ONE OF the biggest bands in the world was just taking its first steps to stardom when it blasted into Glasgow in October 1963.

The Rolling Stones – (left to right) Bill Wyman, Keith Richard, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Brian Jones – were on their first British tour, and played two gigs in one night at the old Odeon cinema on Renfield Street.

During their visit, they took time out from performing and sound checks to open the McCormack’s Music store.

The shop, which sold sheet music and musical instruments, had just moved to Bath Street from Cowcaddens, so the Stones had been booked for the official re-opening.

However, so many people turned up to see these rising stars, the owners had to close the doors, fearful of a crush.

It must have been a huge blow to the crowds waiting outside, but the band members had some fun, trying out some of the top-of-the-range guitars.

Although, is that an electric mandolin Mick Jagger has picked up?

The Stones have played Glasgow many times – this picture of Mick Jagger on stage at the Apollo, is from 1982, and the Hampden 1990 gig is the stuff of legend.

Glasgow Times:

Incidentally, McCormack’s was as much of a music legend in the city as the bands and musicians who came through its doors, which included – long after the Stones’ visit - Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics, James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers, Slipknot, Midge Ure, Joe Walsh from The Eagles, Tim Wheeler from Ash and actor and guitar fan Ewan McGregor.

It was Neil McCormack who started the business in 1937, arranging orchestrations for bands and dances, and teaching accordion.

The first shop was opened in Cowcaddens 1940, before moving to Bath Street 23 years later.

Neil’s sons John and James took the helm when their father suffered ill health. Both were also musicians – John played piano while his brother played trumpet and John was credited with being the first to recognise the commercial possibilities of the reel-to-reel tape recorder in the late 1950s when he brought them to Glasgow to sell to city bands.

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He was also a jazz pianist and appeared on Scottish Television’s One O’Clock Gang when regular pianist Peggy O’Keefe went on holiday.

Sadly, McCormack’s - Glasgow’s oldest music shop - finally closed its doors to customers in June 2011. The Stones, however, are still going strong.

Earlier this year, the band released a new song, titled Living In A Ghost Town.

Singer Jagger, now 76 and a Sir, said they decided to release the track, which they started working on before the lockdown began, because it would “resonate with the times we’re living in”.

The song includes lyrics such as “life was so beautiful, then we all got locked down”.

Glasgow Times:

Although Living In A Ghost Town is the first original song the band have released since two new tracks, Doom and Gloom and One More Shot, on their 2012 Greatest Hits album Grrr! they have never really gone away. Their current world tour, No Filter, which had to be suspended due to the pandemic, started in 2017.

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In December 2016, the band achieved their first number one album with a new record - the studio album Blue & Lonesome, in more than 20 years, just one day after Sir Mick became a father for the eighth time aged 73.

It was the group’s 12th number one album in the UK.