Rolling Stones: How George Harrison was ‘instrumental’ in getting Sir Mick Jagger signed

The Rolling Stones began life as a blues band, performing covers in its early days before it changed its style. It soon became a rock band with its own musical identity, helped partly by The Beatles’ influence. However, it turns out The Beatles had more than just a musical influence on them, as George Harrison was “instrumental” in helping the band get signed.

Music expert Paul Endacott, in an exclusive conversation with Express.co.uk, revealed how important The Beatles was in its aiding The Rolling Stones.

In fact, the Music Heritage London boss revealed the two bands were not only friends, but George Harrison actually helped to get The Rolling Stones signed in the first place.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Paul said: “George Harrison was up in Liverpool as a judge on a talent show. Sitting next to him was a guy called Dick Rowe, who worked for Decca Records.

“And that was the same Dick Rowe that had turned down The Beatles a couple of months before and The Beatles then went to EMI Records…


“George Harrison was sitting next to Dick Rowe up in Liverpool soon after he had seen The Stones for the first time.

“And he said to Dick, ‘You have got to get yourself down to Richmond, because you missed out on The Beatles. You don’t want to miss out on this band.’

“And literally… when Dick Rowe was talking about that event up in Liverpool, he said, ‘I pushed my chair back and I basically ran to my car and got myself down to Richmond to make sure I was there for that Rolling Stones gig.”

At the time, The Rolling Stones were playing a Sunday night residency at the Station Hotel in Richmond, where Dick eventually watched them play and signed them on the spot.

Paul continued: “George Harrison has a lot to do with them getting together.

“I mean, I’m sure The Rolling Stones would have found a record company, but the fact is that it happened there and then, it happened in the Station Hotel.

“Andrew [Loog] Oldham then signed them up and became their then-manager in April 1963, and, and then their first hit, Come One, came out in June 1963, and then the rest is history.”

According to Paul, The Rolling Stones’ story could have been very different without the intervention of George, though he did also say The Beatles had a tough time getting signed themselves.

In fact, in what Paul called a “little known story,” he revealed The Beatles had tried a number of times to get signed, even once before with EMI, the label which eventually took on them on.

Paul revealed The Beatles manager Brian Epstein tried with EMI and Decca Records to sign his band, but they were turned down until he tried once more with EMI.

Paul said: “That was the second time they [The Beatles] approached EMI; the first time EMI also turned them down. That’s a little known story.

“But Brian Epstein knocked on EMI again and then he had got them the contract.”

Clearly, the efforts of its management is what helped The Beatles find its place in the music scene, which they were able to pass on to their friends in The Rolling Stones.

Paul explained how the band went to see The Rolling Stones at their residency after they had performed on ABC’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, which they recorded from studios in Teddington.

After their meeting, a beautiful, long-term friendship was created, as the two bands partied in their “dive” apartment until the early hours of the morning.

Paul added: “I think there’s a bit of a misnomer… a lot of people think The Beatles and The Stones were rivals…

“That meeting with The Beatles and The Stones on April 14, 1963, at the Station Hotel in Richmond, was such an important part in the development of The Stones.”

Paul runs virtual tours which give fans some insights on some of the major musical events of the 1960s, all based in hidden locations across west London.

For more information on Music Heritage London and the Swinging 60s tour, visit the website here

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