From the BBC show Blues Brittania: Can Blue Men Sing the Whites? comes this fascinating early 1960s footage here of the teenage Rolling Stones playing blues songs like Willie Dixon‘s “Little Red Rooster.” Archival footage is interspersed with recent interviews with Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Paul Jones and other British musicians talking about the effect their passion for American blues had on the nascent British rock scene.
Looking back forty-plus years later, Richards says, “We must’ve had brass balls” to put it [“Little Red Rooster”] out as a single!” The record company thought it would destroy the band’s pop music career. Instead, the single rose to Number One immediately, kicking off the British blues scene that made the Stones, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac into international stars.
Richards also talks about fighting with stuffy British recording engineers, and the Stones’ first visit to Chicago to meet some of their blues heroes.