As the drink and drug-fuelled skeletons formerly known as The Rolling Stones prepare to exhume their weary corpses, and rake in another few million quid from just short of a handfull of gigs – it’s hard to imagine a time when the rebellious grandaddies of debauchery weren’t a leathery gaggle of loveable rogues, traipsing out their ’80s ‘classics’ in front of tens of thousands of retired accountants trying to relive their youth. For all their fashionista offspring, cash cow mega-gigs and coconut tree shenanigans; let it be remembered, that the Stones were the epitome of rock and roll – a stomping force of decadence that has shaped popular culture irreversibly.
Appropriately timed, this exhibition at Los Angeles’ Dilettante Gallery – in collaboration with Apart Projects – serves as a welcome reminder that the tongue-and-lip machine wasn’t always the all-dominating force it is today; and that the young men who started this musical monolith once had a boyish naiveté where that unwavering swagger is today. Recently found in an unmarked box, at an estate sale in Southern California, this historic set of photos capture the young Brits on an early tour of the US, the tragic figure of founding-member Brian Jones carefree and frivolous some four years before his untimely death.
Capturing fleeting moments in Savannah, Georgia and Clearwater, Florida in 1965; this exhibition, curated by Lauren White and George Augusto, is a gripping insight into genuine rock stars – the sorts of which we may never see again – on the cusp of greatness, on the brink of writing songs that remain as potent today as they did over forty years ago. Hot stuff.