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What to expect at 'Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones’

Curator Ileen Gallagher gives us the skinny on four standouts from The Rolling Stones exhibition

rolling stones

1. Mick’s jumpsuits

‘Mick started working with [’60s British fashion designer] Ossie Clark in 1972. He designed all the jumpsuits – there are three in the exhibition – for the American tour The Stones did that year. It was a moment in time when Mick was very much into wearing jumpsuits because they were so easy and comfortable: you just put it on and you were good to go. The jumpsuits are still in decent shape considering the effort Mick puts into his shows!’

Rolling Stones interview, Exhibitionism

2. The Edith Grove flat

‘Mick in particular was keen that we recreate Edith Grove [the Chelsea pad that Jagger, Richards and Brian Jones shared in 1962-63] in all its disgusting early glory. No photographs exist of the interior, so we relied on Mick, Keith and Charlie’s memories of the place: the broken furniture, the dirty dishes, the cigarette butts and beer bottles. Charlie [Watts] thought that Brian Jones was growing penicillin in the milk bottles because there was green mould on everything. We’re even recreating the smell of the place too.’

rolling stones

3. Keith’s black Gibson Les Paul

‘Keith used this guitar in the Jean-Luc Godard movie “Sympathy for the Devil”. You can see him playing it on the song of the same name. At some point, Keith painted a multi-coloured design on it and a kind of moon shape. According to Keith, he was waiting to go to jail and had dropped some acid; he got bored and started painting a pair of boots. I guess he didn’t realise how much acid he’d taken, because he ended up painting his guitar too.’

rolling stones

4. Charlie’s fold-up drum kit

‘Charlie had this little 1930s toy drum kit folded up into a suitcase, that he’d bought from an antiques shop. He and Keith were fooling around with some songs and they ended up using this kit to record “Street Fighting Man”. In the exhibition we feature the original drum track from the recording of that song, so you’ll be able to hear it while you’re looking at the kit.’

‘Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones’ is at the Saatchi Gallery. Apr 5-Sep 4. £19-£21. www.timeout.com/exhibitionism

Interview: The Rolling Stones

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