In Pictures: The Rolling Stones in London: Brown Sugar on Main Street

By Andy Squires | 22 November 2012
A black and white photo of a five-man male rock band in a photoshoot during the 1970s
Peter Webb, Curious Stones© Peter Webb
A glimpse of the hedonistic world of The Rolling Stones opens in London today (November 22) with a chance to see a collection of previously unseen photographs of one of the world’s enduring rock bands.

A colour photo of a young male rockstar sitting on a bench under a tree in the
Dominique Tarle, Bill Wyman in his garden in Saint Paul de Vence (1971)© Dominique Tarle
Public and intimate personal images feature among the recently-discovered collection, including portraits taken during the 1970s, when the Stones were riding high at the peak of their creative powers.

A black and white photo of a young male rock star playing an acoustic guitar in the 1970s
The band escaped to a French villa for most of 1971© Dominique Tarle
They include the negatives of the day-long photo-shoot by Peter Webb for the Sticky Fingers album, released in 1971, as well as the legendary photographic diary, Rolling Stones in Exile, by Dominique Tarle.

A photo of a young male rock star playing a guitar indoors during the 1970s
Mick Taylor in the basement of Villa Nellcote, Villefranche sur Mer (1971)© Dominique Tarle
“I could call this entire session Tales of the Unexpected,” says Webb, reflecting on his shots. “As in putting the band into a semi-restricted studio area, and drawing five widely differing responses to each instruction from five widely disparate characters.”

A black and white photo of a young male rock star playing a guitar inside a studio
The sessions led to the album Exile on main Street© Dominique Tarle
Tarle was an unknown French photographer who became a friend of the band when they fled to Villa Nellcote, in the south of France, to avoid domestic tax authorities between spring and summer 1971.

A colour photo of a young male drummer from a rock band in front of a kit inside a room
Charlie Watts in the basement of Villa Nellcote (1971)© Dominique Tarle
The sprawling villa is described “a circus of girlfriends, hangers-on, children and dogs” and “a life where pleasure and work bled seamlessly into drug-fuelled angst.” Tarle’s photos are a candid documentation of the band during the recording of Exile on Main Street.

  • The Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar on Main Street is at Zebra Gallery, London until January 26 2013.
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