The Brian Jones Murder Mystery

Who’s ready for another Rock ‘n’ Roll Storytime?!?!?

Oh, you’re not?  Well fuck you, Gene.  The delete button is right over yonder.  For the rest of you, let us embark….

Last time our story ended with the mysterious drowning death of the member of an iconic American band.  This time we’re going to change it up a little bit by delving into….the mysterious drowning death of the member of an iconic BRITISH band.

Quick, who founded and named the band The Rolling Stones?

Nope, it wasn’t Mick Jagger.


Wrong again.

Andrew Loog Oldham?

I mean, now you’re just trying to show off and you’re still wrong.  The true answer would be the multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones.

Here’s a pic of Brian hanging with The Who’s Keith Moon*-


*Hanging out with Keith Moon in the 60’s was pretty much the equivalent of getting AIDS in the 80’s.  I mean, c’mon.  Death don’t judge.  When you hang with Keith Moon it’s only a matter of time…

It would be easy to say Jones was originally a guitarist but in reality he was the bandleader. Just take a look at the number of different contributions he made to the early Stones:

He played the sitar on Paint It Black.

He played the marimba on Under My Thumb.

He went double harmonica on their cover of Not Fade Away.  (Also taught Mick how to play harmonica)

He played the recorder on Ruby Tuesday proving that the recorder actually has a place in history outside of that rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” you had to learn in 3rd grade music class.

Oh, and he wasn’t a horrible guitarist either.  I mean, just listen to his acoustic slide on No Expectations. If that doesn’t make you cream your Jordaches then I can’t help you, honey.

Brian Jones had one small drawback- he was kind of a prick, especially when he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and brother, did he love drugs and alcohol.  Eventually the rest of the Rolling Stones decided that Jones’ volatile behavior and indiscretions with substance abuse were enough to warrant expulsion from the band.  Let that sink in a sec.  You know you are going too hard in the paint when Keith Fucking Richards says your work ethic is somewhat lacking.  This is the same Keith Richards who penned the lyrics, “I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon and another girl will take my pain away.”

Needless to say, Brian didn’t take it all that well.  He eventually retreated into a haze of brandy and various drugs on his country farm which he had recently purchased from the estate of one A.A. Milne.



A.A. Milne came to notoriety in the 1920s by creating a series of children’s stories revolving around a boy and his anthropomorphic stuffed animals living in the Hundred Acre Wood AKA…



So Brian Jones is quite literally living on Pooh Corner slowly imbibing himself to death…


Well actually, not that slowly because on July 2, 1969 (a month after getting kicked out of the band) a friend staying at the estate by the name of Janet Lawson found the corpse of Brian Jones at the bottom of the estate’s pool.


So it was a pretty open and shut case.  A bipolar rock star on the brink drowns alone after a night of mixing booze with uppers and downers.  The cause of death was recorded by police as “death by misadventure” which is like the most English cause of death outside of a “deadly crumpeting.”



At the time of Jones’ death there were three others on the property- Jones’s girlfriend Anna Wohlin, the aforementioned Janet Lawson, and a builder doing renovations by the name of Frank Thorogood.  In 2008, just months before she would die of cancer, Janet recanted her original version of events that night which was something to the effect of, “He was drunk, he was swimming, I went inside, he was dead.”  Her new version said that the cause of Brian’s death was likely at the hands of Frank Thorogood who had been fighting with Brian earlier that day due to unpaid wages because of what Jones had considered shoddy workmanship on the house renovations.  In 2013 Wohlin corroborated the same sentiments that Thorogood was responsible saying Jones went as far as to fire Thorogood from the job that day which could have set off the unpaid Thorogood.  Thorogood died in 1993 but not before giving an alleged deathbed confession taking responsibility for the murder to the band’s former chauffeur, Tom Keylock however there were no other witnesses to corroborate this confession.

So how did Jones die?  Was it a tragic accident?  Was it a murder at the hands of a bitter bricklayer?  Was it Adnan Syed?  Personally I think Jones likely died at the hands of an enraged SuperPooh.  You can’t stop animal instincts, people.  THEY’RE BEARS.  DEADLY, DEADLY BEARS.


After Jones died The Rolling Stones were unable to achieve the same level of commercial success that they had with Jones and quickly faded into obscurity.  They attempted a brief comeback in 1986 with their single Harlem Shuffle but by then their window had already been long closed.  Oh, what could have been.  I wonder what ever happened to those British scamps…

This has been Rock ‘n’ Roll Storytime. – JH


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