On April 29, 1963 Andrew Loog Oldham, a publicist who had worked for Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, and businessman Eric Easton signed a management deal with the Rolling Stones, also buying the rights to the band’s first recordings. Oldham managed the Stones from then until 1966, but remained as the band’s producer through 1967’s Between the Buttons. When it came to production, he was no George Martin (The Beatles’ one and only producer), but he was certainly an excellent manager.
Oldham, who was just recently inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, was essential to the Stones’ development and rise to fame. He was really behind every move they made. It was Oldham’s idea to market the Stones as the gritty anti-Beatles and started the phrase “Would you let your daughter date a Rolling Stone?” In other words, Oldham is largely responsible for the never ending Beatles vs. Stones debate. The guy just knew what would sell.
Perhaps Andrew Loog Oldham’s most important contribution to the Stones was his insistence that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards start writing their own songs. Most of the band’s early repertoire was made up of blues, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll covers including Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and even the Beatles’ “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
Within two years of him becoming manager, the band had international hits penned by Jagger/Richard (Oldham had Keith Richards remove the “s” to make it more pop sounding). Obviously the Stones never would have survived had they not started writing their own songs. It just so happens they wrote some of the biggest songs of all time.
Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham only getting into the Hall of Fame this year is further proof of what a joke of an institution it is. I just hope the Rolling Stones are grateful to have had Oldham on their team. They owe it to him to at least give him a call every once in a while.