PHOTO: The Rolling Stones attending the premiere of Exhibitionism. (photo courtesy of Exhibitionism — The Rolling Stones)
The Rolling Stone’s multi-media exhibition, “Exhibitionism,” rolls into Navy Pier for a dynamic showcase of the group’s legendary history.
Chicago fans are poised for an especially memorable experience because it was the Windy City’s blues heritage that influenced much of the British band’s early sound.
Set to open April 15 on the second floor of the Navy Pier Festival Hall, Terrace B, “Exhibitionism” focuses on the Rolling Stones influential fashion, design and music legacy, with a display of over 500 pieces from the band’s lengthy career. The show includes costumes, hand-written lyrics, diaries, letters, art and never before seen film and photos.
A screening theater and interactive recording studio will even present a 3D concert experience.
Chicago fans should be on the lookout for the recreation of Mick, Keith and Brian Jones' grungy Chelsea flat that they shared in 1962 and 1963. Among the dirty dishes and beer bottles, you’ll spot records by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and Willie Dixon.
The albums aren’t just there for effect; these were the musicians that the group listened to constantly as they formulated their own music. These were also musicians that recorded at Chess Records, Chicago’s legendary blues label where the Rolling Stones recorded their own first hit, “It’s All Over Now.
It’s important to remember that even the group’s name was inspired by a Muddy Waters song. Thus, when the Rolling Stones did their first U.S. tour in 1964, they were determined to make a pilgrimage to Chicago and Chess Records. The Stones recorded 14 tracks over two days there, and you can still see the intact studio at the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation, located in the Chess Records building on South Michigan Ave.
The Stones immortalized the studio with the instrumental “2120 South Michigan Avenue,” recorded during that session.
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Other Chicago-related artifacts include the 1978 Ebony Magazine wig ad that inspired the iconic artwork for the “Some Girls” album. Ebony Magazine is a noted African American publication that was headquartered in Chicago, not far from Chess Records.
Don’t miss the fanzine questionnaires where Mick and Keith list their favorite singers, such as Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed, another Chicago blues notable.
“Exhibitionism” runs through July 20, and tickets are available online.