Thanet music historian and author releases book delving into cover versions of Rolling Stones tracks

Author Peter Checksfield and the cover of his new Rolling Stones book

A Thanet author and music historian has released a new book delving into the hundreds of Rolling Stones cover versions released over the decades.

Peter Checksfield, who lives in Birchington with partner Heather Carter, has published Undercover: 500 Rolling Stones Cover Versions That You Must Hear!

Peter says the Stones released their first original song ‘Stoned’ (a group-composed near-instrumental) as the UK B-side of their version of Lennon-McCartney’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ in November 1963. Within 18 months they had written and recorded ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, and had become The Beatles’ biggest musical rival.

He said: “In the 60 years since they started, there have been thousands of Rolling Stones cover versions.”

Peter says he listened to most of them and came up with the best 500, in a staggering variety of genres: Rock, Blues, Soul, Garage, Psych, Prog, Beat, Reggae, Ska, Pop, Funk, Disco, Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Glam, Metal, Punk, New Wave, Indie, Gothic, Grunge, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Bossa Nova, World, Gospel, Electronica, Boogie Woogie, Jazz, even Cabaret, Polka and Classical.

Also included are a mammoth 130 exclusive interviews with many of the musicians involved. Which former Rolling Stone recorded ‘Play With Fire’ in the 90s? Whose favourite album is ‘Jamming with Edward’? What legendary Punk group wanted to cover the entire ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’ but ran out of time after one song? Find out the answers in the book which is available now on Amazon for £17.95.

Find it at


  1. “I can’t get no satisfaction” reading that. I thought Peter was Researching as to what mental state are people in when they actually vote conservative or do they like our country to be run in the most incompetent way possible and ministers and ex prime minister to be a security risk to us residents in the U.K.

    • The Margate Bookshop in the old town square can normally order any book that is currently in print. Have ordered several from them. May take a while to arrive, but much better to support a local business than Amazon, as you say.

    • Hi David if you buy it you will give a percentage to them as they are the publishers, I like you refuse to buy anything from amazon but Peters last book before this I was going to get but none of the bookshops had any in store or had never heard of it one said who is the publisher when I said amazon no sorry we don’t stock there books this will cost us sales but we have principles sir. Myself I have been told I’ve got it as an Xmas present by a relative who spends hundreds of pounds a year with them, I wish Peter good luck with the sales I actually want to read his stones book to see if any of Mick’s female friends are mentioned in it the pre famous ones in particular as one I know very well.

      • I’ve successfully persuaded a few writers to switch from traditional publishers to Amazon! There’s no scissor-happy editors, no limited print run (it’s available forever), it’s easily available in countries world-wide, daily updates of sales/payments earned, paid monthly instead of 6-monthly. I was offered a pretty decent “proper” publishing contract for my two TOTPs books, but politely declined!

  2. Love top 60’s music ? Then don’t waste your money on this nerdy book and instead buy the excellent newly released 2022 Remix 2 Cd set album of “ Revolver “ by The Beatles ,which has had an excellent remix makeover by top producer Giles Martin ( Son of the late former Beatles producer Sir George Martin ) .

      • As for George Martin, whilst great for the band commercially, he made The Beatles acceptable by taking all of the rough edges off, and often made potentially great records sound rather insipid. Imagine if Shel Talmy had produced ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘Day Tripper’ instead?! Even The Dave Clark Five made far more powerful records. So having his son remix something doesn’t impress me one bit.

  3. Peter, maybe you know which came up with the identical riff first-Satisfaction by the Stones, or Mr Soul by Buffalo Springfield? My personal favourite Stones cover is Satisfaction by Devo.

  4. I absolutely love The Who,s cover single of Under my thumb / The Last time from 1967 that they released when the Stones got busted for drugs , it was to help Jagger and Richards make bail.

  5. Hahaha this is quality, Peter gets a plug! Think I’ll give the book a miss…although I’m sure it’s very informative.

  6. People I interviewed exclusively for this book:

    Art Alexakis (Everclear), The Allah-Las, Frank Allen (The Searchers), Allman Brothers Band, Marc Almond, Ian A. Anderson, Robyn Adele Anderson, JJ Appleton, John Batdorf, Kasper Bjørke, Bloodshot Bill, Derrick Bostrom (Meat Puppets), Bob Bradbury (Hello), Paul Brady, Vashti Bunyan, John Butler (Diesel Park West), Susan Cadogan, Tony Campbell (The Mighty Avengers), Gerald Casale (Devo), Tommy Castro, Jake Cavaliere (Lords Of Altamont), Louis Cennamo (The Herd), Roger Chapman (Family), Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses), Steve Conte, Julie Corbalis, Allison Crowe, Rodney Crowell, James Curtiss (Vitamin String Quartet), Diana Darby, Eric Davidson (The New Bomb Turks), Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers), Joel Van Dijk, Linda Draper, Jane Duboc, John Easedale (Dramarama), Ralph Ellis (The Swinging Blue Jeans), Steve Ellis (Love Affair), Mary Fahl, Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos), Lee Fields, Roxanne Fontana, Robert Forster, Mary Gauthier, Laurie Geltman, Bobby Goldsboro, Billy Goodman, Benny Gordini (The Slow Slushy Boys), Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel), Charlie Harper (The U.K. Subs), Lenny Helsing (The Wildebeests), Marcia Hines, Hooyoosay, Thelma Houston, Cary Hudson (Blue Mountain), Johnny Indovina (Human Drama), Crystal Jacqueline, Teresa James, Wendy James (Transvision Vamp), Anders Jarkell (Vinylbandet), Ignatius Jones (Jimmy and The Boys), Barbara Kessler, Jonathan King (Bubblerock), Kat Kramer, Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow (Anvil), Robin Lane, Jeff Lang, Anita Livstrand (Anita Livs), Richard Lloyd, Ian McNabb (The Icicle Works), Manfred Mann, Marie Martens (Marie Martens and The Messarounds), Charlotte Martin, Kathy Mattea, Helge Mattenklodt (The Beatlesøns), Sarah Menescal, Andrew Molloy (Bum), Mike Montali (Hollis Brown), Wendy Ellison Mullen, Tomo Nakayama, Paul Nash (The Danse Society), Samantha Newark, Chris Norman (Smokie), Joe Nosek (The Cash Box Kings), Andrew O’Hazo (Eight n’ Up), Christine Ohlman, Gale Paridjanian (Turin Brakes), Icarus Peel (Icarus Peel’s Acid Reign), Tiffany Pollack, Jennifer Porter, Will Potter (Cud), Jan Preston, Greg Prevost (The Chesterfield Kings), John Primer, P.J. Proby, Frank Renshaw (The Toggery Five), Kimmie Rhodes, Chris Richards (Chris Richards and The Subtractions), Miranda Lee Richards, Mike Rimbaud, Alice Russell, Japhy Ryder (Celestial Bums), Fernando Saunders, Jill Saward (Shakatak), Rat Scabies (The Damned), Jeff Schroedl (Altered Five), Nicolas Schuit (The Cosmic Carnival), Sandie Shaw, Bryan Shore (The Prisoner Of Mars), David Skinner (Twice As Much), Michael Snow (West Five), Gilles Snowcat, Brett Sparks (The Handsome Family), Chris Spedding, Lane Steinberg (Tan Sleeve), Andrew Strong, Justin Sullivan (New Model Army), Jesse Sykes, Larry Tamblyn (The Standells), Dick Taylor (The Rolling Stones / The Pretty Things), Jimmy Thackery, Joe Louis Walker, Dean Wareham (Luna), Mark Wenner (The Nighthawks), John Wheeler (Hayseed Dixie), Dani Wilde, Dave Wilson (Chatham County Line) and Sean Yseult (Rock City Morque).

    Very proud.

  7. I remember seeing the Rolling Stones at the westcliff hall Ramsgate. I knew they would go far a fantastic band. Charlie Watts gave me a kiss and his autograph which I still have. Well done Peter. They say there is a book in everyone but not everyone writes one. They were much better than the Beatles.

    • Wow Ann, what lovely memories for you! Charlie was wonderful, and very much missed.

      I like The Beatles, but The Rolling Stones have always been my favourite band (particularly the Brian Jones era). Far superior in so many ways. Doing those interviews really hammered home just how influential they’ve been.

    • Does anyone else remember booing them at Rochester Odeon on 1 November 1963 when they had the temerity to appear on the same bill as Little Richard? Now he WAS rock’n’roll!

      • I was far too young for that, but I saw Richard five times during 1992-2000 (best show was his 60th Birthday concert in ’92, when he wiped the floor with a lacklustre Jerry Lee Lewis who was on the same bill!).

        • Perhaps shameful to look back on, but half the fun of going to see the rock’n’roll greats was barracking the up-and-coming British groups, whose insipid versions of the songs we loved were not appreciated.
          As well as the Stones, I remember seeing the Bluejeans, Searchers and Pacemakers similarly abused.
          But my favourite moment was when the Bee Gees announced their next number would be The New York Mining Disaster. An enormous Teddy Boy in the row in front stood up and bellowed: ‘It’s a shame you weren’t ******* in it.’

  8. biggest frauds ever , they nicked blues music from the deep south – then implied it was thier own handywork , and can someone confirm thier last number one record ? 50 years ish , not a patch on fleetwood mac , and queen just to name a few

    • They didn’t ‘nick’ blues music, they just played it! And they’ve never claimed to be its originators. In fact they’ve always been very respectful of early blues musicians.

      • Exactly, Ewan.

        I love those old Blues cats, but I would never have heard of Slim Harpo, Jimmy Reed and Robert Johnson without the Stones (let alone Reverend Robert Wilkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Alvin Robinson!)

        • Eric Clapton back in the 60’s expressed his love for Blues music especially Robert Johnson and in 2004 he made a covers album of Johnson compositions called “ Me and Mr Johnson “ which is decent .
          Better still is his album with Blues legend BB King called “ Riding with the king “ which was released in 2000 and won a Grammy no less !
          Another excellent album worthy of investigation is called “ Paint it Blue “ and is an excellent album of Rolling Stones “ covers” done by various Blues artists .
          Personally I don’t think this album got the credit it’s worth .

          • There’s some good stuff on that – several tracks are in my book, though 2018’s ‘Chicago Plays The Stones’ is even better… of far more interest to me than listening to a remixed Beatles album that sounded perfectly OK as it was.

  9. OK so I served the Beatles when they stayed at the Beresford Hotel Birchington . I served Ina Fleming when he stayed at the Guilford Hotel Sandwich I served the Cadbury family the list goes on. Do I crave notoriety No 🙂

  10. So I served the Beatles when they stayed at the Beresford Hotel Birchington. I served Ian Fleming when I worked at the Guilford Hotel Sandwich, Lord Guilford, The Marquis off Tavistock, The Cadbury Family etc, etc, Do I crave notoriety No

    • Well said R. .You’re saying what I’m thinking .
      Like you , I’ve too met many very famous people but unlike Checksfield don’t feel the need to be attention seeking by constantly name dropping apart yesterday on the death of Nik Turner of Hawkwind when I left a nice short funny story about meeting him
      And regards all those “ names “ that he’s felt the need to mention that’s he’s “interviewed”for his nerdy book ,
      There’s a few good names but a high amount of them the average person has never heard of ……
      So who are you trying to impress Mr Checksfield ? Not me that’s for sure ! And I’m obviously not alone ….
      Btw .Your “ Very proud “ on the bottom of that list equals ….. Very Smug !
      Not a good look when you want people to buy your book .

  11. I’ve seen The Beatles, The Stones and The Who in their prime, and thought The Who were the best. I’ve seen The Who quite recently, and they’ve still pretty good now. Although without the ox and moonie it’s a different experience really.

  12. Through Amazon. It’s more you write it and submit it. A publisher didn’t read it, think it was good and offer a deal to publish it.

    So it’s more of a hobby than a job. Local man self publishes a book, only available if you give money to Amazon.

    Still an amazing achievement and a lot of hard work. Especially if the person works too.

    • You’re right… I saw the word “payed” at the Chatham Dockyard Museum yesterday, and I still had it mind as it intrigued me.

      “Payed is a rare word that’s only used in nautical/maritime contexts. It can be used to refer to the act of coating parts of a boat with waterproof material or to the act of letting out a rope or chain by slackening it.”

      • Your books are all self published through Amazon. I have a friend who self publishes books through Amazon, so I know how much you get per book sold, your books have between 10-63 reviews on them.

        Even if that’s 10 per cent of actual sales, again with these sorts of books the review churn is higher than than that, it’s a stretch to say you have been “well paid” from the books on Amazon.

        You troll every thread on this newspaper and have annoyed readers for years.

        No one believes your online persona of being a “well paid” author….

        As I said it’s a great achievement and dedication. As usual you pick and choose parts of a comment and zone in on that rather than the whole comment and it’s tone, your replies are miss the point and are intentionally inflammatory which I why I have no interest in your books, you don’t have the integrity or balance to cover the topics you choose.

        I wish you well though, especially in these hard economic times.

    • Peter on the stones 1965 album Now is there album mainly covers of R&B American songs plus a few of their own compositions Off the hook being b side of Little red rooster which is a Willem Dixon written song originally sung by Howling Wolf as (just) Red Rooster also on the album were covers of songs by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley.
      On the London original sleeve 1st press it said, This is the Stones new disc within, cast deep in your pockets for the loot to buy this disc of groovies and fancy words, if you don’t have the bread, see that blind man knock him on the head, steal his wallet and low and behold you have the loot, if you put in the boot, good another one sold. As I said this only appears on some earlier releases in the UK but more in the USA, at the time this was said to show how much the American blues music influences the stones music which they readily admitted to, around the same time another UK group the Yardbirds where getting a lot of attention as to the R&B influence in their music and not just because Eric Clapton was a member of the group, the best Stones album ever was Goats Head Soup,

      • Interesting you like ‘Goats Head Soup’, to me this was the start of their albums becoming a bit more patchy. There are a few great tracks though, same with every album (2005’s ‘A Bigger Bang’ has several songs ripe for covering!). My own favourite by far is ‘Between The Buttons’, better than anything by The Beatles.

        I preferred The Yardbirds with Jeff Beck.

  13. Never heard of the Rolling Stones. Why don’t people write about more popular things then they might sell more books

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