EMP offers unprecedented glimpse inside groundbreaking Rolling Stones touron July 12, 2012 @ 11:14 am (Updated: 12:30 pm - 7/14/12 )
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards perform at Forum in Los Angeles in 1972 in one of the exclusive shots featured in a new exhibit opening this weekend at EMP (Jim Marshall photo courtesy EMP)
When Mick Jagger first sang "what a drag it is getting old," he probably couldn't have ever envisioned the Rolling Stones would still be going a half-century later. And as the band gathered Thursday in London to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its first show, a new exhibition featuring never before seen photographs of the Stones seminal 1972 tour is set to open this weekend at Seattle's EMP museum.
The Rolling Stones 1972, Photographs by Jim Marshall, features 37 photos captured during the Rolling Stones 1972 tour, and original album cover artwork for Exile on Main St.
Marshall is the celebrated photographer known for capturing some of rock's most iconic images, including Jimi Hendrix setting fire to his guitar at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Johnny Cash at San Quentin State Prison. And the Stones gave him unprecedented access both onstage and off, says EMP curator Jasen Emmons.
"He got all this access that other photographers didn't get, he was also getting access to them on the tarmac and backstage. And with Jim you also see the sort of tedium and exhaustion of being on tour and those moments you see the Stones in a much more vulnerable way than you typically do when they are in performance," Emmons says.
Among his favorites is a previously unprinted shot of guitarist Keith Richards, who he says looks like the spitting image of Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, the character star Johnny Depp modeled after Richards.
"The person from Jim Marshall's estate and I were marveling over the fact that Jim had never printed this one before. It's Keith with a bottle of Jack Daniels and his guitar and just looking right at Jim. And I think when you look back on it now you think 'that is the essence of Keith Richards,'" Emmons says.
Emmons says while the exhibit is a must see for hard core Stones fans, it has plenty of appeal for anyone who loves rock and roll.
"There's this carnal energy, there's this Bohemian decadence to it. It really sort of created the template for what a rock star tour looked like and Jim Marshall had unprecedented access to that."
"Once Jim was in, he was another Stone. He caught us with our trousers down and got the ups and downs. I love his work," says Keith Richards in the foreword to a new book of Marshall's photographs being released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary and the exhibit.
And while it might be a drag getting old, Jagger admits it beats the heck out of the alternative, considering most of his contemporaries have long since broken up or died.
Groups in those days and singers didn't really last very long, Jagger, 68, told the BBC this week. "They weren't supposed to last. It was supposed to be ephemeral. It was only really Elvis and The Beatles that were the biggest things that ever happened in pop music that I can remember. But even (Elvis) had lasted perhaps less than 10 years, so how could anyone really last?"
The Rolling Stones 1972, Photographs by Jim Marshall opens Saturday July 14 and runs through January 6, 2013 at Seattle's EMP Museum.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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