Fifty years ago today — July 12, 1962 — the Rolling Stones played their first show, at the Marquee Club in London. Back then, they were the Rollin’ Stones. Mick and Keef were still teenagers.
Today, then, is being recognized (by some) as the band’s 50th birthday. And the Stones are celebrating/cashing in with the release of a new coffee-table book, Rolling Stones 50; an exhibition featuring photos from the book kicks off at Somerset House in London tomorrow. The existing Stones also reunited at the Marquee to be photographed by Rankin (see below) — the first time they’ve been shot together in four years. And Shepard Fairey (he of OBEY and the Obama “HOPE” poster) “updated” the band’s logo (see above). To me it’s not much of an update but I’m guessing he didn’t exactly get a ton of leeway here. What else? A documentary film, directed by Brett Morgan, will be released in November.
Sounds like a lot of non-music, right? Yeah. But wait! The band is reportedly discussing the possibilities of a new tour and album (it would be their first since 2005’s not-at-all-bad-all-things-considered A Bigger Bang). “I’d like to get a couple of shows down and see how it goes,” Richards told Rolling Stone. “But I’d love it.”
W/r/t the whole “birthday” thing: The band that played the Marquee in ’62 comprised Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart, Dick Taylor and Tony Chapman — which, honestly, accounts for a decent-enough percentage of the Stones both currently and historically to warrant the celebration today (compared to, say, the quote-unquote Smashing Pumpkins or the band that got stabbed for calling themselves the Cro-Mags or the band currently making music as Napalm Death, which has ZERO of its original members). However, neither Mick nor Keef are buying that tosh. Mick told RS, “We’re slightly cheating. Because it’s not the same band.” Said Richards: “The Stones always really consider ’63 to be 50 years, because Charlie didn’t actually join until January. So we look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception. But the birth is next year.”
So … we’ll do it again in 2013?