Navy Pier always has something interesting going on and for 4 months starting April 15th, and continuing through July 30th, the largest touring exhibition ever of its kind will be held on the second floor, in Festival Hall B. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones themselves have fully supported Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones, an Interactive Journey into the touring life of one of the most influential rock bands in the world.

I received the wonderful opportunity to preview Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones before it opened. Let me tell you, I am a HUGE music fan, as well as a music professional; a Top-5 Billboard Charting recording engineer, mix engineer and mixer, musician, songwriter, and Writer/Reviewer/Interviewer/Photographer for CMM, and even though I am personally and admittedly more a fan of Pink Floyd than the Rolling Stones, this exhibit is top notch.

Complete with over 500 artifacts from the continuing 50 year lifespan of this amazing band, there is something for every music fan.  If you like art, then you will be quite amazed at the original first drafts of many of the controversial album covers such as “Sticky Fingers” and Andy Warhol originals that hang on the walls. All and all over 190 works of art are presented.

I’ve always had a notion, but was not aware, of how chic the Stones were. After laying eyes on the wardrobe used for concerts and photo opportunities, I think it plainly clear why they are one of the greatest shows in the world.  I can imagine myself in those form fitting outfits, strutting on stage in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans, but I digress.. And those set designs.. Wow.  As a child of the 80’s and attending my first concerts in the 90’s, I wonder what it must have been like to attend a show like that in the ‘70s.

While traversing through the visual landscape, I ran into Jerry Mickelson, founder of Jam Productions and also the person responsible for the tours from ’78 and on. Mr. Mickelson had this to say about where the archive exists. “They have warehouses across the globe where they keep the artifacts, but it’s all here for you to see.  I mean, Keith’s diary from 1963 or lyrics written by Mick or the guitars that are here or the clothing and these posters and the stage design. I mean, the Warhols. It’s just crazy.”

I also had an opportunity to meet Rolling Stones photographer Paul Natkin, who when asked what his favorite part of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones had this to say, “I think just seeing how they have changed over the years, how they have grown up, so to speak.  It’s pretty amazing to see them from 50 years ago and know them today because they are totally different people…but they are the same.”

Even though the show was still under construction while I visited, for myself, seeing the real journals and original lyric sheets was enough to be placed in a state of awe. To this I would give Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones a 5 out of 5 star rating and with the 3-D concerts and interactive mixing room, I may have to just come back a second time!

PHOTOS
(from left to right) Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger at Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones promo photo courtesy of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones

(from left to right) Ronnie Woods, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts) at Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones promo photo courtesy of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones

(from left to right) Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood photo courtesy of Paul Natkin

View of an Early Rolling Stones Recording Studio showcased during Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones photo credit Joseph Connors

View of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones photo courtesy of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones

View of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones photo courtesy of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones

View of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones photo courtesy of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones

View of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones photo courtesy of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones