The Rolling Stones at London Airport (now Heathrow Airport), 17th October 1969. L-R; Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. (Photo by Stroud/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On July 5, 1969, The Rolling Stones played one of their most historic shows, a free concert in London’s Hyde Park that was attended by anywhere between 250,000  and 500,000 people.  While the show was originally intended to be the unveiling of their new guitarist Mick Taylor, it became a tribute concert to their departed guitarist, Brian Jones, who passed away days earlier.  Check out audio & photos. 

The band hadn’t played together for quite some time prior to this gig, so they rehearsed at The Beatles’ Apple Recording studio.  During rehearsal they received word about Jones’ passing.  While still in shock, they decided it woudl be best to continue with the concert and to turn it into a tribute for their former bandmember.

Prior to The Rolling Stones set, Mick Jagger spoke to the crowd about Brian Jones.  At first the crowd wouldn’t quiet down and Jagger began to get a bit frustrated.  Sensing his anger, the crowd began to hush and Jagger from the Percy Shelley poem “Adonais”.  After his reading, a box full of a thosand white butterflies was released.

While Mick Taylor and the founding members of the band both agreed they weren’t at the height of their musicianship for that gig, the vibe of the concert made it what they called ‘a great event’.


Check out vintage photos from the concert and then audio of the concert below.

1969: Photos of the historic Rolling Stones comeback concert in Hyde Park

On July 5, 1969, the Rolling Stones headlined a free music festival in London's Hyde Park, drawing a crowd between 250,000 and 500,000 fans. The blowout was the Stones' first public concert in more than two years, meant as the grand debut of the band's new guitarist, Mick Taylor.