Ian Stewart, keyboardist
The Rolling Stones
birth name: Ian Andrew Robert Stewart

Ian Stewart

July 18, 1938, Fife, Scotland ~ December 12, 1985 London, England

Lovingly referred to as the sixth stone, pianist Ian Stewart was actually a founding member of the original group, pre-dating both Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman as members. ~ Allmusic: Ian Stewart ~ retrieved December 12, 2014 © Allmusic

Stewart drew his inspiration from the American boogie-woogie masters of the 1930s and 40s, especially Albert Ammons. The technique required a torrentially agile, skittering, arpeggiated right hand and “a left hand like God” to keep the walking basslines rock steady. Stewart drubbed the piano keys like a master. “He blew my head off when he started to play,” Keith Richards reported. “I never heard a white piano like that before.” ~ The Independent: Ian Stewart, the Sixth Stone ~ March 9, 2011 © The Independent

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According to Keith, “Ian Stewart was the glue that held the whole thing together.” And not just in the early days when his piano playing was integral to the blues and R &B that the band was playing around the London clubs. He later drove the van, literally, tens of thousands of miles on Britain’s roads, as the Stones sought to establish themselves. Later as their trusted road manager, confidante and at times their musical conscious he was an ever present. But for Andrew Loog Oldham, the band's first manager, there would have been one more Rolling Stone. He argued that a six man band was one man too many and Ian was dropped from the line up. To the credit of the band they did not drop him and he not only fulfilled his duties as a road manager but also played on countless recordings and later as their onstage pianist. ~ RollingStones.com: Ian Stewart ~ retrieved December 12, 2014 © RollingStones.com

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