The unseen Sixties: Jagger's eyes & other tales
John 'Hoppy' Hopkins captured the spirit of the swinging decade and its soon-to-be superstars. His images go on show this week
Sunday 14 June 2009
The pouting lips were about to become legendary; the rock-star pose instantly familiar; and the screaming girls de rigueur. Taken when Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones were poised to go stellar, these previously unseen shots show a band on the brink of international stardom, and offer fresh insight into the character of the now famous frontman.
The photos show the Stones playing alongside the blues legend John Lee Hooker at an all-night gig at Alexandra Palace, just two months after the Rolling Stones released their eponymous debut album in 1964.
"Jagger had old eyes in a young face," said John Hopkins, the photojournalist who took the shots. "A part of him was always holding back, looking at what was going on from a distance. He was quite strategic and business-like."
As a photojournalist for The Times and the weekly Melody Maker, Hopkins worked with many stars of the era, such as the Beatles and Marianne Faithfull. "Photographing the Stones before lunch was quite funny too, they had to hold each other up," he said.
The shots will be displayed alongside images of Hooker, the Beatles, and 1960s London at an exhibition of Hopkins's work – "Hoppy: Against Tyranny, Talking About a Revolutionary" – from Thursday, at the Idea Generation Gallery in London.
"To get shots of the Stones around the time of their first album, playing with Johnny Lee Hooker – one of their idols – is amazing," said Andrew Greene of RollingStone magazine. "There aren't many photos of them around at that time, as there just wasn't much press coverage of the scene."
While music experts believe that the shots of swinging London – from pictures of the Stones to unknown couples wandering in city locations – are of cultural and historic importance, their monetary value is unknown.
"Curators and buyers dictate the price of pictures, but images accumulate meaning as more people appreciate them. I didn't think in the 1950s and 1960s that what I was doing would turn out to be historic documents," Hopkins said.
Hoppy: Against Tyranny is at Idea Generation Gallery, London, 19 June-19 July. www.ideageneration.co.uk
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food