Shortly before midnight on the night of July 2, 1969 authorities arrived at Cotchford Farm, the home of Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones. Under the light of a Sussex moon, near a stone replica of the real Christopher Robin, son of previous owner A.A. Milne, they found a body that had been floating face-down in a swimming pool. The body of Brian Jones.July 3, 1969: After several failed attempts at resuscitation Brian Jones was pronounced dead. As the sun broke over the sleepy city, Londoners were waking to confused and shocking news reports. That day marked the beginning of one of the most controversial and mysterious rock and roll deaths of all time, a mystery that has never been solved. Over the years witnesses have changed their stories. Rumors have persisted, and grown, that his death, categorized by the coroner as 'death by misadventure', was actually murder.In the annual "Sex and Music" issue (March) of Playboy magazine, on newsstands now, Rolling Stones biographer Robert Greenfield writes about this talented and tragically doomed rock star whose birthday is February 28. He explains the meteoric rise and fall of Brian Jones with an eloquence that few can muster. He describes Jones' unique magnetism, how his musical genius left an indelible mark on the pages of rock and roll history, and what made his death such a fascination that now, more than 40 years later, the case has been reopened and his body is expected to be exhumed. Perhaps there will be an end to the mystery, once and for all.Brian Jones was my first 'dead crush'. That's the name I've given to dead men whom I've had crushes on over the years. He would be joined later on that list by Marc Bolan, James Dean, Phil Lynott, Bon Scott, and Bob Marley, amongst others. The most recent addition: Heath Ledger. A crush that might have been inappropriate due to the age difference now takes on a hauntingly romantic quality, acceptable only in postmortem.
It never ceases to amaze me when I bring up Brian Jones' name how few people know who he was. Most people know that the Rolling Stones were always considered the 'bad boys' of the British Invasion, that they were the antithesis to The Beatles' squeaky clean, wholesome image. But few know why.