Rolling Stones celebrate half a century

2012-07-12 22:17
London - The Rolling Stones launched a photographic exhibition on Thursday to mark 50 years since their first gig.

Members of the group, which has sold 200 million albums worldwide, were due to walk down the red carpet at London's Somerset House to officially open an exhibition of photos of the band's career.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones first played at The Marquee Club in London on 12 July 1962. This was first time they performed under the band name which would change the landscape of pop music forever.

The exhibition features more than 70 photographs, some of which are rare or have never been seen before. There are photos of the band's concerts but also more intimate, behind-the-scenes pictures.

With rumours of a tour to celebrate the band's golden anniversary swirling for a number of years, Richards said they have met up for "a couple of rehearsals" recently for the first time in five years.

"There's things in the works, there's nothing so final that I could say," he told the BBC in an interview filmed at the exhibition.

"We're playing around with the idea and we've had a couple of rehearsals. We got together lately, and it feels so good. I think soon, I think it's definitely happening, but when, I can't say yet."

One live concert this year

The band's continued popularity, even though they are now pensioners aged in their sixties and seventies, is shown by the flurry of speculation about whether or not they would mark the anniversary with a gig.

Rolling Stone magazine - named after the same blues song which gave the band its name - reported last month that Jagger, Richards and their bandmates were considering at least one live concert this year to mark the anniversary.

Lead singer Jagger took to Twitter recently to deny that the band would stage a show to mark the London Olympics, which get under way on 27 July.

"We are not playing the Olympics, but I'm looking forward to watching the Games like everyone else!" he wrote last month.

The band has also denied recent reports that they will play one last concert together at next year's Glastonbury Festival, with a statement saying the date was "not in our plans".

A new documentary covering the history of the band from that first concert to the present day is also being showcased in September.