Which Rolling Stones Members Are Still Alive?
Considering we’re still talking about The Rolling Stones going strong in 2019 is an out and out miracle, enough where they might have to rename themselves The Continuously Rolling Stones.
While Mick Jagger had a slight blip in his health lately (a heart ailment now remedied), they’re back on the road in an international tour at the time of this writing.
Yes, they’re mostly intact as they’ve always been, other than a few exceptions. If you’ve wondered if all the Rolling Stones as they were originally formed are still alive, they’ve gone through as much tragedy as their British counterparts The Who.
Take a minute to look back at who survived the wild ride The Rolling Stones have been on for the last 57 years.
Losing one of the founding members of the band
We all know the 1960s were turbulent and loaded with notable rock stars who died of overdoses. The Rolling Stones became a part of this statistic, and it’s a wonder it didn’t happen to more of them.
It’s also worth noting a lot of people have been involved with the Stones over the years who’ve come and gone. The biggest tragedy, however, was the death of one of the founding members: Brian Jones.
By the late 1960s, many of the band’s members were having serious drug problems and were busted for it. Jones was one of them, albeit mostly for cannabis use. By 1968, Jones didn’t seem suited to life on the road and only contributed to the band sporadically due to wanting to stick to the band’s original blues roots.
His mysterious death in 1969 by drowning in his pool is still considered one of the biggest unsolved cases in rock history. This death occurred only a month after the band fired him for lack of input and creative differences. Nevertheless, Jones was responsible for naming the band and practically everything else when they began.
Other former members over the years
Mick Taylor was the one who took Brian Jones’s role in the band by 1969. Taylor became a respected member of the Stones for a while, up to 1974. He came back periodically afterward, including most recently about six years ago. He also still lives and performs often.
Of course, Bill Wyman was one of the longest-serving band members who’s no longer involved now. He stayed with the Stones from the beginning up until 1993. Since then, he’s only come back as a guest once in 2012. Starting in the 1990s, he founded his own band that he’s stayed focused on for the last two decades.
Ian Stewart is another name you might remember from the original roster. His role was designed more as a contract player for many years, despite starting as a legitimate member in 1962. Known as the keyboard and piano master with the Stones, he stayed with the group until his death in 1985.
The main four members who’ve skirted death more than once
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts seem to have taken magic potions on managing to stay alive for decades, outside of numerous drug battles and health issues.
Jagger has mostly taken good care of himself beyond his recent heart valve surgery. Keith Richards, on the other hand, seems to have been handed the lucky card in keeping his heart beating. His years of drug abuse and chain-smoking are notorious, yet he continues to be a significant part of the ongoing tours.
Drummer Charlie Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer years ago and went into remission. Currently, he’s still touring with the band, something nobody thought would maintain after his initial diagnosis.
Ronnie Wood is another longtime member who joined in 1975. After some battles with alcoholism and even lung cancer, he still occasionally plays with the band on the road.
Many touring members over the years
The personnel the band has had while on the road over the last six decades has been enormous. Many notable names have toured with them, many of whom have since died. Names like Bobby Keys and Billy Preston are just two late legendary names who performed with the group on stage.
Keep in mind the band also has recent touring members that are still with the band, some after more than 30 years. These figures make up the additional sounds from keyboards to horns.
Based on the entire band’s collective ages now, the tour they’re on now may be the last. Then again, we’ve seen the same thing said for the last decade.