Founding Rolling Stones keyboardist Ian Stewart has become something of a forgotten figure in the band’s history, but the late musician will get his due this Saturday, December 2, when he receives a special Hall of Fame honor at the SSE Scottish Music Awards. The Sunday Post reports that Stones members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood have taped a video tribute to Scottish-born Stewart that will be played during the ceremony, taking place at the Old Fruitmarket venue in Glasgow, U.K.
“We are only here because of Ian Stewart,” Richards reportedly says in the tribute. “Without him, the band would never have existed…He hooked with Brian [Jones] and then Mick and I sort of waltzed in and it became The Rolling Stones.” The band members also share recollections about being on the road and in the studio with Ian, according to the newspaper.
Stewart was removed from the band’s lineup in 1963 because then-manger Andrew Loog Oldham felt that six members were too many and that Ian’s look didn’t fit with the rest of the group. He went on to become The Stones’ tour manager and also played on stage with the band and on nearly every one of their albums through 1986’s Dirty Work. Ian died of a heart attack in December 1985 at age 47.
Stewart’s widow Cynthia and their son Giles will be on hand to accept the honor for Ian. The 19th annual SSE Scottish Music Awards are presented by the Scottish chapter of the Nordoff Robbins music-therapy charity.
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