CLEVELAND — Over the years, curators at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum have occasionally had trouble coaxing reluctant stars to help put together major exhibitions. Not so with members of The Rolling Stones, who made time in their packed anniversary schedule to help.
“Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction,” opening today and running through March, 2014, covers two floors at the museum and contains scores of personal items.
“The timing was right,” associate curator Craig Inciardi said. “Ordinarily, you would think that working on an exhibit while the artists are getting ready for a major tour would be a bad thing. In this case, it worked to our advantage in that they were all getting together, spending time making decisions in the same room. ... We ended up getting their full cooperation.”
The interactive exhibit honoring Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the band’s other members is a tribute to their work, worldwide musical impact and continued relevance.
It’s more than a celebration. In fact, it’s a gas.
With nearly 300 artifacts on display, the exhibit chronicles the band from its birth in England as a blues cover band to its current “50 and Counting” tour. Rare guitars, stage outfits, concert posters, documents and personal items fill two floors.
After stepping through a doorway framed like the Stones’ iconic tongue-and-lips logo — omnipresent in various shapes and sizes on the museum’s fifth and sixth floors — visitors are taken back to the band’s early days, even before founder Brian Jones, Jagger, Richards, Ian Stewart, Mick Taylor and Charlie Watts played their first gig.
There are gems of Stones’ history interspersed throughout the exhibit. Impeccably mounted behind glass, the treasure trove of items includes:
Fan questionnaires filled out in the early 1960s by the band. On his, Jagger listed his likes as “girls, eating, clothes” and dislikes as “intolerant people, having my hair cut.”
A silver serving tray the band “allegedly” stole from Station Hotel.
Jones’ custom Vox teardrop guitar and Ronnie Wood’s Zemaitis electric six-string, which has personalized etchings carved into the silver facing.
Jagger’s floor-length cape stitched out of U.S. and British flags that he wore on the 1981-82 tour.