Ian Stewart

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Ian Stewart Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


There are unsung heroes and then there are tragic unsung heroes, and sadly Ian Stewart fits into the latter category. Born in the Scottish town of Pittenweem, in Fife, he was working as a shipping clerk at a London chemical company in 1962 when he responded to a newspaper ad for R&B musicians. It had been placed by one Brian Jones, and together they would form the nucleus of the Rolling Stones.

A superb boogie woogie pianist, Stewart made the Stones swing harder but by June 1963, their flamboyant manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, had decided that the Scot’s burly, lantern-jawed features would not fit the band’s racy outlaw image. Displaying an amazing presence of mind and a big heart, Stu, as he was commonly known, agreed to a demotion becoming the group’s road manager whilst continuing to play piano on tour and in the studio. His pianistic skills grace two thirds of the Stones’ album output between 1964 and 1985.

In the late 70’s he formed Rocket 88, his own R’n‘B ensemble, managed the Rolling Stones’ Mobile Studio whilst working alongside Bill Wyman as joint curator of the the band’s audio and video archive.

The forty-seven-year-old Stewart was sitting in the waiting room of his doctor’s office in December 1985 where he was about to undergo a checkup for an old lung complaint, when he suffered a massive heart attack. He died almost instantly.

Ironically, the Scot had steered clear of drugs, and was only a moderate drinker. His passions were golf, scuba diving, British history and old steam trains. He was also an avid jazz and blues enthusiast, heavily influenced by pianists like Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and Count Basie.

Although he never enjoyed the international celebrity accorded the Rolling Stones, Stewart was not unhappy with his role outside the band. “I never heard him complain once,” Wyman said. “He was able to stand back and laugh at us being idiots.” Wyman remembered sitting backstage at New York’s Madison Square Garden during the Stones’ 1975 tour while the upper crust of New York society – Dick Cavett, Lee Radziwill, Truman Capote and others – fawned over the band. Suddenly, Stewart walked into the dressing room, turned to the Stones and said, “All right, my little shower of shit, you’re on.”