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The Rolling Stones London

Every time you visit London you discover something new. The city is endless and has multiple facets, and one of these is musical. Indeed, the capital of Britain has also been that of pop and rock music practically since their inception. The first big rock’n’roll clubs emerged there and it was in that ambience of leather jackets and limitless hairpieces that The Rolling Stones came into being. Even today, the band still wears their crown as the kings of planetary rock. Homing in on this comprehensive retrospective, which has taken over the nine rooms in the Saatchi Gallery, My Vueling City has authored a review of The Stones’ London. “It’s only rock and roll but I like it!”

A Penchant for The Rolling Stones

Needless to say, The Rolling Stones are eternal. For most of us, they have always been there, periodically engaged in marathon tours and always releasing records with “made in Hollywood” premieres and no lack of pyrotechnics to boot. Much has been said about the longevity of the (now) quartet – whether they have had hemodialysis or made a pact with the devil. But, it matters little. What really matters is that they are undisputedly the most important band in the history of rock. That is why any event relating to them turns out to be a not-to-be-missed show. Which also applies to this exhibition, entitled Exhibitionism, which has been three years in the making and features over 500 artefacts associated with the group. It is a veritable mega-exhibition, closely meshed with the Rolling Stones’ geartrain and running on a heady budget – the whole setup has cost a trifling 5.7 million dollars!

Exhibitionism or Fetishism?

We’re not sure whether the title quite fits the nature of the exhibition. We were more forcefully struck by it fetishistic bent. At any rate, whether you’re a Stones fan or merely curious, the exhibition is well worth seeing. It is hosted in the Saatchi Gallery, a handsome mansion usually given over to modern art located in the illustrious district of Chelsea.

The exhibition traces the group’s career. In addition to artefacts, the various galleries also feature life-size replicas of the group’s dressing rooms, and even of the first flat they shared. There is also a reproduction of a recording studio from those times. You can live through a 3D experience of their concerts, too, based on a recording of the one they gave in Hyde Park in 2013. The exhibition layout adheres to the traditional museum plan, with countless objects – like old suits – of which the standout feature is the legendary white they wore at the Hyde Park concert held in July 1969 in memory of Brian Jones. And guitars, of course, are singled out as a special feature. Included is the hand-painted Gibson Les Paul which Richards played from 1966 to 1970. There are also films curated by Martin Scorsese, and unpublished recordings.

The Satanic Majesties’ London

While in London, we recommend you visit some of the group’s legendary venues. See how the band’s influence still resonates in the city.

1. The First Flat

Located in Chelsea itself, just a short walk from the Saatchi Gallery, is the first flat of the original core of The Rolling Stones, shared by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones. In 1962, three boys who dreamed of being as great as The Beatles lived there, at 102 Edith Grove.

2. Pub Bricklayers

Located in Soho, the Bricklayer Arms was a pub that hosted performances every night. It was located at 7 Broadwick Street and it was there that good old Charlie Watts joined the group. The drummer, who would never leave the band, was much older than the rest of them and was a seasoned player on the jazz circuit. The pub is now the record shop, Sounds of the Universe.

3. The Ealing Jazz Club

Inaugurated in January 1969, it soon became the headquarters of the best blues ever heard in London. It was here that the cream of British rock took their first steps, encompassing a whole generation of such standout figures as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend and Keith Moon. And it was here that Keith Richards and Mick Jagger first saw Brian Jones performing. That was a long time ago; specifically, on 7 April 1962. You will find it at 42A Ealing Broadway.

4. Regent Sounds and Legendary Denmark Street

Located in Soho, these legendary studios witnessed The Rolling Stones’ recording sessions in 1963, including the track, Not Fade Away, which catapulted them to fame in their early period. A stroll along Denmark Street is something of an experience. Nowadays you will come across countless musical instruments shops, on a street that dates from 1867 and still features some buildings from those times.

5. New Crawdaddy Club

The New Crawdaddy Club, in Richmond, opened in 1962. A year later, in February 1963, after their first concert, The Rolling Stones became the resident band, playing twice a week. It was at that time that they entered the hit parade in style with Come On, and the public response was so great that the bar had to move to larger premises. It is currently located on Harding Elms Road, Essex and, needless to say, still hosts good concerts.

6. Sticky Fingers

After the tough haul along the route studded with emblematic Stones venues, the time comes for building up one’s strength at an eatery which is practically a Rolling Stones museum. This is the Sticky Fingers Restaurant, owned by the former Stone, Bill Wyman, who was The Rolling Stones bassist from 1962 to 1993. We recommend the Bacon Burger: 170 g patty, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles, bacon and pickled mayonnaise, bathed in BBQ sauce and served with a pasta and coleslaw salad, four cheeses and croutons.

Stones rock is still alive in London. Come and discover it – check out our flights here.

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Images by Galería SaatchiRestaurante Sticky Fingers, Visit Britain, Ealing Jazz Club