Traveling by train in France, 1966 ©Jean-Marie PérierI love the Rolling Stones. It’s not just about their music (although that is a big part of it, obviously), and despite having been cursed with being born into this world long after my favorite musical eras, there’s something magically nostalgic about flipping through old photos of them. Maybe it’s because it feels like I’m somehow peeking through a tiny little porthole into yesteryear, or maybe it's those fly-on-the-wall shots of candid personal moments that pull me into what it would’ve been like to exist inside their world — in any capacity. Whatever the reason, it’s magic to me, and the fact that they’re still around doing their thing as energetic as ever only serves to heighten the vibe. They’re living legends.
TASCHEN has always been exemplary at harnessing that same magic, and their books always seem to elicit this sort of immersive nature in me no matter what the topic. So when I heard that they were publishing a collection of photographs of the Rolling Stones, my expectations were pretty high, and I was not disappointed. Flipping through the Rolling Stones book, it’s visually impressive from cover to cover, and you’d expect nothing less from the geniuses over at TASCHEN. The table of contents itself is cleverly divided into an aptly titled three-act play, followed by a foreword by none other than former President Bill Clinton.
Performing in Copenhagen in May 1966. ©Bent RejPage after page you’re greeted with the type of imagery that demands that you stop and read the caption, each a miniature story, so that you can transport yourself right into the moment. The photos you’d expect to see are all there: live shows, press photos and certainly that iconic shot of Mick in “Fur Hood.”
Hanging out in the South of France at Villa Nellcôte for the writing and recording of Exile On Main Street, 1971. ©Dominique TarléBut some of the real gems are the ones that you don’t usually see, like a shot of the lads larking about with poolside drinks at a random Motor Lodge in Savannah, Georgia; the boys in their homes with the sort of mid-century modern décor that you’d expect to pay a small fortune for at some hipster vintage shop today; moments with their children; or the band just taking a break and killing time at airports and hotels between concerts, completely aloof from any camera that may or may not be pointed directly at them. TASCHEN's Rolling Stones book is a must-have for fans, but it’d do well on any music lover’s coffee table — or any coffee table for that matter. Okay, any table. It’s only rock ’n’ roll history, but I like it. Want more of the Rolling Stones? Then you’ll want to give this a listen.
Brian Jones rehearsing for TV show Ready Steady Go to promote the new single "Get Off Of My Cloud," 1965. ©Tony Gale/Getty
Lullaby Renditions of the Rolling Stones is available now!