All The Rockstars That Almost Joined The Rolling Stones
via The Rolling Stones/YouTube
The Rolling Stones, the iconic rock band that’s stood the test of time, have seen their fair share of lineup changes and potential members who almost joined the ranks.
Here’s a rundown of 15 musicians who were on the brink of becoming Stones, and the twists of fate that kept them from rock ‘n’ roll glory.
1. Jeff Beck
When the Stones were on the lookout for a guitarist after Mick Taylor’s departure, Jeff Beck stepped in for a studio visit. However, the stars didn’t align, as Beck felt the musical paths weren’t merging. Looking back, he realized the Stones’ style didn’t match his own, saying, “I don’t think I would have lasted.”
2. Peter Frampton
With Mick Taylor’s exit, Peter Frampton’s name was on the table. Despite not making the cut, his Frampton Comes Alive! album catapulted him to global fame. Meeting Mick Jagger later, Frampton learned he had been considered, but destiny had other plans.
3. Steve Marriott
From Frampton’s band Humble Pie, Steve Marriott was in the mix, but Jagger’s hesitations about sharing the spotlight led to a dead end. Marriott’s wife, Pam, recalled Jagger’s concern, saying, “He knew Steve would never stay in the background.”
4. Harvey Mandel
Jagger’s call brought Harvey Mandel into the fold for a brief moment. While Mandel contributed to songs like “Hot Stuff” and “Memory Motel,” Keith Richards’ desire to maintain the band’s English essence eventually took precedence.
5. Dick Taylor
The very early days of the Stones saw Dick Taylor as their first bassist. However, Taylor’s artistic path took a different turn, setting the stage for Bill Wyman’s integral role and solidifying the classic lineup. Due to Taylor’s decision, the Stones eventually developed into their most recognizable lineup.
6. Paul Jones
Co-founder Brian Jones once asked his friend Paul Jones (of Manfred Mann) to join, but Paul declined, believing that Brian’s aspirations for fame were overly optimistic. In a twist, Brian was later invited to join Paul’s band, leading to an “I lead, not follow” stance.
7. Mick Avory
Drummer Mick Avory shared moments with the Stones during their inception, but his journey took him to The Kinks instead, where he remained for years. He opted for a different rock ‘n’ roll adventure.
8. Rory Gallagher
Blues rock virtuoso Rory Gallagher had a shot at joining post-Mick Taylor, but Gallagher’s devotion to his solo career won out, allowing him to leave an indelible mark in his own right. He chose to follow his own musical path instead of becoming a Stone.
9. Nils Lofgren
Due to his relationship with Ronnie Wood, Nils Lofgren nearly joined the Stones. Wood presented Lofgren to Jagger and Richards even though he declined the invitation himself. However, Wood’s change of heart resulted in his own time with the band.
10. Andy Summers
Before his days in The Police, Andy Summers was a potential candidate. While the Stones didn’t come calling, Summers took a leap into the unknown, which later paid off tremendously. His decision to forge his own path led to iconic success.
11. Mick Ronson
Although not officially confirmed, it’s speculated that Mick Ronson’s name was in the mix. His versatile guitar skills could have made for an interesting Stones chapter, but destiny had other plans.
12. Wayne Perkins
Keith Richards praised Wayne Perkins’ style, but Perkins’ American background kept him from becoming a Stone. Richards later highlighted Perkins’ knack for melodic playing, wishing circumstances were different.
13. Ry Cooder
By participating to albums and sessions, Ry Cooder earned the title of honorary Stone. The Stones were not performing at their musical peak during those sessions, according to Cooder, who saw through the veneer.
14. Shuggie Otis
Guitarist Shuggie Otis turned down the Stones’ offer for a tour, prioritizing his own musical journey over the allure of instant fame. He followed his own path instead of stepping into the Stones’ world.
15. Chris Spedding
News of Mick Taylor’s departure had the rock world buzzing with speculation, with Chris Spedding’s name thrown into the mix. Jagger contacted Spedding, but prior commitments steered him away, ultimately making way for Wood’s entrance into the Stones’ fold.
While these musicians didn’t ultimately become Rolling Stones, their near-misses and intriguing stories add layers to the band’s history and the ever-changing landscape of rock ‘n’ roll.