When you’ve been around as long as the Rolling Stones have (carbon dating may be the best way to determine this), you’re allowed such extravagances as a career-spanning multimedia retrospective of your rather prodigious body of work. Without question, the band is one of the definitive parts of our pop culture — we’ll leave the Beatles or Stones debate for another time.
The band opened up Exhibitionism in New York City last week following its London run, and it will run in the Big Apple through March 12, 2017. Located at the Industria in the West Village, this massive Stones-fest has over 500 rare and personal Stones items, spread across different galleries such as fashion, film, recordings, and art. Makes sense when you think about it, as the band has always been at the forefront of such things, whether it’s their iconic logo and album covers, or their ahead-of-their-time stylistic stadium tour set designs.
A highlight of the exhibition is a digital mixing board. According to Billboard Magazine, you can fiddle around with various Stones songs, turning up the Bill Wyman bass here or lowering the Charlie Watts drums there. So you weren’t in love with that particular Keith Richards rhythm guitar riff? Don your producer’s hat and take it out! We’re sure that Keith won’t mind at this point.
You get an in-depth look at the history of the band from all angles. Indeed, it sounds like even they didn’t quite know what they had going in the early stages. Billboard mentions this exchange with the late Brian Jones in an early 1960s fanbook:
Q: Any big ambition for the Stones?
A: I’d love us to do well in the United States. Visiting there is a gas of an idea and it’d be marvelous to have a hit record in a country which has produced so many greats.
It ended up as a gas-gas-gas of an idea, no doubt. And yeah, the band did go on to have a couple of hits. They’re not resting on their laurels, either. A new blues album is due in just a couple of weeks. The Stones’ effect on contemporary culture is undeniable, but as the song goes, it’s only rock ‘n roll, right? Tickets are available here.