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Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: June 17, 2022 13:42

I was watching some days ago this 1981 Benny Goodman interview and at the 10-minute mark he says something very interesting: after being called the “Mick Jagger of the 30s”, Benny says that he “sat in on a jam session with him about 20 years ago in London with some friends of mine”. He also says that he was reminded about the story “last summer" by Mick himself.

I've never heard that before so I tried to find any info about Benny's presence in London in 1962. I started researching on the amazing National Jazz Archives website, especially their Jazz News magazine collection, and then I ended up reading a very interesting series of articles written by Bill Crow (Benny's bassist on his 1962 USSR tour) published between August and November of 1986 on Gene Lees' Jazzletter, on which he tells the detailed story of that tour, that I think can help to put that jam in a possible timeframe.

To put things in context, i made the below timeline of the main events linked to Benny Goodman in 1962, mainly because it's more documented than the Stones' same timeframe, and in the end I think will cross Charlie and Mick’s paths and can possibly date the jam we're talking about:

April/May, 1962 – Benny starts assembling a band in USA and rehearsing with them for an upcoming USSR tour;

30 May, 1962 - Benny Goodman and his Band starts a six-week tour in USSR;

8 July, 1962 – Last concert of the tour

Now here is when I think things start getting a little bit more interesting: after their last concert on that tour, Bill Crow (Benny's bassist) says on a November 1986 article that after the band refused going on tour with Benny in Europe, “Benny was flying to England, Newman and Wilder to Sweden, Bunch and Andre were stopping off in Paris, and the rest of us were heading home.” (Jazzletter, November 1986, page 5)

Now to the Stones connections: on Stanley Booth’s “The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones" there's this great info by Charlie:



On Chris Welch's “Cream: The Legendary Sixties Supergroup" there's this info:

“Once esconced with Korner's band, Bruce and Heckstall-Smith campaigned to get Baker in as well. The group with the Baker-Bruce rhythm section and Graham Bond on alto played regularly at The Marquee and the Ealing Club, as well as at many society parties thanks to Korner's upper-class connections. They played at Lord Rothschild's polo parties, attended by the Duke of Edinburgh. At one particular high-society ball the band included Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts and the Benny Goodman on clarinet.

The Stones timeline in 1962 is relatively well-known, so it would be very easy to say that Charlie started playing with Blues Incorporated around February 1962, while Mick performed with them at least twice in June 1962.

Given the fact that Benny probably flew from USSR to England in 9th or 10th July 1962, it's very likely that he jammed with Charlie and possibly Mick just some days after the 12th July Stones first concert at the Marquee, as well as Charlie's appearance at BBC with Blues Incorporated.

I couldn't find infos about Benny's travels to England between January and April 1962, but given the fact that around April 1962 he was busy in USA trying to assemble his band and doing rehearsals for his upcoming USSR tour, plus the fact that Mick hadn't joined or at least performed with Blues Incorporated before June 1962, I can only think that Benny's jamming (or jammings) with Charlie, and possibly Mick, was sometime around mid-July 1962.

Benny's first concert in USA after his USSR tour was in 13th August 1962, but in 24th July Benny met president John Kennedy, which means he spent 10-ish days in London.

After compiling these infos, my conclusion is that there is no doubt about Benny jamming in London with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, including Charlie and, according to Benny, Mick. On any case, I think these strong evidences can help us date with more precision this gig.

As for Mick's presence, although there's no other information about it than Benny's word, I think there's many pieces of info that if connected may help us define that Mick was actually there. First of all, Benny seemed to know exactly who Mick is. Secondly, Benny says that Mick himself reminded him about that jam. Could Benny mistake Mick with Charlie? It's not unlikely, but I think he's very sure about being Mick who jammed with him.

I checked all the infos on this thread, pointing the sources but of course some mistakes may have been made.

On any case, this is a very interesting info about the Stones on their infancy (or pre-history) and their connection with a musical legend.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2022-07-16 00:39 by Cristiano Radtke.

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: ChrisL ()
Date: June 17, 2022 13:56

Cool stuff. Thanks for that.

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: schillid ()
Date: June 17, 2022 14:43

interesting stuff...

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
Could Benny mistake Mick with Charlie?.

Probably

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: June 17, 2022 19:01

Quote
schillid
interesting stuff...

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
Could Benny mistake Mick with Charlie?.

Probably

Interesting in that interview Goodman was about 72 years old, so younger than the Stones themselves right now.

While it's possible he mistook Mick for Charlie, I'd think that Mick was probably recognisable enough to Goodman that when 'reminded' by Mick about the jam session, that he would know at least who he talked to.

BUT, more interesting may be where their paths crossed in order for them to have that conversation. Much more likely that the conversation happened with Charlie in that case as Charlie more likely to have taken in a show or something and spoken to him afterwards...and mention that he and Mick had jammed with him 20 years earlier.

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: June 18, 2022 03:56

Quote
treaclefingers
Quote
schillid
interesting stuff...

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
Could Benny mistake Mick with Charlie?.

Probably

While it's possible he mistook Mick for Charlie, I'd think that Mick was probably recognisable enough to Goodman that when 'reminded' by Mick about the jam session, that he would know at least who he talked to.

My thoughts as well.

But even if Mick wasn't there at all, I think it's still a fascinating bit of info connecting a legend like Benny with the very early Stones.

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: ChrisWard ()
Date: June 18, 2022 17:18

Just to stretch the connections further. In 1939 Benny Goodman employed the first great electric guitarist Charlie Christian in his sextet, raising the profile of the instrument somewhat, so that many a blues man switched to electric, including Muddy Waters - who in turn inspired Mick and Keith to play Chicago Blues. Everything builds on what's gone before, it seems.

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: Quique-stone ()
Date: June 19, 2022 05:33

Thnaks Cristiano, very interesting connection!

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: June 19, 2022 08:01

My pleasure, Quique!

I've found some other interesting infos about this. First, there's this letter from Benny dated 12 March, 1962.


Letter from Benny Goodman to Dmitri Shostakovich asking him to consider composing a piece for clarinet for his upcoming visit to Russia. 12 March 1962.

2009 Irina Antonovna Shostakovich

There's also this interesting info from Bill Crow (Benny's bassist) mentioning that before he was hired (in April 1962), he “had read an article in the New York Times (probably from 9 March, 1962) announcing the Russian tour. It said that twelve musicians had already been signed, with one trombonist, at least two trumpeters and a bass player yet to be chosen.”
He also mentions that the rehearsals began on 14 April.
(Jazzletter, August 1986, page 2)

With the information that in March 1962 Benny had signed 12 musicians, one can expect that it certainly took some time for him to sign them, which makes me pretty sure that his jam with Blues Incorporated happened sometime around mid-July 1962.

The fact that Charlie (and possibly Mick) jammed with Benny is pretty amazing, and to think that it could have happened around the time the Stones played their first concert at Marquee makes it more cool, imo.

Re: Benny Goodman connection with Mick Jagger?
Posted by: teleblaster ()
Date: June 19, 2022 13:39

Another link. Gene Krupa was the celebrity drummer in Goodman's classic 1930s line up. He was hugely influential (and is also credited with the first recorded drum solo). Check out "Sing,Sing,Sing" - you've probably heard it before. You can be sure that Charlie Watts was very familiar with his work.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 14, 2022 05:25

After some more research on this, and with many thanks to ChicagoCalling for the invaluable help, I think we can have a better view of what happened that night.

Sorry for the long post, but for clarity I created a timeline of the main events related to this thread, that is posted below.

The Blues Incorporated jam with Benny Goodman at the Londonderry House was on a “farewell party" thrown by the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry. Benny Goodman was staying with them while he was in London from 9 to 18 July after finishing his USSR tour.

The Londonderrys had been trying to sell the house for some years, until it was sold at auction in 26 July, demolished and turned into the Londonderry Hotel. In 1968, the rehearsals for the “Rock and Roll Circus" took place there.

It’s said that the “farewell party" was attended by 300 people. Here's a first-hand account, as told by Nicholas Haslam on his book “Redeeming Features”:

“Alastair and Nico (the Londonderrys) decided to give one last great ball, on the night before the wrecker's grabs would reduce to rubble the grand staircase where Alastair's great-grandmother Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, had stood imperiously, as befitted the descendant of the statesman who had brokered the Congress of Vienna in 1815. (...) But tonight, a young, immaculate marchioness and her friends gyrating to the new beat of Alexis Korner, whose hired-in singer, a skinny lad named "Mick something," Min said, pawed drunkenly at her strapless pink satin. Later Alastair's great friend Benny Goodman took over the music, playing into a dawn that would see an epoch bulldozed to the ground.”

There's also this little bit of info that comes from David Kynaston on “On the Cusp: Days of ’62: “'It was a wonderful, gay night,' said young Lady Londonderry after the strains of Benny Goodman had apparently played out an era.”

This review from that gig, published on Jazz News in 25 July, seems to match Charlie's words about it, as told to Stanley Booth:

“After a tentative blow at the end of one of the R and B group's sets Goodman sat in for a whole set. Later in the evening, dividing his time between filling in behind vocalist Ron Jones, and playing as soloist on such Goodman favourites as Just One of Those Things and Poor Butterfly, he is reported to have enjoyed himself enormously and to have blown a wonderful lot of blues".

Comparing the Benny Goodman and Blues Incorporated/Rolling Stones’ events in July 1962, my guess is that the most likely date for this gig would be 13 July. I can't imagine a party like that being thrown on another day than a Friday or a Saturday, but I may obviously be wrong.

Given the fact that Blues Incorporated had a gig at Ealing in 14 July (Saturday), the Friday date would be more plausible.

Regardless of the exact date, I think this is one of the most interesting footnotes in the history of the Rolling Stones.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2022-07-14 08:48 by Cristiano Radtke.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 14, 2022 05:27

9 Julyafter Benny's band refused going on tour with him in Europe, Benny flies to England


The Evening Star, 9 July

11 July – Benny Goodman gives a press conference at the American Embassy



Jazz News, 18 July 1962


12 July – The Rolling Stones debut concert at Marquee



Jazz News, 11 July, 1962

12 JulyAlexis Korner's Blues Incorporated appearance on BBC's Jazz Club

possibly 13 July – Benny Goodman jams for over half an hour with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated at the Londonderry House, Park Lane, London. Charlie on drums, Mick possibly on harmonica


Jazz News, 25 July, 1962



Stanley Booth's "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones", p. 134

14 July – Blues Incorporated gig at the Ealing Club



Jazz News, 11 July, 1962

18 July - Benny Goodman returns to USA

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: July 14, 2022 05:35

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
9 Julyafter Benny's band refused going on tour with him in Europe, Benny flies to England


The Evening Star, 9 July

11 July – Benny Goodman gives a press conference at the American Embassy



Jazz News, 18 July 1962


12 July – The Rolling Stones debut concert at Marquee



Jazz News, 11 July, 1962

12 JulyAlexis Korner's Blues Incorporated appearance on BBC's Jazz Club

possibly 13 July – Benny Goodman jams for over half an hour with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated at the Londonderry House, Park Lane, London. Charlie on drums, Mick possibly on harmonica


Jazz News, 25 July, 1962



Stanley Booth's "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones", p. 134

14 July – Blues Incorporated gig at the Ealing Club



Jazz News, 11 July, 1962

18 July - Benny Goodman returns to USA

At what point along the way did Mick get the demotion?

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 14, 2022 05:50

Quote
treaclefingers
Quote
Cristiano Radtke

At what point along the way did Mick get the demotion?

Mick had been performing with Blues Incorporated from at least late April/early May 1962 until August. The 1st August gig at Lord Rothschild's (mentioned on the Jazz News review of the Londonderry House gig) is detailed on Ginger Baker's autobiography "Hellraiser".

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: VoodooLounge13 ()
Date: July 14, 2022 07:45

Quote
Cristiano Radtke
9 Julyafter Benny's band refused going on tour with him in Europe, Benny flies to England


The Evening Star, 9 July

11 July – Benny Goodman gives a press conference at the American Embassy



Jazz News, 18 July 1962


12 July – The Rolling Stones debut concert at Marquee



Jazz News, 11 July, 1962

12 JulyAlexis Korner's Blues Incorporated appearance on BBC's Jazz Club

possibly 13 July – Benny Goodman jams for over half an hour with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated at the Londonderry House, Park Lane, London. Charlie on drums, Mick possibly on harmonica


Jazz News, 25 July, 1962



Stanley Booth's "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones", p. 134

14 July – Blues Incorporated gig at the Ealing Club



Jazz News, 11 July, 1962

18 July - Benny Goodman returns to USA


Would that be THE Prince Phillip? As in the Queen’s husband?

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 14, 2022 09:06

Quote
VoodooLounge13
Quote
Cristiano Radtke

Would that be THE Prince Phillip? As in the Queen’s husband?

Yes, according to Charlie.

This whole story and its sidestories - the Benny Goodman tour, as told by his bassist, the Blues Incorporated private gigs, and the Londonderrys, who were an unusual couple among the English aristocracy at that time - are all a fascinating read.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Green Lady ()
Date: July 14, 2022 10:32

Thanks Cristiano - great read, and you must have had a lot of fun researching that.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Kingbeebuzz ()
Date: July 14, 2022 21:20

You have done some excellent research here, and so it might be worthwhile to contact Nico's web site for updating as he has the dates as June 1962 and does not mention Charlie on drums only Ginger Baker.

Thanks for this great read and adding to known early Stones history.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 15, 2022 01:05

Quote
Green Lady
Thanks Cristiano - great read, and you must have had a lot of fun researching that.

Thank you, Green Lady! You're absolutely right, this was a lot of fun for me to research. I only wish Deltics was still with us. I'm sure he'd be very pleased reading this thread, and more than likely he would add some new info, always in a brilliant way.

Quote
Kingbeebuzz

My pleasure, Kingbeebuzz! I sent the results of this research to Nico, with whom I've been talking about this jam.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Rank Stranger ()
Date: July 15, 2022 11:25

Thank great stuff!
I really like these kind of well done researches

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: MononoM ()
Date: July 15, 2022 18:29

Thank you kindly for research, very interesting smiling smiley)

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 16, 2022 20:00

My pleasure, guys!

Some more bits of info: although the Wikipedia entry on Londonderry House says that Paul McCartney was alao at the "farewell party", that is impossible because the Beatles were playing around the Liverpool area in mid-July.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Ricky ()
Date: July 16, 2022 20:45

Thanks Cristiano. Very interesting and a great research.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: July 28, 2022 02:03

This story was shared by the Benny Goodman Facebook page today. It was also included on Nico's website. smiling smiley


Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: bisonvodka ()
Date: September 2, 2022 00:19

In "According to The Rolling Stones"(p.36) Charlie mention that he and Mick played with Goodman. Mick was the singer.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: September 2, 2022 21:24

Quote
bisonvodka
In "According to The Rolling Stones"(p.36) Charlie mention that he and Mick played with Goodman. Mick was the singer.

Thank you! For some reason I didn't check that book.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: bisonvodka ()
Date: September 3, 2022 23:00

In the interview by Bill Butler for Down Beat, Feb 87 Charlie said "I don't know why, but David Tough is someone whom I've always loved - the recordings of him with Herman First Herd, Northwest Passage and Countdown. He did some great stuff with Benny Goodman I try to listen to a lot".
Nothing new for the story but just another place when He mention BG.

Re: Benny Goodman jam with Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger, July 1962
Posted by: Cristiano Radtke ()
Date: September 4, 2022 23:59

Quote
bisonvodka
In the interview by Bill Butler for Down Beat, Feb 87 Charlie said "I don't know why, but David Tough is someone whom I've always loved - the recordings of him with Herman First Herd, Northwest Passage and Countdown. He did some great stuff with Benny Goodman I try to listen to a lot".
Nothing new for the story but just another place when He mention BG.

Thank you!

One of the most interesting accounts from that night can be read on Harry Shapiro's "Alexis Korner - The Biography" (p 113-114) (thanks to ChicagoCalling for the excerpt):

"Alexis' upper-class connections to the likes of Gerald Lascelles helped secure for the band a couple of society gigs, the first of which, in July 1962, was given by the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry. Guest of honour on his way back from a tour of Russia was Benny Goodman. Dave Stevens was on piano, having taken over from Keith Scott in early summer.

Ronnie Jones was the singer, and remembers: "The band set up next to the main table and sitting at the head was a little white-haired man wearing glasses. As usual we were separated from the guests and given the customary bottle of spirits to consume with our food. I had already got through a quarter of my bottle of whisky and having a really good time when during a song a chap sauntered up to me and said, "Excuse me, Mr Jones, would you mind if Mr Goodman joins in with the band? He thinks a great deal of your singing and he likes the way Mr Korner plays." I told him I wasn't the band leader - I had no idea who "Mr Goodman" was at that time - so while we were in the middle of a song I referred the request to Alexis, who was sitting on the stool next to me. Dave Stevens whispered, "Yeah!!", I whispered into Alexis' ear and he said, "Of course."

The chap went back to the table and I carried on singing. Then from under the table appeared a small black suitcase – I was by now half way through my bottle of whisky but none the wiser as to what was going on - and out from the case popped a clarinet. As the little white-haired man was putting the clarinet together, Alexis said to me, "Ronnie, don't you recognize Benny Goodman?" At that point I lost all touch with reality. I was dumbstruck, and when I tried to sing the words they just wouldn't come out. During the instrumental part of a song Benny Goodman approached me, shook my hand and said, "You are a very great singer, what are you going to do next?" I replied, "Well, er... why don't you er umm why don't you ask Alexis?" Alexis just asked me to sing and the band would make up something to go with it. But I told him to do it without me because I was too gobsmacked to do anything."



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