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Cool Rolling Stones photo exhibit in San Francisco

Classic band captured in candid shots

Keith Richards with a very young Jake Weber (Weber now stars on the hit TV show, Medium)

I'm a huge Stones fan, having seen countless stadium shows over the past 15 years. I'm also a huge fan of the documentary film Gimme Shelter, which follows the Stones on their 1969 concert tour, which ended badly (at least for some), when a Vallejo man was stabbed to death by Hell's Angels at a free concert at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore. Gimme Shelter is a must-see, particulalry fascinating from my perspective because the free concert at Altamont occurred when I was something like 14 days old, living in Lafayette. I always tell people, "I was going to go...but couldn't get a ride."

Anyway, the Stones are a treasure trove of rock history, which brings me to a fantastic photography exhibit that kicks off this weekend in San Francisco. Check out the press release below:

As much as they are ultimate music legends, the Rolling Stones are remarkable visual icons. Individually and collectively, they’re among the most-photographed personalities in the world, with many indelible images informing our pop culture consciousness. In July, San Francisco Art Exchange builds on this legacy with an unprecedented exhibition that pulls off the rare feat of introducing a wealth of rare and previously unseen images of the band and their inner circle. Taken by two world class photographers who were also Stones insiders themselves, the works do not have the feel of celebrity shots, but rather are intimate glimpses into extraordinary lives where the subjects just happen to be very famous.

Beggars To Exiles: Unseen Photographs of The Rolling Stones, 1966-1971 spotlights the work of the late Michael Cooper (who committed suicide in ’73) and Dominque Tarle, and marks the debut U.S. exhibition for each. Cooper, a close friend of Keith Richards, chronicled the Stones in their historic late ’60s hey-day as Chelsea-scene royalty, in the years surrounding Beggars Banquet’s release. The International Herald Tribute called Cooper, “the photographic Boswell of swinging London.”  The work of France’s Dominique Tarle captures the Stones during the era of another masterpiece, Exile On Main Street. Tarle was ensconced with the band and their entourage at the Villa Nellcote – which Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg had rented – on the Cote D’Azur in the summer of ’71 as they recorded the landmark album. His images shine new light on one of the most storied episodes in the Stones’ venerable career.

Beggars To Exiles: Unseen Photographs of The Rolling Stones, 1966-1971 opens at San Francisco Art Exchange on Saturday, July 12. Dominique Tarle will be in attendance, as will actor Jake Weber, star of NBC-TV’s long-running series Medium.  Weber is seen as a young boy in a number of Tarle’s images – he and his brother were at Nellcôte throughout the summer of ’71 with their father Tommy Weber, then a Stones insider. The exhibition will be the first time Tarle and Weber have seen each other since 1972.

More photos and information here