Rolling Stones manager: How Giorgio Gomelsky helped band meet The Beatles

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The Rolling Stones started off as a small house band in Richmond, where they met their early manager, Giorgio Gomelsky. Giorgio was important to the band’s early success, becoming their manager as well as the owner of the club where they performed, The Crawdaddy Club. However, one of the vital moments in their career came when they met The Beatles, which was all thanks to Giorgio.

Giorgio Gomelsky was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and eventually moved to London as a filmmaker, though one of his great loves was jazz music.

He worked editing films by day, and by night was a music promoter, and soon he took over the back room of the Station Hotel in Richmond, which was renamed The Crawdaddy Club.

Giorgio would book bands to play in the room, many of which were influenced by R&B and blues, The Rolling Stones being one of them.

While Dave Hunt Rhythm and Blues Band was the first house band of The Crawdaddy Club, which sometimes included Rolling Stones legend Charlie Watts in its line-up, eventually The Rolling Stones had their first gig at the club in February 1963.

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By this time Charlie had joined the band, along with Bill Wyman and the original line-up, fronted by Sir Mick Jagger.

Within a few weeks of their first gig they took over the residency and became an instant success, and were playing at The Crawdaddy Club when they had their first hit, which was a cover of Chuck Berry’s Come On.

However, before they became big, they had a meeting with The Beatles which came about thanks to Giorgio, and changed their lives forever.

According to Paul Endacott, head of Music Heritage London and 1960s music expert, it was Giorgio and Brian Epstein’s friendship which saw The Beatles and The Rolling Stones meet at one of the latter’s gigs, which saw them on the road to stardom.

Speaking exclusively to, he said: “Giorgio was very good friends with Brian Epstein – they all knew each other…

“Giorgio knew that Brian Epstein and The Beatles were playing at Teddington Studios on an ABC television programme called Thank Your Lucky Stars on April 14.

“So he went across to Teddington from Richmond… and he had a chat to Brian about other things because they were working together on other developments and other music.

“And he said, ‘By the way, my new band called The Rolling Stones are playing in Richmond tonight – why don’t you bring your boys over and have a listen? And they did.”

This night was more than just a meeting of minds, but it went on to the small hours as an after-party took place.

He said: “They stayed for the evening to listen to The Stones, who at the time were playing blues covers, by which time The Beatles were writing their own stuff.

“And The Beatles went off to The Stones’ dreadful, horrible apartments in 102 Edith Grove in Chelsea, and they partied until four o’clock in the morning…

“Six days later, The Beatles were playing the Royal Albert Hall for the first time and they invited The Stones as their guest, and Brian Jones was helping The Beatles’ roadies to take the gear out with all the screaming Beatles fans there.”

This friendship was important, as a short while after George Harrison, of The Beatles, put a good word in for The Rolling Stones with a Decca executive, who then hastily signed the band.

Eventually, The Rolling Stones went on tour and their residency was taken over by The Yardbirds, featuring Eric Clapton, though many other big names played the venue before its closure.

In the same year Giorgio secured this meeting, Andrew Loog Oldham took over the management of The Rolling Stones, which he continued until 1967.

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