Alex Emanuel, a lifelong Rolling Stones fan was left feeling like a rock star when he met his heroes while touring Exhibitionism – the first exhibition on The Rolling Stones held at London’s Saatchi Gallery until 4 September.
New Yorker Alex was genuinely shocked when he turned around after a tap on the arm to be met by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, whilst enjoying the Recording Gallery within the critically acclaimed, blockbuster exhibition.
As Alex exchanged handshakes and back slaps with his heroes, he said afterwards: “It’s going to sound silly but for a moment I thought I was a member of the Rolling Stones. It’s not every day you get to meet your idols.”
Musician Alex, who was in London for a once-in-a-lifetime trip added: “I said to Keith, I’m a bass player – let’s jam? And Keith said in his rasping voice, ‘Well alright, let’s jam’. I really think Keith was ready to play!”
Unlocking their vast archive, Exhibitionism is a Rolling Stones treasure trove, curated over 9 themed gallery spaces with 500 items from original stage costumes, rare instruments and lyric books, backstage and touring paraphernalia, album art, photography, stage designs, personal diaries and never before released audio and behind-the-scenes footage.
Celebrating the Stones’ artistic collaborations in music, art and design, fashion and film, Exhibitionism features original works on display from an array of artists as diverse as Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Dior, Ossie Clark, L’Wren Scott, David Bailey, Michael Cooper, Jeff Koons, Walton Ford, Shepard Fairey and Martin Scorsese to name a few.
Alex also visited many iconic Rolling Stones locations during his trip to London including Edith Grove, Chelsea where the band lived together, Regents Sounds in Denmark Street where they cut their first couple of albums, the 100 Club where they played an impromptu gig in 1982 and Olympic Studios where ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ was recorded.
Alex added: “Liverpool has The Beatles, Memphis has Elvis – The Rolling Stones are London. The Stones have been with me all my life so to visit Exhibitionism in London was fantastic. The show has given me a unique glimpse of the city through the eyes of The Rolling Stones.”
Thea Jeanes-Cochrane, Director of iEC (International Entertainment Consulting), the company behind Exhibitionism, said: “We’re thrilled to have made Alex’s dreams come true at Exhibitionism. The exhibition offers the most in-depth insight into The Rolling Stones and their incredible career. We’ve worked hard to create something utterly breath-taking and it’s very pleasing to see the fans reactions. Alex has obviously enjoyed every moment. Meeting the band was the ultimate icing on the cake!”
Alex was taken on the once-in-a-lifetime trip to London, after the city’s official tourism body, Visitlondon.com identified him as a genuine ‘super fan’ of the Rolling Stones.
In 2014 London’s live gigs attracted 6.6 million people around half of which were tourists. These 3.3 million visitors generated £663 million in total for the local economy, and helped sustain 4847 full-time jobs in the capital.
Chris Gottlieb, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at VisitLondon.com added: “Alex’s Rolling Stones tour of London shows how the city is steeped in the history of one of the world’s greatest rock bands.”
Tourism initiative Fans of London – devised by Visitlondon.com, which is supported by the GREAT Britain Campaign, British Airways and Hilton celebrates the blockbuster events across London this year including The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy, and the world’s first international exhibition on The Rolling Stones, Exhibitionism.
Exhibitionism is open now and runs until 4 September at London’s Saatchi Gallery. Tickets are available at stonesexhibitionism.com.
For the chance to win a trip to London go to www.visitlondon.com/fans