It's Only Rock'n Roll
In 1975 Sykes was commissioned by the biggest Rock n' Roll band in the world to photograph the behind and on stage action of what was then the largest tour ever mounted, known as T.O.T.A - Tour of the Americas.
Christopher Simon Sykes was an unusual choice for this assignment, since he had never previously photographed Rock & Roll. The result was a refreshingly different selection of images, which have previously only been seen by intimates of Sykes, and the Stones close circle. For three months Syke's lived and toured with the Stones, hanging out with them in their hotel rooms, backstage and on their plane (The Starship).
"Arriving on the tour, which had already been in progress for ten days, in the middle of mid-America, in Milwaukee, Kansas, felt rather like my first day at school," remembers Sykes.
Syke's confidential yet objective vantage point is what makes these photographs extraordinary. He captures the intimacy of the relationships within the band and manages to transmit the electric atmosphere attendant in these groundbreaking concerts.
'The first time I covered a show, standing right in front of the stage, I found that afterwards I was stone deaf. I went out and bought some ear plugs, which I wore to the next show. When Lisa Robinson, the rock journalist covering the tour, saw me, she said "For God's sake, Christopher, don't let Mick see you wearing those!" Later that week she wrote in her column "Mick was wearing a pink satin jacket. Keith wore his customary leather trousers, Bill had a red shirt, Charlie sported a plain white T shirt, Ronnie was in red leather, and Christopher Sykes wore ear plugs."
"We are really excited by the exhibition", says Getty Images Gallery Director, Louise Garzcewska, "For me what is unique and exciting about this show are the backstage diary photographs, which offer a window into the ordinarily closed world of probably the greatest rock band of all time."
See the great samples from the exhibition:
The Getty Image Gallery
3 Jubilee Place
Phone +44 (0) 20 7376 4525.
For more Stones news see IORR 48 of July 2003!
It's Only Rock'n Roll 2003 -
© The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe