Come On! The Rolling Stones mark 50 years since debut single with rare live rendition


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The Independent Culture

The Rolling Stones celebrated the release of their first single "Come On" by giving it a rare live performance to mark its 50th anniversary.

The veteran stars slipped the track, a Chuck Berry cover, into their set for old times' sake as they played their latest show in Toronto last night.

Exactly half a century ago today the band issued it as their debut single less than a month after recording it for Decca Records.

The Stones rehearsed the track - which is thought to have been performed only eight times live - just hours before the show to refresh their memories.

Frontman Sir Mick Jagger joked to fans in the audience: "I don't know if I can remember the lyrics."

The quintet recorded the song at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, south west London, on May 10 1963, a day after finalising their record deal.

Prior to the show Sir Mick had recalled the excitement he felt when he heard the song on the radio for the first time.

"I was told by Decca that the record would be played that weekend by Brian Matthew on the big Saturday morning BBC show called Saturday Club, I was very doubtful if this was such a cert as Decca records had let us down so many times.

"But come the day I was glued to the radio at ten o'clock and there it was.

"First 45 played was ours - Come On."

Sir Mick, who turns 70 next month, added: "We were, how's it go, over the moon."

Manager Andrew Loog Oldham wanted to get something out as quickly as possible.

Guitarist Keith Richards once said of the release: "At the time it was done just to get a record out.

"We never wanted to hear it. The idea was Andrew's - to get a strong single so they'd let us make an album which back then was a privilege."

Fans could expect to pay a few shillings for the track, if it was stocked by their local electrical store, but mint copies now change hands for £50. The track, just one minute and 48 seconds long, peaked at 21 in the charts.

The band is currently on the road with its 50 & Counting Tour in Canada and will headline Glastonbury Festival for the first time later this month, as well as playing two shows at London's Hyde Park in July.

Presenter Matthew, 84, is still hosting a BBC show on Saturday mornings, having hosted Sounds Of The 60s for the past 23 years on Radio 2.