11:44 AM GMT 21/05/2013
Those who knew or met this month's MOJO cover star - the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones - testify to his hypnotic charisma. He was also no slouch with the ladies. Here's Toni Basil, choreographer on pioneer '60s US TV pop show Shindig! and 1964 concert film The TAMI Show (and later, a contributor to Talking Heads' ground-breaking Once In A Lifetime video and an '80s hitmaker in her own right with Mickey), with her first-hand memories of the Stones' ill-mannered assault on American TV, and the lingering impact of Brian Jones.
"I was the assistant choreographer on the TAMI show. The Rolling Stones were over from England and James Brown had finished an amazing performance - to this day it's considered on of the greatest live performances ever recorded. I remember wondering how the Stones were going to follow him. And I always felt that Andrew Oldham was smart enough to just say there was a sound breakdown and he made sure there was a little bit of space between James and the Stones, because that show was supposed to be one straight after the other.
"But I tell you, when the Stones came on... Mick jumped in the air on the first beat and Brian did the most shocking thing I've ever seen. Because I come from a Vaudevillian family. Brian turned his back on the audience, which was such a comment on where this group was coming from. Which was breaking all the boundaries of how music was performed. That stuck in my mind to this day. It was on the exact beat. And all of a sudden they were their own entity in a way we'd never seen before. Because we'd seen The Beatles previous to the Stones, but their etiquette was quite good on the whole, they were refined and polite. And there was something about the Stones that was not polite.
"I got to know Brian through Jack Nietzsche. I think Brian stayed longer and didn't go back to England, and that's when I first hung out with Brian and Jack. I remember always thinking of him as being such a poet. He was extraordinary looking, this blond hair, these bright red sideburns and these green eyes, he dressed so flamboyantly. And Wow, he was really a knockout. I would would show up and Brian would be there - there was nothing crazy, we'd play music, swap information, then we would go off and go to a restaurant. We were all in a positive place, it wasn't a situation where people were sitting around, depressed, this was an upwardly mobile group. I felt he was not just a musician, but there something very poetic about him. Then there was that aura about him. Without him even saying anything, he exuded that.
"I can't say I sensed any of [the problems with] his position in the band, because I didn't know the early band history. I only know from my experience, once they came over, Mick and Keith were together a lot, then Brian and Jack Nietzsche would be together a lot. So I didn't think anything about it.
When I heard about his death... I was heartbroken. To this day, I'm really sad he's not alive and using his talent."
As told to: Paul Trynka
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 2:22 PM GMT 23/07/2012