The Rolling Stones reunited in London to celebrate their 50th anniversary on Thursday. Gathered at London’s Somerset house, the band marked the golden anniversary of their first ever live performance on July 12, 1962 at the iconic Marquee Club on London’s Oxford Street.
Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts opened the exhibition “Rolling Stones 50” at Somerset House that featured photographs from throughout their career. The free exhibition features over 70 prints including reportage photography, shots of live concerts and studio sessions and also more intimate images of the band behind the scenes.
The exhibition, which runs until August 27, is just the first in a series of planned events over the coming months. A new documentary film about the band, directed by Brett Morgan, will be released in November.
For Jagger, those images helped catapult the Rolling Stones into fame in a pre-internet and pre-MTV era, according to the official website. “It was a very new development that famous photographers would take pictures of rock bands, and it was really fantastic,” said Jagger on rollingstones.com, adding, “those images were very much used and very widely seen, and they were essential to conveying who the Rolling Stones were to the public. Suddenly we were in all these magazines and one thing led to another. We became part of the whole Sixties phenomenon, breaking through the boundaries of pop music into fashion, films, television and everything else.”
The band’s early albums, from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, have become an essential part of music of the era. The Rolling Stones website credits the band’s music as an important tool for connecting young, white American audiences to blues and R&B stylings popular amongst the African American community. The enduring popularity of hits like ““You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Satisfaction”and “Honky Tonk Women” have kept fans eager to see the Stones onstage again.
Having last played together in 2007, Jagger hinted to AFP on Thursday that they may make a live return at some point, though, Jagger was quick to deny rumours that they would be playing the 2012 Olympic Games set to begin in London on July 27.
“We are not playing the Olympics, but I’m looking forward to watching the games like everyone else!”, tweeted Jagger.