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Tuesday 17 September 2019

Black & White Blues: Exhibition Unveils Previously Unseen Rolling Stones Photos Of First Tour & Recording Sessions

Photographs of The Rolling Stones had been gathering dust beneath photographer Gus Coral's bed for sixty years. 
Credit Gus Coral

Gus has now agreed to share them, first by a VIP private view and then via a free public exhibition.

In October 1963, Coral decided to shoot the first tour of then unknown band, Rolling Stones, who were originally supporting The Everly Brothers, alongside Bo Diddley.

This exhibition of rare images charts the remarkable beginnings of the band. 

The innocent young men in smart suits captured in these photographs are a far cry from the rock gods we know today. 

The pictures include them cobbling money together to cover their taxi ride to the De Lane Lea Studios - then in Holborn - and the smattering of people at The Odeon in Cardiff for the start of their tour, which was struggling to sell tickets.

Coral knew they would be popular, but had no idea just how explosive their success would be. 

By the end of that tour, the Stones' first single, Come On, had climbed to number twenty-one in the charts and they were on the path to becoming the world- conquering rock juggernaut we know today.

Zebra One Gallery's Gabrielle Du Plooy says: 

"It's extraordinary to think that photographs charting the very start of a seminal moment in music history had been forgotten about, until now .. "

The band used to live with Coral's cousin in Chelsea and the photographer was so blown away after seeing them perform in Richmond, he was moved to shoot their first tour, originally intended for a film documenting the band, which was never made.

The images are the earliest tour photos of Rolling Stones in existence, and are taken on the sixth and seventh dates, when Sharon Osbourne's father - legendary music mogul, Don Arden - had persuaded Little Richard to join the tour to help with ticket sales, as The Everly Brothers' star was on the wane.

By the time the Stones reached Southend - the fifth night of the tour - the local paper decreed: 

"We couldn't really give a verdict on the Stones, the up-and-coming young group with the caveman hairstyles, because we hardly understood a word they sang, but the teenage girls screamed, and they are the ones who put such groups on the recording map."

Coral went on to document the first recording session images taken of the band, who were making their second single, I Wanna be Your Man - originally a Beatles song - at De Lane Lea Studios, which has since moved to Soho. 

Gus Coral's photographs are being shared with the public for the Zebra One Gallery -curated show, which will have a VIP private view at Tramp - a club synonymous with the band - on 12th November 2019, before moving to The Curtain from 18th November to 2nd December 2019, where it will be free for the public to experience.

by: Mike Cobley




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