The Bent Rej Book: The Rolling Stones In The Beginning

From March 1965 to May 1966, Danish photographer, Bent Rej, enjoyed unique access to the Rolling Stones, becoming one of the band’s trusted inner circle of friends and associated, and accompanying them on their first full European outing: the Rolling Stones Satisfaction tour.

Society saw them as unwashed and unkempt, and while they were far from unknown in 1965, the Rolling Stones were not yet the greatest rock and roll band in the world. Having already sent shockwaves through Britain and the United States, the Rolling Stones were about to do the same in Europe.

Bent Rej’s extraordinary photography captures this critical moment onstage, backstage, in private, and in public; it shows the Rolling Stones as young men very definitely on a mission. From being shocked by the Rolling Stones the world was about to be awed by the Rolling Stones – and life was never going to be the same again.

This extraordinary book presents Bent’s collection of intimate photographs of the Rolling Stones, and reveals a unique moment in the history of rock. Revelling in the first fruits of popular success (many of the photographs show the Rolling Stones in their first homes), they are nevertheless unaware of what the future will hold.

Only Mick Jagger begins to pose self-consciously in front of the lens, and it is only with hindsight that we realise that at this point the Rolling Stones are perched on the edge of the heights – or abyss – of superstardom.

Published August 2006

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