Bad old boys
As the self-confessed 'Exiles from the Retirement Home' celebrate their 50th anniversary, we pay tribute to The Rolling Stones
I got nasty habits,’ Mick Jagger once said. ‘I take tea at three.’ At once charming and ironic, the middle-class teacher’s son from Dartford accepted a knighthood in 2003 despite once proclaiming ‘anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope’. Alongside his old school friend, lead guitarist Keith Richards, Jagger has been the driving force behind the band since their first live performance at London’s Marquee Club in 1962.
Teenagers at the time, they borrowed the money to hire their equipment from Jagger’s father, who didn’t wholly approve of his son’s choice of career. He needn’t have worried: the band’s last world tour, the 2005 A Bigger Bang, earned over half a billion dollars.
Now, Jagger, Richards and fellow band members Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts are being celebrated in a retrospective photographic exhibition at London’s Somerset House. It spans the half-century of their career and stands as proof of their unique place in the British collective consciousness. Even non-fans accept their survival is a remarkable feat. But then as Jagger once said, ‘A good thing never ends.’
The Rolling Stones 50, Somerset House, London WC2 – 020-7845 4600, www.somersethouse.org.uk – until 27 August. The Rolling Stones by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, is published by Thames & Hudson, priced £29.95.
Daily tip from the lady archive
“THERE is great satisfaction to be had in properly ironed garments that look as if they have just come out of the shop window.”The Lady. You Can’t Iron? 19th February, 1953