The Rolling Stones' origins date back to the boyhood friendship of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, forged in 1951. Their acquaintance was interrupted when both families moved in the mid-fifties but got rekindled in October 1960, when the two ran into each other at a train station and Richards noticed the imported R&B albums Jagger was carrying under his arm. Jagger, a student at the London School of Economics, was a hardcore blues aficionado, while Richards' interest leaned more toward Chuck Berry-style rock and roll. Richards soon joined Jagger's group, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.
Several years later Richards and Jagger met Brian Jones and the three clicked, forming the Rolling Stones. Joined by drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman, the band would come to epitomize the darker, bluesier and more boldly sexual side of rock and roll in a kind of ongoing counterpoint with the Beatles' sunnier, more pop-oriented vistas.
Five decades later, no one has yet stripped the Rolling Stones of their title as the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band. In a 2002 interview in USA Today, Richards said: "People thought it couldn't be done. We never thought of trying it. We are just here. It's a vague mission you can't give up until you keel over."