While Nicky Hopkins got central to the Rolling Stones' rhythm section (Nicky plays piano on most of the "Satanic Majesties" and "Beggars Banquet" songs), Ian Stewart, as usual, played his role in the background. In London's late sixties British blues scene, Stu actually was the first Stone to have contacts with future Stones guitarists Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood. In fact it was Stu who suggested that the band checked out Taylor as their new guitar player.
Bill Wyman, in his book Rolling With The Stones: "Matters where coming to a head over Brian Jones. Things could no longer go on the way they were. Brian was no longer a musically integral part of the band. He was unhappy with his role in the band, nor could we realistically tour America with him given his problems with US immigration. In view of our upcoming shows, we needed a solution.
Stu, as usual, came up with trumps, and recommended Mick Taylor (recognised guitarist with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers) as a replacement. Mick Jagger invited him to come to the recording session in Barnes that evening. So it was that Michael Kevin Taylor arrived at Olympic on May 31, 1969. He was about to become a Rolling Stone".
Adds Christopher Hjort, in his book Strange Brew: "Ian Stewart already knew Mick Taylor, since he sold him a guitar in 1967. "Taylor: I've got no idea why Keith Richards wanted to sell the guitar, but I remember going down to the studio and getting it. I don't remember actually meeting him, I met Ian Stewart, their roadie. I told him I was looking for a Gibson Les Paul because my own one was stolen. Stu said: "Well, we've got one that we want to sell, come to the studio and look at it. It was funny when I met Keith later and turned up with the same guitar that he'd had".
Adapted from the following sources:
Bill Wyman, Rolling With The Stones, Dorling Kindersley, 2002.
Christopher Hjort, Strange Brew. Eric Clapton And The British Blues Boom 1965-1970, Jawbone, 2007.