"We wanted it just right": Rolling Stones announce largest ever exhibition about band

By Ben Miller | 06 July 2015

First ever major international exhibition on the Rolling Stones will be largest touring display by a band, say members

A photo of a group of young men in the 1960s posing in colourful shirts and outfits
A vast amount of Rolling Stones memorabilia will be given shelter at the Saatchi Gallery in 2016© Rolling Stones archive
Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood have given their “full participation” to a nine-room exhibition positioning the Rolling Stones as the greatest rock and roll band in the world, opening at the Saatchi Gallery next April before visiting 11 other cities on a four-year world tour.

Tickets will go on sale on Friday for Exhibitionism, designed by Australian company iEC with an introductory film including a “high-octane” soundtrack reflecting the high points of the band’s decorated history.

Jagger, the irrepressible leader of the Stones since their formation in 1962, says the show has been long-planned. “We wanted it to be just right and on a large scale,” he says of the 1,750-square metre display.

“The process has been like planning our touring concert productions and I think that right now it’s an interesting time to do it.”

A photo of four young male bandmates posing in large black hats and overcoats
© Rolling Stones Archive
The band say the exhibition will continue their reputation for innovation and high production values. More than 500 rare and unseen exhibits will feature, from guitars and costumes to diaries and letters, as well as work by Andy Warhol, Shepard Fairey, Alexander McQueen, Ossie Clark, Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese.

“It’s not necessarily only just about the members of the band,” suggests Richards.

“It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us, and it’s this, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition really interesting.”

Wood, who trained at art school and has been praised for his own exhibitions, feels the gallery is a fitting throwback to the origins of the group as a hard-working blues outfit during the early 1960s.

“The scene was great down the King’s Road in the 1960’s,” he reminisces.

“That was where you went to hang out to watch the fashions go by. So it is appropriate that our Exhibitionism will be housed at the wonderful Saatchi Gallery.”

  • Exhibitionism runs from April 6 – September 2016. Tickets go on sale on July 10 2015 at 9am. Visit stonesexhibitionism.com and use the hashtag #STONESISM.

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Three museums to see musical history in:

Somerset House, London
The Jam: About the Young Idea, co-curated by Paul Weller's sister and endorsed by all three members of the hugely influential trio, is at the East Wing Galleries until September 2015.

The Music Museum, Coventry
Based in the promisingly-named 2-Tone Village on Coventry’s Ball Hill, the venue’s success in its opening 15 months means organisers are even planning to expand into a neighbouring building.

Dimbola Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight
The permanent Isle of White Festival exhibition includes rare posters and photographs of the legendary extravaganza, run since 1968. One panorama, from Afton Down, gives an idea of the audience of 600,000 who gathered to watch Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Taste, Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell, to name a few.
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