Death of a Rolling Stone
Once a Stone always a Stone? Or was guitarist Brian Jones an ex-Stone when he died on July 3 1969? It was Jones who set the Stones rolling with an ad inviting like-minded musicians to audition at the Bricklayers’ Arms, and he is credited with coming up with the band’s name when asked for one by a promoter. But a month before his death he had been edged out of the group because of his erratic behaviour and heavy drug use, his convictions for that use meaning he would be unable to participate in an upcoming tour of the USA.
Mystery still surrounds exactly how he came to die. Jones was found at the bottom of the pool at his house – Cotchford Farm – near Hartfield in East Sussex (bizarrely previously owned by A.A. Milne , and the setting for his Winnie the Pooh stories). His liver was found to be enlarged by substance and alcohol abuse, though tests showed he had a fairly small amount of alcohol in his bloodstream and no traces of drugs. The verdict of the subsequent inquest was death by misadventure. Brian Jones was just 27 when he died, though pictures of him taken near that time showed the bloated face of a man who looked much older.
For years rumours and allegations have put the case for his sudden death being murder at the hands of a man described as a builder doing work on the house. That man died in 1994. The files have recently been reopened.
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