The Rolling Stones have been the subjects of numerous photo exhibits through the years, but never one quite like a new one in Los Angeles. Unpublished photos that turned up at an L.A. flea market are on display at the Dilettante Gallery through October 26th, though the photographer is currently unknown.
The photos were acquired by musician Lauren White, the exhibit’s co-curator, at a flea market in Saugus, California through a random interaction with a vendor.
“Basically, a guy who runs one of the stands called me over because I ‘looked like I would like rock ‘n’ roll’ – and he was right…” White told the website Cool Hunting. “He obviously didn’t know what he had. To tell the truth, I didn’t either. I obviously knew it was the Stones, but it took about a week of looking them over to realize that this was really a very unique circumstance. After extensive research, I came to find that these are unpublished, never-before-seen photos of one of the most legendary bands in rock ‘n’ roll history. Not only that, they are beautifully composed, candid, raw and perfect in every way. They really convey a band innocent to their destiny.”
The 23 shots indeed show the Stones in their earliest incarnation, on a road trip through Georgia and Florida in 1965. Members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Ian Stewart look surprisingly vulnerable in the candid shots – an attribute White believes comes from the photographer being a female.
“In a lot of the images, the guys are looking directly into the lens,” White says. “It’s hard to get boys to be that vulnerable, especially in front of a camera. They are also sort of showing off. I think a girl is the only thing that could convince them to allow those kinds of shots.”
The photographer behind the shots is, of course, unknown, but White and her co-curator have reached out to former Stones management in an attempt to figure out who is behind the shots.
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local; photos courtesy of Dilettante Gallery