In advance of Saturday’s (Sept. 23) eagerly awaited the opening of the near five-month run of the Rolling Stones “Exhibitionism” display at the Palazzo there was a preview tour today (Sept. 20) for Vegas VIPs — and I’m included in the group! You’ll find the exhibit on the lower level of the Palazzo alongside the Emeril Lagasse Stadium restaurant bar sportsbook.
The Rolling Stones’ first-ever major exhibition, “Exhibitionism,” in Las Vegas follows its global premiere in London and its star-studded U.S. premiere in New York City. They all garnered rave reviews and drew huge crowds of music, art and fashion lovers. With its extraordinary permutations and illustrations of the rock group’s famous stuck-out tongue and lip logo, “Exhibitionism” is the largest touring experience of its kind ever to be staged, and the first time in history the band has unlocked its vast private archive exploring the very beginning of the history to its superstardom of today.
My pal, Adam Steck, founder and CEO of SPI Entertainment, who produces “Human Nature” at The Venetian, Mike Tyson at the MGM, Boyz II Men at The Mirage said: “Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie are some of the most iconic and beloved figures in music history. Being a long time lover of rock ‘n’ roll, I couldn’t be more pleased to be the official marketing partner and local Las Vegas producer of “Exhibitionism.” We are thrilled to bring this world-class exhibit to Las Vegas, showcasing the most influential rock ‘n’ roll band in the world in the Entertainment Capital of the World.”
Lisa Marchese, chief marketing officer of The Venetian and Palazzo added: “The Rolling Stones exhibit is a once-in-a-lifetime, immersive experience that tells the story of the most influential rock band in the world. Hosting ‘Exhibitionism’ in the very heart of the Palazzo and Las Vegas is a great fit and we know our guests will be as excited about this exhibit as we are.”
The exhibit includes 500 rare artifacts and memorabilia spanning the band’s 54-year career and continued influence on fashion, film and art. It’s the story of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll band in history, allowing visitors to experience first-hand their incredible journey from early days living together under near-starvation conditions in a tiny flat to headlining the biggest stages in the world. “Exhibitionism” continues the Stones’ proud tradition of groundbreaking innovation combined with the highest production values and had the full participation of Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie.
From their most cherished instruments, onstage and offstage clothes, valuable works of art and handwritten lyric books to personal diaries, recordings, unseen film and photos, a screening cinema and interactive recording studio that all culminate in an exciting and powerful backstage-to-onstage 3D concert experience.
“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 said. “It’s not going to be like walking into a museum. It’s going to be an event, an experience. It’s about a sense of The Rolling Stones — it’s something we want people to go away talking about it.”
“While this is about The Rolling Stones, it’s not necessarily only just about us,” Keith said. “It’s also about all the paraphernalia and technology associated with a group like us — and it’s this — as well as the instruments that have passed through our hands over the years, that should make the exhibition unforgettable.”
Over the past 50 years, The Rolling Stones became, and have remained, one of the most culturally important acts in history. From the daring white dress worn by Mick Jagger in 1969, to the seminal “Sticky Fingers” (1971) album cover to their iconic tongue and lips logo, up to their chart-topping latest album “Blue and Lonesome” released last December the Rolling Stones have continued to break the boundaries of cultural norms throughout their incredible career.
The original works of key collaborators who helped to make the band not just musical but cultural icons are also on display, including Andy Warhol, John Pasche, who designed the band’s iconic tongue logo, fashion designers Ossie Clark and Alexander McQueen, artist Shepard Fairey, producer Don Was, and film director Martin Scorsese.
“Exhibitionism” gives visitors a look back at the high points of the band’s career through a new film, with a high-octane soundtrack. It then steps back into the early days, to an amazing re-creation of the Edith Grove flat that Mick, Keith and Brian shared in 1962. The flat was located just off the King’s Road in London’s Chelsea neighborhood.
“ ‘Exhibitionism’ is a celebration and thematic exploration of the creative life of a band that has managed both to stay current and stay true to its artistic vision for more than half a century,” said Ileen Gallagher, curator. “This was such a unique opportunity to collaborate with the band and get their insights into the project. The quotes on the wall and all of the text in the exhibition are in the voice of the band or people who work very closely with them. You’re actually having the band tell you what happened at the time.”
There is a re-creation of a Stones’ recording studio complete with their original instruments, plus a “backstage” area to give fans a sense of what it truly feels like just before the band heads out onstage. A guitar gallery brings together examples of some of Keith, Ronnie and Mick’s prized instruments, including a rosewood Fender Telecaster and a Maton that Keith played on “Let It Bleed,” which famously disintegrated as he reached the final notes of “Gimme Shelter.”
Other unique items include the cassette player on which Keith famously sketched out the idea for “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” just before falling asleep in a Florida motel room; Mick’s lyric book, which features the handwritten words for “Miss You,” “Hey Negrita” and “Worried About You;” Keith’s 1963 diary, and the toy drum kit that Charlie used in the recording of “Street Fighting Man.”
Britain’s prestigious Daily Telegraph hailed it: “The most magnificent multisensory barrage of Stones’ stuff’ you’re ever likely to encounter.” The Guardian exclaimed it as “genuinely jaw-dropping” with London’s Daily Mail adding: “The most comprehensive and immersive insight into the band’s fascinating 50-year history.” Here Billboard magazine raved: “ ‘Exhibitionism’ is an enthralling look at decades of rock history that even diehards can learn from!” and People commented: “The exhibit is the closest you’ll get to hanging out with the band at key moments in their history.”