Saturday, 9 April 2016

Exhibitionism; The Rolling Stones at The Saatchi Gallery.

This is a non-review review because I won't be going to 'Exhibitionism' (sponsored by DHL, of course) The Rolling Stones exhibition which will be taking up two floors of The Saatchi Gallery until September.

It's going to be a collection of memorabilia, photos, diaries, instruments and videos - the kind of thing any fan would die for.

Luckily, it won't be necessary for any fans to make the ultimate sacrifice; you just have to pay a lot of money (with an extra booking fee on top).

Here's the pricelist although you can save £2 a ticket by going during the week;

Friday to Sunday and Bank HolidaysAdult: £21.00Junior: £15.00 (Children under 6 years are free)Concessions: £19.00 (valid for disabled visitors and their helpers, full time students and over 60's) Family Ticket: £55.00 (this comprises for either 2 adults + 2 children or one adult + 3 children)

There is a booking fee of £3.25 per ticket for phone and £3.00 for online orders. There is a £1.50 per ticket box office fee when buying in person at the box office. 

You have to pay an extra £1-50p a ticket if you turn up at the Box Office?

What's a Box Office for?

It's going to be a blockbuster and maybe it will travel the world for them too.

I think it will make them a fortune.

The thing is, Mick Jagger is estimated to be worth somewhere between £200 million and £300million and the canny Keith Richards is probably not very far behind.

Last year, one of Jaggers girlfriends committed suicide and she left him a further $9 million in her will, just in case he might get short of cash.

I would have thought they could have put on a simpler, cheaper exhibition as a 'thank you' to their loyal fans who have given them such a nice living over the years instead of screwing another payday out of them.

Their attitude to money is legendary and never more brazen than in the case of 'The Verve's' 1997 mega-hit 'Bittersweet Symphony' which is still constantly used as a theme tune for football games and advertisements.

It also won Richards and Jagger a Grammy nomination for 'Song of the year', and they had nothing to do with it.

The story behind this is that The Verve sampled an incidental riff from 'The Last Time', for their own song. They obtained permission beforehand and negotiated a suitable fee, acceptable to the industry, which would have gone to Richards and Jagger as composers.

The problem was that they had actually sampled an instrumental arrangement of the same riff from another album and the arranger David Whittaker had no composers rights himself. So despite the actual deal that had been made(and the agreed royalties) Jagger and the publishers could kill the record before it was released.

They had 'The Verve' over a barrel and forced the lyricist
Richard Ashcroft to sell his rights for a token amount with the result that the sole credits went to Richards and Jagger and the sole publishing rights to ABCKO, their publishing company.

Richards and Jagger got a massive pay out from a worldwide hit, and sold the rights to any advertiser they could find.

Whitaker (the actual arranger) got nothing while Ashcroft got a tiny token buyout so that it looked as though he was happy with the deal and couldn't sue afterwards.

And now they want their fans to pay a fortune to look at their memorabilia?

I was never a Stones fan although I like their early work when the brilliant Brian Jones was in the band and it was essentially a hard line Rhythm and Blues band.

After Jones died?

I think the heart went out of it and something nasty came in through the window. That would be personified in the form of Allen Klein, their manager in later years.

It gives me some comfort to think that before Johnny Rotten joined the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook used to finance their band 'The Swankers', by (allegedly) stealing musical instruments, speakers and amps from various west London music venues.

Unsubstantiated rumours (couldn't possibly be true) are that they made a couple of visits to substantial mansions in prosperous Richmond upon Thames, to lift a few choice items from Richards and Jagger.

So, indirectly, Richards and Jagger had a hand in the formation of The Sex Pistols.   

Whose the bigger thief?

Meanwhile there is a further irony that they have chosen the arch conservative Saatchi to host their little money spinner.

As we used to say; "Never trust a hippy".

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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