April 7, 1962: Mick and Keith met Brian for the first time after a show by Blues Incorporated at the Ealing Jazz Club, in Ealing, West London. At the time they met Brian was still calling himself Elmo Lewis (inspired by one of his musical heroes, Elmore James) and playing guitar with singer Paul Jones, who performed under his real name of P. P. Pond.
Keith, on meeting Brian and his blues: “And suddenly in’ 62, just when Mick and I were getting together, we read this little thing about a rhythm and blues club starting in Ealing… Alexis Korner really got this scene together. He’d been playing in jazz clubs for ages and he knew all the connections for gigs. So we went up there. The first or the second time Mick and I were sitting there Alexis Korner gets up and says, We got a guest to play some guitar. He comes from Cheltenham. All the way up from Cheltenham just to play for ya. Suddenly it’s Elmore James, this cat, man. And it’s Brian, man, he’s sittin’ on his little… he’s bent over… da-da-da, da-da-da… I said, what? What the fuck? Playing bar slide guitar. We get into Brian after he finishes Dust My Broom. He’s really fantastic and a gas… We speak to Brian. He’d been doing the same as we’d been doing.. .thinking he was the only cat in the world who was doing it. We started to turn Brian on to some Jimmy Reed things, Chicago blues that he hadn’t heard. He was more into T-Bone Walker and jazz blues stuff. We’d turn him on to Chuck Berry and say, Look, it’s all the same shit, man, and you can do it. Brian was into one kind of blues. Although he’d heard Chuck Berry, he had never heard the kind of stuff we were into… We laid Slim Harpo on him, and Fred McDowell. Because Brian was from Cheltenham, a very genteel town full of old ladies, where it used to be fashionable to go and take the baths once a year at Cheltenham Spa. The water is very good because it comes out of the hills, it’s spring water. It’s a Regency thing, you know, Beau Brummell, around that time. Turn of the 19th century. Now it’s a seedy sort of place full of aspirations to be an aristocratic town. It rubs off on anyone who comes from there… Brian would never even listen to Jimmy Reed (when we met him), and hardly any of Muddy Waters’ electric stuff. We turned him on to Jimmy Reed and Bo Diddley. He was into guys like Sunnyland Slim and Tampa Red. Elmore James was about as far down the road as he’d gone with electric blues.Brian was the first guy I knew that had a Robert Johnson record. Very rare. That’s when I captured him: I’ll take you and the record!”
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