Lewis Brian Hopkins Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969), known as Brian Jones, was an English musician and a founding member of The Rolling Stones. His main instruments were the guitar and the harmonica, but he played a wide variety of other instruments. His innovative use of traditional or folk instruments, such as the sitar and marimba, was integral to the changing sound of the band. He was originally the leader of the group, but Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soon overshadowed him, especially after they became a successful songwriting team. Jones developed a serious substance abuse problem over the years and his role in the band steadily diminished. He left the Rolling Stones in June 1969 to be replaced by guitarist Mick Taylor, and died less than a month later when he drowned in his own swimming pool.
Jones was born in the Park Nursing Home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on 28 February 1942. An attack of croup at the age of four left him with asthma, which lasted for the rest of his life. His middle-class parents, Lewis Blount Jones and Louisa Beatrice Jones (née Simmonds) were of Welsh descent. Brian had two sisters: Pamela, who was born on 3 October 1943 and who died on 14 October 1945 of leukaemia; and Barbara, born in 1946.
Both Jones's parents were interested in music: his mother Louisa was a piano teacher, and in addition to his job as an aeronautical engineer, Lewis Jones played piano and organ and led the choir at the local church.