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Fans invited to experience The Rolling Stones' 'rich tapestry of history' at London's Saatchi Gallery

The Rolling Stones have taken over London's Saatchi Gallery, with fans invited to go behind the scenes of one of the world's most enduring rock bands.

Nine galleries across two floors have been painted black for Exhibitionism, housing more than 500 unseen artefacts from the Stones’ personal archive.

It opens to the public today.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

For Tony Cochrane, the brainchild of the exhibition, it represents a chance to enjoy ‘a rich tapestry’ of memories and history.

“I think putting the exhibition together has been emotional for them (the Stones),” he said.

“It is tremendous to look at this rich tapestry of history that only The Rolling Stones can create.”

“It is tremendous to look at this rich tapestry of history that only The Rolling Stones can create.” Tony Cochrane.

Dartford certainly plays its part at Exhibitionism, as it well should. There are pictures of a three year old Jagger at his Brent Lane home in 1946 and as a young pupil at Wentworth Primary School.

The Edith Grove Gallery also houses stories of the band’s early years together, including the famous reunion at Dartford station, and recreates life in their first flat right down to atrocious smell.

Also on display are some of Jagger and Richard’s earliest notebooks and brainstorms, which showcases the instant fusion that made them so successful. Richards describes their musical bond as ‘incredible’.

The Rolling Stones, (left to right) Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts

The Rolling Stones, (left to right) Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts

“Recording was always experimentation, that is what I love about it,” he says.

“It is that interaction in the studio with the guys — the band, producers, engineers — saying, ‘What do you mean you can’t do that? Come on! Let’s figure a way of doing it!’

“That’s the fun of recording, for me.”

“We’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time but we wanted it to be just right and on a large scale." Mick Jagger.

Guitars make up a huge proportion of the items on show, with dozens upon dozens of Les Pauls and Gibsons lining the walls, and enough original and replica outfits to fill a walk in wardrobe 100 times over.

Many of the getups displayed were worn by Sir Mick, who is excited to see the exhibition finally open after more than three years of planning.

“We’ve been thinking about this for quite a long time but we wanted it to be just right and on a large scale,” he said.

“The process has been like planning our touring concert productions and I think that right now it’s an interesting time to do it.”

Stones producer Don Was says the key to their success is ‘huge personality and charisma’, and the Saatchi Gallery now has both in spades.

Exhibitionism is open until September 4 and tickets are on sale at stonesexhibitionism.com.

For full coverage of our visit to the exhibition, pick up Thursday's Dartford Messenger.

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