this letter from Brian Jones to Jazz News the drummer was in fact Earl Phillips. Mick Avory himself denies being the drummer pointing out that he only rehearsed with the band at the Bricklayers Arms in Soho which perhaps explains the mistake. The reporter no doubt went along to one of the rehearsals to interview the band and mistakenly thought that all those present would be appearing on the night!