b. July 18, 1938 - d. December 12, 1985




Ian during his last days as a member of the Rolling Stones. Marquee Club January 17, 1963


There are many sources affirming that when he was a former member of the Rolling Stones, he was fired by Andrew Loog Oldham because he didn't "have the right look", however; we recently asked directly to Andrew Loog Oldham about that and this is word by word the answer he gave us:


“Gerardo, I did not fire Stu, that was not within my power to do. I just told the Stones that I did not think the English public, because that's all we were dealing with at the time, were capable of being sold an image factor that contained six people. If the band had said, "Andrew, you can't do that" then Stu would have stayed in the band. This would have made a great difference as to what their future would have been and raises the question of whether you'd have been writing me a letter today on any issue on the Stones, had Stu stayed.


"I don't know but I was right at the time. How do I feel as a man in his mid-fifties with knowledge now about decisions that cause pain to others? Obviously different, but we were teenagers or in our early twenties, well, all except Bill, and at that age youth is invincible and does not know the meaning of hurt, except in matters of the teenage heart. It remains a good decision. If you saw a member of Supertramp or Los Lobos down on the corner I doubt you'd recognise more than one or two members. Life's got a short attention span when you work from nine to five and need to be entertained. Pop music is not a memory test, it's an escape and an entertainment. Over the years the Stones have got away with "Andrew fired Stu" - life is not as simple as they'd like that statement to be."


Andrew Loog Oldham June 2001

(Read the whole interview: intro and part 1)


So the facts are he was not fired, he had a small a role change as he remained as the only pianist live and performing in the studio when he was invites… and he wanted as sometimes he used to say “I’m not going to play that shit” or something like that.


He was their road manager.

Stu with the van, September 1964. Bill Wyman's Stone Alone


Ian “Stu” Stewart, Louisville, Ky, November 14, 1964

In this photo, Stu is playing live with the Rolling Stones

This day the Stones played without Brian Jones! 


“I was backstage between shows  in Louisville, Kentucky, and had just gone up to him and introduced myself, and asked how his name was pronounced, because I truly didn't know. When police began clearing everybody out of the backstage area and I began to leave he told them I could stay.The policeman said he'd have to be responsible for me, and he said o.k. It is always the kindness that doesn't have to be that one remembers in this life.” Jeri Holloway


He plays in several Rolling Stones sessions and then appears in many albums(Check our STU IN THE STUDIO research).


He toured with the Stones for years. Stu played piano on every Stones show/tour from the beginning in 1962 up to and including the 1971 British tour.

November 21, 1965 – Ft. Worth, Texas


The first tour where he did NOT play onstage was the 1972 North American Tour, only Nicky Hopkins plays on that tour.

On the 1975 - 1976 tours, he plays occasionally and on just some songs.

Stu in Jeri Holloway’s Apartment in Hollywood. July 14, 1975


He plays at the El Mocambo Club shows in 1977 and CNIB Benefits (Canadian National Institute For the Blind) in 1979.

He plays the tours of 1978 and 1981 with Ian McLagan as second piano.

Dallas, Texas – October 31, 1981


He was the pianist for the 1982 European tour, Chuck Leavell was the other keyboard player.

His last concert with the Rolling Stones was at Roundhay Park, Leeds, England on 25th July 1982; 20 years and 13 days after his first one.

He also worked for the Stones booking studio sessions, overseeing equipment, running the infamous "Rolling Stones Mobile", helping here, there and everywhere. He is also known as the "Company Secretary"! LOL

He was a High-Class session musician, just check our STU IN THE STUDIO research.


He passed away in London on 12th December1985 due to a heart attack in the doctor's waiting room.


The Stones dedicated Dirty Work to him and made a non-tour memorial gig in his memory. The gig was performed in the 100 Club in London, playing non-Stones songs only on 23rd February 1986. Simon Kirke played drums on the first 5 tracks as Charlie was late. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend jammed. See our Miscellaneous Non-Tour Concerts for the setlist, songs played by guests and more details.


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