By Brian Ives
The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism has now come to New York, and if you’re a Stones fan, you’re going to want to check it out if you’re in, or near, the tri-state area.
There’s lots of great stuff, including a replica of the apartment that the original members used to live in, a replica of a studio that they recorded in, guitars and drum sets, and a theater where you can watch the current incarnation of the band, joined by ex-guitarist Mick Taylor, perform “Satisfaction” in 3D with concert lights flashing around you, giving the vibe that you’re on stage with the boys.
On the red carpet, Mick Jagger, who usually rolls his eyes over nostalgia, spoke with pride about the exhibit: “It’s interesting, you go from a long time ago up to the present day; this isn’t just an exhibition about the ’60s. Its interesting on many levels; you’re seeing all the obvious things, you’re seeing a lot of guitars, which you’d expect from a rock band, and you’re seeing all the visual stuff, all the films, all the art, the staging. There’s some really incredible staging, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. When I look at all of those, I’m really proud of being involved with the staging, and I’m still working on staging.”
We were fortunate enough to tour the exhibit before it was open to the public; here are a few of our favorite parts:
The replica of their apartment at 102 Edith Grove in London, where the band lived in their early days: Including a disturbingly gross kitchen, and a living room with a bunch of records that they used to listen to at the time.
On the red carpet, Keith Richards said, “To me, it was more like a workshop than an apartment. This was where we listened to records, and tried to form a band, that’s where it was formed. We just figured out how our band should sound.” And today, we’re all grateful for it. As long as we never had to live there.
Some pretty interesting paperwork: There were questionnaires filled out by band members from the early sixties. A couple of things we learned: Mick’s “likes” were “girls, eating, clothes,” and his “dislikes” included “intolerant people, having my hair cut.” Keith’s “dislikes,” meanwhile, included “brass bands, snobby people and striped pajamas.” On the red carpet, Richards laughed. “Is that what I said? Striped pajamas, that reminded me of jail!”
Keith Richards’ diary: Although you might go mad even trying to understand what he’s talking about. He told us, “I can’t remember keeping a diary, man!” But like listening to him in conversation, it may not all make sense, but you know there’s bits of brilliance in there. Have a look:
Remix the Stones! A fun interactive exhibit allows you to remix classic Rolling Stones songs.
The instruments: Yes, as Mick Jagger said, you’d expect to see guitars from an exhibit celebrating a rock band. Still, there’s something really cool about being that close to Keith and Ronnie’s guitars and Charlie’s drums. Not to mention the saxophone played by the late Bobby Keys, the Stones’ man sax-man for most of their career.
Mick Jagger’s description of his first, and only, harmonica lesson: But it’s NSFW, so we can’t tell you about it. Look for the case with Mick’s acoustic guitar and his harmonicas.
One complaint: They couldn’t design a better Rolling Stones PEZ dispenser than this? (We bought it anyway):
On the other hand: ugly sweaters (ugly=awesome):
The Rolling Stones Exhibitionism runs at Industria in New York City through March 12. Get more information at the exhibit’s official web site.