It was 49 years ago today (June 8th, 1969) that Brian Jones, a founding member of the Rolling Stones, officially quit the band. Jones, a blues enthusiast, both named and led the original group, which included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, and keyboardist Ian Stewart. Shortly after turning professional, Stewart, whose looks didn't fit with the band, signed on as their road manager.

Jones played a pivotal role in the Stones' success, with his blond hair and good looks, as well as his ability to play any instrument seemingly within minutes of picking it up. Jones, although uncredited, co-wrote and played the recorders on “Ruby Tuesday,” sitar and tamboura on “Paint It, Black,” dulcimer on “I Am Waiting” and “Lady Jane,” the lead guitar riff on “Get Off My Cloud,” harpsichord on “Yesterday's Papers,” the trumpet and trombone on “Something Happened To Me Yesterday,” the marimba on “Under My Thumb,” and the autoharp on “You Got The Silver.”

Jones began losing control of the group when Jagger and Richards began their songwriting partnership in 1965, which slowly moved the band away from Jones' blues-based direction. By 1966, Jones' mental instability and drug abuse had become a liability to the Stones. Due to his substance abuse problems, Jones frequently missed tour dates and recording sessions, and was unable to function within the band when he did attend.

AUDIO: CHARLIE WATTS ON THE ROLLING STONES FIRING BRIAN JONES
AUDIO: KEITH RICHARDS ON FIRING BRIAN JONES
AUDIO: LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM ON BRIAN JONES
AUDIO: JIMMY PAGE ON FIRST SEEING BRIAN JONES PERFORM