The Rolling Stones celebrated reaching a milestone this week – fifty years of playing together as a band – and launched a biographical photo exhibit to mark the occasion.
Half a century ago, The Stones played their first ever live show at Oxford Street’s Marquee Club, earning the less-than-princely equivalent of £31.50 for the privilege. Fourty-three years later in 2005, they smashed the (then) record for a live tour haul, with their Bigger Bang Tour cumulating a gross of $558,000,000. Their historic rise to the elder statesmen of rock ‘n’ roll has been documented through what is now iconic photography, and the band launched a stark and insightful exhibit at Somerset House, London on July 12.
The accompanying photobook, ROLLING STONES:50, serves as a visual autobiography and features some words by the band members. In a press statement they said, “This is our story of fifty fantastic years. We started out as a blues band playing the clubs and more recently we’ve filled the largest stadiums in the world with the kind of show that none of us could have imagined all those years ago”. The hardback edition is now available.
In the run up to this historic landmark, which the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame claims is a record for rock band longevity, The Rolling Stones have faced inevitable questions regarding a celebratory tour. Having previously suggested the possibility of 2013 live dates, guitarist Keith Richards revealed they had met for secret rehearsals throughout April and would talk more this month regarding possible live dates.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Richards admitted “It’s all very hush-hush. I’m going over to London for a bit, so I’ll find out more then. I’d like to get a couple of shows down and see how it goes, but I’d love it”. According to Richards, vocalist Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood in separate interviews, former bassist Bill Wyman made a return for the rehearsals, playing with the band for the first time since quitting The Stones in 1992. “I saw him last week and he was in top form, rocking”, said Wood. “It’s like he’d never been away”.
Richards even confessed that the band would simultaneously discuss a potential stab at recording new material. “We’re going to talk about that in July and see. I mean, I’d love to get some tracks down and see what songs we’ve got. And that goes along with part of getting the band back together and getting things moving”.
Plans are in place to release a documentary surrounding the history of The Stones in November.
Ronnie Wood believes that details of the band’s future plans may be revealed in the imminently. “What we do is live in hope and hopefully this week, we’ll unfold some plans”.