Busking in a British train station one day, Jack serenaded a group of schoolchildren on the platform across the track. Some 25 years later, he met one of those kids,...

Rob Patterson, Houston Press, 4/9/88


I bought my first guitar after seeing Jack perform.


Mick Jagger



At the same time, once I started learning guitar, I began attending art school, second year. The atmosphere there was very free. You'd walk into the John to take a pee and there'd be three guys sitting around playing a guitar, doing Woody Guthrie and Ramblin' Jack Elliott stuff. I was getting into the blues — Big Bill Broonzy, Jesse Fuller — by hearing these guys play.

Keith Richards, interview by Stanley Booth. Playboy Magazine, 1989.




An excerpt follows from Even When It Was Bad... It Was Good by June Shelley, concerning her years as personal assistant to the Stones:


As I walked across the terrace, it occurred to me that I should say more. Maybe, after haggling about the salary, I wanted to assure them they were getting their money's worth. "By the way, this isn't my first experience with music; I used to be married to a folk singer and guitar player. We traveled all over Europe together and I was the one who dealt with the bookings and all the rest."

"Really?" said Mick, sounding interested. "Who were you married to?"
I hesitated.
"Who was it?" Keith asked.
"Oh, you wouldn't know him."
"Tell us," Mick insisted.
"Well, his name was Jack Elliott. They call him Ramblin' Jack Elliott."

They both looked at me with open mouths as if I had just said the name "God".

"He's great," Keith said, laughing and disappearing into the house.
"You were married to Ramblin' Jack Elliott?" Mick said, shaking his head.
"You know him?"

"Do we know him?" laughed Mick, choking on his words. "The Rolling Stones are the number one fans of Ramblin' Jack. We've loved him for years, since we were kids. We have every record he ever made." Jo was also laughing, and then the speakers crackled into life behind me and Ramblin' Jack's voice blasted out across the bay. Keith had found a record and put it on.

"There's your old man," Keith shouted over the music as he came back out, playing along with Jack on his guitar. I was astonished. I had no idea that Jack was so well known among rock musicians.

I later discovered, that because the Stones had been ripped off so much in the past by their managers and other people, they were very suspicious of everyone who worked for them. It took a long time to earn their trust. They liked working with Americans because of our energy and the way we worked. They liked working with women. But it would probably still have taken me several months to earn their full trust and to prove that I was "one of them." Because I was Jack's ex-old lady, I had instant acceptance. From then on, whenever I called Keith (which was most days), he would put on a Ramblin' Jack record before he would come back to the phone to talk, making sure I could hear it. When they went on tour in America later on, Mick rang me at three a.m. to tell me that Jack had just been in his dressing room.