To celebrate their varied fifty year history, a new exhibition has opened at the Saatchi Gallery this month, Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones.
The exhibition, which spans two whole floors of the gallery, includes over 500 original artefacts from The Rolling Stones and cinematic experiences – including Charlie Watts riding a donkey in order to promote a greatest hits package – is the largest exhibition of Stones memorabilia ever put together.
The gallery is filled with history and things to entertain: from homage to the bands’ heroes, such as clips from blues legends Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy, to a section that’s a mocked-up studio (where you can put headphones on and mix some of your own masterpieces) filled with the recordings of old studio chat from the band. There’s never-before-seen paraphernalia from the dressing room, rare instruments, stage design by the legendary set designer Mark Fisher, who built the wild creations for tours like Steel Wheels and Bridges to Babylon, excerpts from Keith Richard’s diary (that complains about the lack of volume at concerts from time to time), and a sequined butterfly jacket from the late L’Wren Scott. In the second room, you are taken on a three-minute audio-visual journey, through shifting montages of the Stone’s 40-year career – including their most triumphant, and most controversial moments (including Altamot where Hells Angels ran riot and killed a Stones fan at the concert).
The exhibition also includes photographs of the quartet from the likes of David Bailey and Richard Hamilton; and the numerous, infamous, lithographs of Mick Jagger by Andy Warhol, that take up a whole room to themselves.
Martin Scorsese, who introduces sections of film in the exhibition and directed Shine a Light, a film documenting the their Beacon Theatre performance in New York, said their music was so prolific it was “a part of me”.
The exhibit is set to tour 11 other countries, including Paris and New York; but will be on show in London until 4 September 2016.