BUREAU MUSIC : THE ROLLING STONES
Art, Music and The Rolling Stones
by Joshua A. TRILIEGI
It has been over thirty-five years since I first experienced The Rolling Stones
perform live. I was ten years old. It was Nineteen-seventy five and our entire
family attended. Mom, Dad, older brother, older sister and me. Even back then,
I was the artist of the family. So it was my job to paint the famous " Lips and
Mouth " logo originally created in 1970 by fellow artist John Pasche. Later, Peter
Corriston would go on to design The controversial Some Girls album art as well
as Tattoo You. Some Girls led to law suits. I have a copy of the original with
celebrities that have since been blacked out. There has always been a very special
relationship between art and music. The Rolling Stones have known very well
through their personal relationships with interesting artists of their time how
art and music intersect. From the fabulous photography of Michael Joseph on
Beggars Banquet, which opens up into a centerfold like layout of a 17th Century
painter to Sticky Fingers and the infamous Zipper and banana by Andy Warhol.
Robert Frank's documentary and photographs used on Exile on Main Street with
the help of John Van Hammerveld 's design layout were striking and poignant.
There is a raw and honest intensity within the ethos of The Rolling Stones. An
attitude and raunchy style that says, ' Hey man, this is the way it is, this is
Rock and Roll. This is what life is like. This is who we are. Mellow out and listen "
Experiencing The Rolling Stones at ten years old in a live venue with thousands
of people and my family was a trans formative experience. A Ritual of the highest
order. While my friends were at home watching The Brady Bunch and The Partridge
Family, I was watching Mick Jagger dance down a star shaped stage as the conical
shape slowly lowered one petal at a time. " Please allow me to introduce myself,
I'm a man of wealth and fame..." Drums, guitar and that bongo like rhythm
leading into a raging histrionics explaining what had just happened to America
since the death of JFK and the loss of innocence that hovered above our existence,
unexplainable except through music, poetry and the like. He swung from a rope
high above our heads.He threw buckets of water on the first few rows. He danced
astride a plastic inflated erectile shaped instrument that exuded confetti from its
pointed top. Mindblowing. Of course he needed no introduction, we had grown up
listening to the Stones, glowering over the albums and remembering the lyrics.
From the early simple blues influenced love ballads into the post sixties dark tales
and on into the seventies rock.Through to The Eighties, Steel Wheels, etc ...
Album covers, album liners, T shirts and memorabilia plays a large part in Rock
and Roll.The images that will forever be connected to the music and visa versa.
I have designed a few album Covers for musician friends and it's always a special
sort of assignment. What will represent the music ? Images and sound wedded to
tell a larger story. As we drove to the forum that evening, people began to beep
their horns at the artwork on the back window. My parents had proudly taped my
version to the back of the vehicle. When people began to react, I was surprised.
For me it was just a personal expression, something fun to do, be a part of the
scene. For others it was something altogether different. We were all a part of
something. We were a family of Rock and Rollers and people wanted us to know,
that they too were heading to this ritual. That it was a community and we were
all connected through the music. We were connected in this counter culture experience.
It was the first time I realized the power of Art and Music and Ritual and
Community in a way that changed my entire perception.I sometimes wonder
how many other ten year old were at that concert ? Not too many. How many
entire families attended ? Not too many. My old man insisted that we all attend.
He is no longer on the planet. But every time The Rolling Stones are being played,
he's here all right. He even slightly resembled Jagger and to be honest, Mom
resembled Bianca. We sorta were The Rolling Stones. Music has a way of enlivening
memories, history, loss, joy, energy, rebellion and the acceptance of the moment.
Music is life. In a way, Mick Jagger is my old man, he's still alive. Still Rocking and
Rolling. Still kicking and screaming. Still selling a million albums and reminding us
how far we have all come after all these years. The Rolling Stones tell a story of
America that is highly influenced by Black America, The Blues, The Working man,
The Bikers, The Lovers, The Outsiders, The Struggles. Its a beautiful tradition,
Rock and Roll. With a new Documentary on HBO, " Crossfire Hurricane " as well as
a new album and a Tour of America,The Rolling Stones are gathering no moss.
There is a whole new generation about to discover the Stones. They have kept
rock and roll alive. I still get teased from my family for passing out three quarters
of the way through the concert. That was way past my bedtime. The next day my
friends at school were talking about Fred Flintstones and George Jetson, while I
was singing , " Wild Horses " , " Angie " and " Satisfaction". Oh well.
The other day, I heard a radio D.J. say , " This is a new song by The Rolling Stones."
Its about time. I turned it up. It was good. Life is good. Rock and Roll is good.
For Links to Other Artists connected to The Rolling Stones Art, Albums etc ...
Also Google : Andy Warhol, Peter Corriston, Robert Brownjohn,
Robert Frank, John Pasche, Shepard Fairey, Ethan Russel,
Hiro, Annie Leibovitz, Gared Mankowitz, JohnVanHammerfeld
AND The San Francisco Art Exchange Gallery for Photographs