The first ever major exhibition of The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band will make its debut at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in April 2016. Before heading to Exhibitionism, why not familiarise yourself with some of the locations in London that had an impact on the band. From musician’s block to performances, and even food, there are many places to visit to enhance your London and Rolling Stones experience.
Ever wondered how the Rolling Stones hit the top 20 for the first time? Rehearsing at this studio (Studio 51, to be exact) in Soho, the band were frustrated in their attempts to come up with a new cover song worthy of being their next single. Without success, Andrew Loog Oldham walked outside and — luckily — bumped into John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who were both emerging from a taxi. The Beatles, after hearing their challenges, offered to donate one of the songs they had written and taught their supposed rivals how to play ‘I Wanna Be Your Man.’ The Rolling Stones released the single in 1963, hitting the top 20!
Between 1957 and 1968, the Flamingo Club was London’s base of Jazz, R&B, and early British rock and mod music. On 14 January 1963, this Soho Club saw Mick, Keith, Brian, Bill, Charlie, and Stu perform together for the first time — their first full gig. Although the Flamingo Club is now an O’Neill’s pub, you can still enjoy a pint and think back to that day.
As you’re wandering along Maddox Street, when you reach 44/46 you will feel like busting a move or two, as this is where the band’s original HQ was located. Andrew Loog Oldham set up the HQ, not far from their own individual offices in a Georgian townhouse on Savile Row.
Prestigious Cheyne Walk in Chelsea was once famous for housing prime ministers, composers, and even painters; however, it has been unofficially renamed ‘Rolling Stones Row’, as band members moved to houses along Cheyne Walk, one by one. Keith Richards bought number 3 — built in 1717 and previously home to Admiral William Henry Smyth — in 1968. In the same year, Mick moved into number 48, where he lived until 1975. Both of these houses were ideally located, as the Rolling Stones’ office was around the corner, on Munro Terrace. It wasn’t until 2008 that Ronnie Wood invested in number 103 Cheyne Walk; however, he never lived in this house, selling it two years later.
Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, UK
By Ellie Griffiths