As I am a great fan of this iconic music group, I could not miss this exhibition. I had some fear though, that according to its title “Exhibitionism”, the exhibition would focus more on the media coverage of the group than on his creative process, which has made The Rolling Stones able to last over the last decades. But this exhibition depicts the group perfectly well and stresses in particular on the way they create and play which is so unique…
The Rolling Stones: an English rock band formed in London in 1962
My dad introduced me to their music when I was a teenager and “Start me up” or “Sweet Thing” are still my best cocktails to cheer me up on bad days… This exhibition was the perfect occasion to revise my knowledge about the group!
I have learnt a lot about the music influences of the Rolling Stones at the Saatchi Gallery. The group was founded on Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ common interest in blues, with special interest for Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. This passion for blues was then the cement of the group.
The exhibition also shows many objects and papers that the group has collected from the very start of his history. I particularly liked the copy of the Rolling Stones’ first contract with a manager who could not sign by himself because he had not reached majority…! Or the documents in which the Rolling Stones members write about their “goal in life” (like “to own a Cadillac”) or “their education” (“self-taught” for everyone).
At first, The Rolling Stones released singles written by others like Chuck Berry (“Come on“), or the Lennon-MacCartney “I wanna be your man“. Then, from 1964, they began to create their own songs.
The road to success
Their first international number 1 hit was “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction“, recorded in May 1965. The group was now dedicated to success…
The exhibition has recreated the flat’s interior of the Rolling Stones…in a real mess! And also, you can see what their studio looked like at the beginning, with all instruments and materials that enabled to record their music. That room is very interesting as it gives you the opportunity to listen to their producer, who gives a portrait of each member of the group. He stresses on all their qualities and why they fit together in terms of music passion, technics in playing, real dedication to creativity… Their determination may explains by itself why they are still on the music scene.
By the way, many guitars are exhibit there, so fans will be happy to see them so close…
The Rolling Stones’ control of media
The Rolling Stones members may have succeeded because they know perfectly well how to brand themselves. They have branded their name with a famous logo, the history of which you can discover at the exhibition. They also have given importance to the way they dressed (you’ll see many outfits at the Saatchi), the design of their albums and their global image as a group, which lead them to work with famous directors such as Jean-Luc Godard or Scorsese to make films promoting their image.
The Rolling Stones (still) on stage!
At the end of the exhibition, you are attending the show near your idols… And this is the end! Then, you come back home to listen to the Rolling Stones whole discography! You can go further and can buy tickets for their concert in Vegas next October or discover “Totally Stripped” album (the reissue of The Rolling Stones’ 1995 album “Stripped”)…
I am glad they are still alive and still creative. Their songs have passed decades and will be also part of new generations’ lives.
I hope these impressions will inspire you to go and visit the Saatchi Gallery before next September? Take advantage of the bad weather to wander in the famous gallery, it will sound good!
And please leave your comments after visiting the exhibition…