The Rolling Stones have been cranking out heart pounding, soul lifting rock ‘n roll for 50 years. Can you believe it! The band put together a traveling collection of their history entitled Exhibitionism The Rolling Stones to mark this momentous anniversary, This amazing exhibit rolled out in London, made its way through New York City, and it is now open in Chicago at Navy Pier. You can catch it there until the end of July 2017. Tickets for adults start at $35, and there are discounted tickets for children, seniors, and military.
I checked out Exhibitionism The Rolling Stones as soon as it opened over Easter weekend and I loved it. This exhibit is huge, so I recommend
that you do not rush through. Whether you are a fan of the band, a lover of rock ‘n roll or just a pop culture geek, you will find this collection of memorabilia fascinating. It’s the perfect way to spend a couple of hours solo in Chicago. I felt like I was revisiting the soundtrack of my youth!
There are over 500 items included in Exhibitionism including, original band members’ instruments, fashion, original drawings of album art, original mock-ups for the iconic tongue logo for The Rolling Stones, journals belonging to Keith Richards, a Martin Scorcese documentary about the band and much more.
Exhibitionism The Rolling Stones – 50 years and still going strong!
Many bands who have stayed together throughout several decades were clever enough to take the time to film their journeys from the hungry years to the present. Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty have some amazing documentaries that are perfect for cold, rainy days on the sofa. However, The Rolling Stones have outdone themselves with this vast collection of memories which they saved over the last 50 years. It takes up 9 galleries within Festival Hall B at Navy Pier.
There are entire walls at Exhibitionism dedicated to Keith Richards’ guitars. He was quite the collector. Check out this hand-painted 1957 Gipson Les Paul which Keith embellished one day.
I could not take my eyes off of Charlie Watts’ 1965 drum kit, a Ludwig (sky blue pearl). What a beauty!
Early London Flat
As you might imagine, The Rolling Stones lived like typical 20-year-old men back in the early days as evidenced by how charming (wink, wink) they kept one of their earliest flats.
Early Recording Studio Replica
Iconic Tongue Logo
Make sure you pay careful attention to the history and branding of the iconic tongue logo which has become synonymous with The Rolling Stones.
The team which put the fashion component of Exhibitionism together deserves a special round of applause. There are feathers, jumpsuits, hats and enough colors to bring out the psychedelic parts of your brain.
Amazing threads, right?!
When you visit Exhibitionism you will see plenty of memorabilia related to concert staging for the Bridges to Babylon Tour from 1997-1998. There are drawings and mock-ups for that stage which deserve a closer look.
Lyrics and Journals
Evidently, Keith Richards was very good at keeping log books of song lyrics and the band’s journeys.
I had so much fun looking at all the different art concepts for The Rolling Stones album covers, photography and magazine covers that they graced.
Film and MTV
The Rolling Stones were no stranger to film or MTV. There are special rooms where you can watch a Martin Scorcese documentary and music videos which feature the band.
The Rolling Stones, Chicago Blues, and Chess Records
All good music aficionados know that The Rolling Stones were heavily influenced by Chicago blues music and they helped introduce the rest of the world to that genre and sound. The band recorded at the famous Chess Records Studios along Chicago’s Motor Row on Michigan Avenue. There these young rock and roll legends met their blues heroes, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and others. Chess Records has been renamed Blues Heaven Foundation and it is open for tours.
Sound Mixing Desks
A really fun addition to Exhibitionism The Rolling Stones is the room with mixing stations. Belly up to a mixing station, don the headset and start mixing your favorite tunes.
Exhibitionism The Rolling Stones ends with a fun 3-D concert (Yes, you can dance!) and a gift shop with extensive merchandising for purchase. Learn more about the exhibit and how to purchase tickets before this badass show ends on July 30th!
What are some of your favorite songs or moments by The Rolling Stones?
ROAM. REVEL. REPEAT.