cinema, Film Review, History

STONED – The Murder of Brian Jones of Rolling Stones

I found this among my files. I blogged this more than a dozen years ago.  But since that blog is gone already, am re-blogging it here, esp. because many people in social media are now debunking Brian Jones in favor of Jagger and Richards. I bet these people were not even born when Jones was alive. Here it is:

stonedSaw the film Stoned (2005) by Stephen Woolley. I thought it was an ordinary bioflick that would present the genius and tragedy of Brian Jones, the founder and leader of the band, The Rolling Stones.

By the middle of the film, I was ready to turn off the DVD player as the film was not only unfocused and topsy turvy, it showed nothing of the genius of Brian Jones nor of his music.

Two-thirds through the film, I wondered what was so special with the two hired help – Frank Thorogood and Tom Keylock. I suspected that this was just another fictitious film.

The finale was quite a surprise. Frank Thorogood, a builder hired to renovate part of Brian’s estate, killed Brian Jones in the swimming pool.


Brian Jones murdered? Now, that is an idea that I certainly could live with. In fact, when I first read about Brian’s death a long, long time ago, I was very suspicious about it. He was only 27. He would not be swimming if he was sickly. And what kind of coroner would put the cause of death as “death by misadventure”?

I had suspicions that Jagger and Richards had something to do with it. He was still the acknowledged founder of the Stones. In fact, I read that on one occasion, he talked to John Lennon and complained that the other members of the Rolling Stones wanted to do pop songs and not his brand of music – rhythm and blues. John reportedly told him to just go and form another band. If Jones would form another band, it would be a big blow to the Rolling Stones.

And of course, Brian was the star of the band. Keith was only no. 2 and Jagger was no. 3. Contrary to the movie which showed that Brian’s breakdown was partly brought about by Anita’s leaving him for Keith Richards, my impression back then was that Anita was simply handed down by Brian to Keith. And from Keith to Mick.


At the end of the movie, it is written that Frank Thorogood confessed in his deathbed that he killed Brian Jones. I searched the Internet, it appeared that there were reports of a verbal (oral) confession by Thoroggood to that effect. brian jones book

(See )

Also, Brian’s girlfriend Anna Wohlin, who was with him on the night of his death, wrote a book in 1999 titled Murder of Brian Jones where she wrote about her belief that Thorogood killed Brian.


Contrary to what some debunkers say about Brian nowadays, the genius of Brian Jones was recognized by his peers. The following is from wikipedia:


            Upon Jones’ death, Pete Townshend wrote a poem titled “A Normal Day For Brian, A Man Who Died Every Day” (printed in The Times), Jimi Hendrix dedicated a song to him on U.S. television, and Jim Morrison of The Doors wrote a published poem entitled Ode To L.A. While Thinking Of Brian Jones, Deceased

According to the film, the Stones free concert at Hyde Park in honor of Brian was attended by half a million people.

It would have been infinitely better had the neophyte filmmaker made the film Stoned a tribute to Brian, his music and his founding of the Rolling Stones, with the interesting twist at the end.

Perhaps because of this film, the Sussex Police reviewed the case in 2009 upon new evidence by investigative journalist Scott Jones. Unfortunately, the Sussex Police ended the review by saying that there really was no new evidence to change the verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ by the coroner.

It’s a crying shame that the murderer(s) got away with murder.


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