Brian Jones’ Dulcimer

by Chris Murray on September 12, 2019

I was visiting photographer extraordinaire Gered Mankowitz at his terrific studio in England. I noticed in a corner of the studio a photo of Brian Jones that I had never seen before… I thought I knew most every photo Gered had taken of Jones and the Stones. The photograph especially drew my attention as his dulcimer was in the picture.

Brian Jones at home with records, 1966. Photo by Gered Mankowitz.

I had just seen Brian’s dulcimer in June at the amazing exhibition Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Seeing his dulcimer took my breath away, as I always wondered what happened to it, and there it was! I play an Appalachian dulcimer similar to Brian’s. His may well have been made by the great dulcimer maker Lynn McSpadden in Forrest City, Arkansas, as mine was. Brian played the dulcimer on a couple of tunes on the Rolling Stones album, Aftermath. The Met exhibition continues until October 1st.

Brian Jones’ Appalachian dulcimer at the Met exhibition, ca. 1960s. Courtesy of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Another anecdote about Gered’s photo of Brian Jones… When I mentioned to Gered that Linda Lawrence, Donovan’s wife and muse, and Donovan would enjoy the photo, he graciously inscribed it and asked me to give it to them. I was able to give it to Donovan and Linda in England just a week or so later. Stash de Rola, a close friend of Brian’s, happened to be in the room at the time and pointed out that he gave Brian Jones the shirt he is wearing in Gered’s photo all those years ago!!

Linda Lawrence enjoying the photo of Brian Jones, South Lodge, Horsham. Photo by Chris Murray.

Gered Mankowitz’s photographs are available through Govinda Gallery.

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