Ian Stewart, Early Rolling Stone, Dies in London

Ian Stewart, the keyboardist who helped found the Rolling Stones in the early 1960s, has died of a heart attack at 47, it was reported this weekend.

Stewart, whom the band called the sixth Rolling Stone after he was phased out of the group, died Thursday in a private London clinic, Paul Wasserman, the Stones publicist, said Friday in Los Angeles. He said Stewart had gone to the clinic earlier in the day after feeling unwell.

In 1961 Stewart, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts became the first Rolling Stones when they performed near London. A fifth member, Brian Jones, who is also dead, was added soon after.

Within months Stewart had been replaced by Mick Jagger, and he then became the group's road manager.

Stewart often recorded with the band and most recently had been used in concerts whenever an extra keyboardist was needed, Wasserman said. Stewart was on the Coliseum stage with the Stones at their October, 1981, Los Angeles concert, he added.

"Without Stu there would be no Stones," Richards said Friday from London.

Stewart also had his own blues band, "Rocket 88," which he appeared with as recently as last week.

He was divorced and leaves a 15-year-old son.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World