The Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism

Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger are let loose on the Kings Road once more. The Saatchi Gallery invites you to one of their most iconic exhibitions yet; a fully immersive experience to guide visitors through the lives of The Rolling Stones.

From the squalor and filth of their first London flat, where you can literally smell the poverty between the dirty dishes, the unmade beds and the empty bottles of milk with indistinguishable life forms growing from it. ‘How to begin life as a rock-star’, lesson one follows from their humble beginnings to a newfound love and appreciation of original blues music. Unheard of in 1960s London and made popular in the Pop charts by secretly covering the lyrics with a white-washed melody, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were keen blues aficionados and were famously quoted as ‘wanting to lead the world to good music.’

From there, contracts were signed, music was recorded and a band was born. Visitors are able to view these momentous beginnings with unseen artefacts from the band’s personal archives; written interviews, personal diaries, and correspondence, not forgetting the instruments they first ever played to the world are all housed here.

The second part of the exhibition takes place in a staged recording studio where the band recorded six albums, including Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Beggars Banquet. Never-before-heard audio tracks and rare guitars are played and displayed throughout. Go upstairs in the gallery and find the second floor completely transformed with over five hundred items of Rolling Stones paraphernalia embracing all aspects of art & design, film, video, fashion, and performance.

This hub of creative talent showcases the band’s steps towards designing an album cover and tour posters with the biggest names in the art world such as Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Philip Townsend and Rankin to name but a few! Then onto the costumes, yes rakish readers, the garments, and costumes defining every era from the swinging 60’s to the present day, taken from the bands wardrobes themselves. An array of multi-coloured, tassel-endowed and jewel-encrusted garments; jacquards, tailcoats, and furs – oh my! My eyes immediately settled on Mick Jagger’s sumptuous pink satin DB suit from 1970 and of course, the matching dogtooth jackets which were first worn as a band uniform, these were then cast aside in favour of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion – a sign of things to come.


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