A founding member of the Rolling Stones has been honoured for his contribution to the music industry more than 30 years after his death.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood sent video messages praising Ian Stewart to an awards ceremony in Glasgow. His widow, Cynthia, collected a “hall of fame” honour on the pianist’s behalf at the annual Scottish Music Awards, fundraising for Nordoff Robbins Scotland, the music therapy charity.
Stewart, who was born in Pittenweem, Fife, and died aged 47 of a heart attack in 1985, joined the group in 1962, before either Jagger or Richards. He was removed from the official line-up the following year, but remained with the band as a session musician and tour manager until his death. Jagger said: “The thing about him was that I don’t think the Rolling Stones would ever have got going if it hadn’t been for him. He was a great player.”
Richards said: “The Rolling Stones are only here because of Ian Stewart. He hooked up with Brian Jones and then Mick and I sort of waltzed in and then suddenly it became the Rolling Stones. His love of music, his choice of the guys to play with, was legendary.”
Other acts recognised at the ceremony at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow included the Waterboys, given an outstanding contribution to music award almost 35 years after they were formed by their Edinburgh-born frontman Mike Scott.