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July, 1

The Rolling Stones announce biggest ever touring rock exhibition with Saatchi Gallery

The Rolling Stones should have been put in a museum years ago, according to some. But now the veteran rockers are to take over the Saatchi Gallery to stage the first ever major exhibition devoted to their storied career.

More than 500 artefacts from the band’s personal archives, including costumes, personal correspondence and unseen video clips, will be displayed at the exhibition which the band has designed to match the epic production values of their stadium shows.

Exhibitionism, described as “the most comprehensive and immersive insight into the world’s Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band”, will open next April, taking over nine themed galleries, spread across two floors at the Chelsea gallery.

Designed as an interactive tour, the exhibition, which includes the band’s famous stagewear, rare audio tracks, guitars and other instruments, cinematic presentations, artwork and personal diaries, will trace the band’s 52-year career.

The band members spent three years planning the show, which features collaborative work with writers, designers and film-makers such as Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Tom Stoppard and Martin Scorsese.

Described by a source as “ten times the size of David Bowie’s V&A exhibition and twenty times bigger than the Elvis show currently at the O2”, the Stones exhibition will continue to tour the world long-after the 71 year-old Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are finally forced off the road.

After three months in London, Exhibitionism will embark on an initial four-year world tour, taking in 11 cities including New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo.

Sir Mick Jagger said: “We've been thinking about it for quite a long time but wanted it to be just right and on a large scale just like planning our touring concert productions. I think right now, it’s an interesting time to do it.”

Keith Richards said: “While this is about The Rolling Stones, it's not necessarily just about the members of the band. It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a band like us, as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years that will make the exhibition really interesting.”

The band chose the Chelsea location because it was close to the Edith Grove flat which Brian Jones, Jagger and Richards shared in 1962. An electric dulcimer played by Jones will be included in the show, which will embrace all facets of the band’s career, including the disastrous Altamont free concert in 1969 at which the murder of a fan was caught on camera.

Ronnie Wood said: “The scene was great down the King’s Road in the 1960’s. That was where you went to hang out a watch the fashions go by. So it is appropriate that our ‘Exhibitionism’ will be housed at the wonderful Saatchi Gallery.”

Charlie Watts added: “It’s hard to believe that it's more than fifty years since we began and it is wonderful to look back to the start and bring everything up to date at this exhibition.”

The exhibition will start with an introductory ‘Experience’, giving visitors a look back at the high points of the band’s career through a new film.

Tickets will be cheaper than front row seats for the Stones current US tour. Prices begin at £15 but will rise for “premium” viewing times, such as Saturday afternoons. The band will attend a red-carpet “premiere” opening of the Saatchi exhibition on April 5, 2016.

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