And then, not surprisingly, Andrew Loog Oldham called it a day: Ian Stewart had to leave the band. Here's Andrew once again: I met Mick and Brian, and I went for the home run: "Look, from the first time I saw you, I've felt...I can only see...five Rolling Stones". I told Brian and Mick that it was okay for Ian Stewart to appear on records and do live radio, but their ivory thumper could not be seen in photos or on TV.
I compounded the cruelty, adding that he was ugly and spoiled the 'look' of the group. Plus I was convinced that six members in a group was at least one too many. The public would not be able to remember, much less care, who the individual members of a six-piece band were. For me, six was not synonymous with success or stardom. Five was pushing it, six was impossible. People worked nino to five, and they couldn't be expected to remember more than four faces. 'This is entertainment, not a memory test', I concluded.
Hurt was not in my vocabulary, but perhaps it should have been. In the spirit of the day, everyone was superficially too busy and too young for slop. That was a luxury for our elders, and I had a job to do. And that meant including Stu, not excluding him altogether. Far from it: Stu had the van and he played great. I took him out of the picture, I didn't take him out of their hearts. That move would have had to have been the group's...
Source: Andrew Loog Oldham, Stoned, Vintage, 2001.