Alex Emanuel, a lifelong Rolling Stones fan, was left feeling like a rock star when he met his heroes while touring Exhibitionism - the first exhibition on The Rolling Stones held at London’s Saatchi Gallery until 4 September.
New Yorker Alex was genuinely shocked when he turned round after a tap on the arm to be met by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, whilst enjoying the Recording Gallery within the critically acclaimed, blockbuster exhibition.
As Alex exchanged handshakes and back slaps with his heroes, he said afterwards: “It’s going to sound silly but for a moment I thought I was a member of the Rolling Stones. It’s not every day you get to meet your idols.”
London is one of the most visited cities on earth with 17.4 international visitors coming to the capital in 2014. According to new research released today by London & Partners this will increase to nearly 22 million by 2020, a 25 per cent rise.
Unlocking their vast archive, Exhibitionism is a Rolling Stones treasure trove, curated over 9 themed gallery spaces with 500 items from original stage costumes, rare instruments and lyric books, backstage and touring paraphernalia, album art, photography, stage designs, personal diaries and never before released audio and behind-the-scenes footage.
Celebrating the Stones’ artistic collaborations in music, art and design, fashion and film, Exhibitionism features original works on display from an array of artists as diverse as Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Dior, Ossie Clark, L’Wren Scott, David Bailey, Michael Cooper, Jeff Koons, Walton Ford, Shepard Fairey and Martin Scorsese to name a few.
Alex also visited many iconic Rolling Stones locations during his trip to London including Edith Grove, Chelsea where the band lived together, Regents Sounds in Denmark Street where they cut their first couple of albums, the 100 Club where they played an impromptu gig in 1982 and Olympic Studios where ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ was recorded.
Alex added: “Liverpool has The Beatles, Memphis has Elvis – The Rolling Stones are London. The Stones have been with me all my life so to visit Exhibitionism in London was fantastic. The show has given me a unique glimpse of the city through the eyes of The Rolling Stones.”
Alex was taken on the once-in-a-lifetime trip to London, after the city’s official tourism body, Visitlondon.com identified him as a genuine ‘super fan’ of the Rolling Stones.
In 2014 London’s live gigs attracted 6.6 million people around half of which were tourists. These 3.3 million visitors generated £663 million in total for the local economy, and helped sustain 4847 full-time jobs in the capital.
Tourism initiative Fans of London – devised by Visitlondon.com, which is supported by the GREAT Britain Campaign, British Airways and Hilton celebrates the blockbuster events across London this year including The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy, and the world’s first international exhibition on The Rolling Stones, Exhibitioism.
Exhibitionism is open now and runs until 4 September at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Tickets are available at stonesexhibitionism.com.