Pat Andrews first met Brian Jones on a 'blind date' in the summer of 1960 after he'd recently returned from his 'exile' in Germany and Scandinavia.
Pat explains: "There was a chap called Roy Sellick who owned an espresso coffee bar in the middle of Cheltenham. The coffee bar was known locally as The Aztec, it was just a couple of rooms above a cake shop, but Roy had decorated it nicely and created an atmosphere that reflected those ‘modern times' with wall mounted juke boxes, lots of glass balls, fishing nets and ornaments including candles in bottles, dripping in wax, scattered around the place. At that time, in the late 1950's there wasn't many places for youngsters to congregate, but The Aztec became a popular meeting place for the teenagers of Cheltenham. Roy asked a girl friend and myself to help out occasionally behind the bar, as the club was gaining a reputation and getting very busy, so it was that I often found myself doing stints behind the counter serving hot dogs, soft drinks and coffee".
Pat continues: "It was a warm summer in 1960 and I was at a friends bar-b-q when a guy, l don't remember his name, was telling me about a friend of his who'd just arrived back from Germany and had lost contact with all of his friends. This guy said that his friend would like to meet a local girl, and so could l do him a big favour, meet up with his friend and go out with him. Now at that time l was dating a German lad who went to college in Cheltenham, but he'd recently left and returned to Germany. Being at a loose end and thinking, well this might be interesting, l asked this guy where his friend was from, his answer was Cheltenham and my immediate reaction was, forget it!! For-get it, l don't want to know, find somebody else. At that time chaps from Cheltenham were thought not to be hip and the term country yokels comes to mind, you know guys with straw sticking out of their hair, ha ha. I know it sounds cruel and you can't tar everybody with the same brush, but that's how a lot of us girls thought at the time.
So it wasn't cool to date a chap from Cheltenham and as I said, my response was quite forceful, FOR-GET IT" Pat smiled as she recalled this event from long ago then added: "The guy wasn't taking no for an answer, he kept on at me throughout the afternoon. Oh please Pat, just for me" he must have asked a dozen times: "Look Pat y'know, please, if you do me this favour I'll be forever in your debt.
He kept on and on and was so persistent, l eventually felt worn down and finally agreed but insisted, ok, I'll meet your friend, only the once mind and that's it, just for you, but remember that's it, I'm just doing it for your sake and you owe me big time".
So he said: "Right, where do you want to meet". My reply was: "Ok, it's got to be neutral ground and I immediately thought of The Aztec, tell him to meet me in the alcove in The Aztec this evening. At least it was dark in there and l thought, if this guy has straw sticking out of his hair and he looks like something that's not hip, there's no way that I'm letting anybody know that I've met him", again Pat laughed: "Ha ha, doesn't that sound so bad".
Pat was helping out behind the bar that evening so agreed to meet his friend Brian at eight o'clock.
Pat: "Anyway at eight o'clock the coffee bar was very busy, all the kids coming in for their coke and their espresso and everybody was being hip, you know, this was Cheltenham's version of the 2i's but without the music, it was the place to be, especially on a Saturday night. It was so busy, l completely forgot that l was supposed to meet Brian and l suddenly thought, oh my God it's five past eight, l wonder whether he's come in yet, l wonder whether I've served him, anyway, l rushed round to the alcove, it was quite dim and all l can say is that all l saw was this, it looked like an angel, because all l could see was this head of golden hair, in the dimness his hair was glowing so brightly and my first thought was there's no straw, it might be the colour of straw, but there's no straw. l said, hi, I'm Pat you must be Brian and then when he looked up and he spoke with his very soft voice, it was like my dreams had all come true in one beautiful second". Pat gulped, took a breath and said: "At that moment all I could think was - AND I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING HIM A FAVOUR!!".
Pat will be writing a regular article in each edition of our magazine, AfterMath, we've decided to give this feature the title 'Pat's Diaries' where in each edition she will remember a segment of her life with Brian, remembering not only the good times but also the bad times. She will start from the very beginning, from that first meeting in The Aztec coffee bar, through to the sad day that she learned of Brian's death. She will give an insight into what it was like to be there, at the very beginning, at the formation of The Rolling Stones. She alone knows how Brian thought, laughed, cried and how he reacted to his successes, failures, trials and tribulations in those early days. You'll learn how she decided that life on the road was not for her and her baby, the hurt and pain she felt for Brian in the years to come and how his indelible charisma has stayed with her for all these years.
We invite our Fan Club members to write to Pat, ask questions and learn the answers, through her column, what it was really like to be there with Brian and the band in the early sixties they embarked on their journey to fame and fortune .