Glimmer Twins and House Fires: Inside ‘Rolling Stones 50’ – Rolling Stone
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Glimmer Twins and House Fires: Inside ‘Rolling Stones 50’

Stones’ new photo book features rare shots of group’s long career

The Rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix. Copyright 2012 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. Text copyright 2012 The Rolling Stones. Published in the US by Hyperion. Available where books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with shows in London and New Jersey, new music and a new photo book. The publication, Rolling Stones 50, was released last week; it chronicles the band's epic rise from pub group to stadium giants and includes outtakes from the early-morning Between the Buttons album cover shoot ("We had been recording all night at Olympic Studios," recalls Charlie Watts), Seventies party Polaroids and live shots of their mega-tours, from Tattoo You to A Bigger Bang. Click through to check out some of the book's best photographs.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Young Bucks

Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones horse around.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Suiting Up (1964)

"The day before, we had appeared on Dean Martin's TV show," Keith Richards explains of this shot. "He was sarcastic when he introduced us: 'These long-haired wonders from England, the Rolling Stones… They're backstage picking the fleas off each other.' Next morning we all went shopping for clothes with [manager] Andrew [Loog Oldham]."

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Road Warriors (September 1964)

"Pretty much sums up life on the road back then: a café somewhere, cups of tea and fags," says Keith Richards.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Deep in Thought (September 1964)

Mick Jagger takes a moment to relax while on the road.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Mick’s Car Troubles (August 28th, 1966)

"This was my midnight blue Aston Martin DB6 after I'd had a run-in with another car close to my flat in Harley House, Marylebone. I'd only had it for three weeks when this happened. It cost me 200 pounds to have it fixed," recalls Mick Jagger.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Escaping the London Palladium (January 22nd, 1967)

"Making good [on] our escape after refusing to appear on the roundabout. This was a lovely photo of Mick and Keith and shows what a great laugh we all thought it was," says Charlie Watts.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Legal Woes (May-June 1967)

Mick and Keith appeared in court for a drugs bust at Keith's home in Redlands, Sussex, in February 1967. They elected to be tried by jury the following month. Mick was found guilty and remanded in custody so that he could be sentenced after Keith's case was tried. He was taken to Lewes Prison where he stayed overnight. Keith remained free and was tried the following day, when he was also found guilty. Mick was sent to Brixton Prison and Keith to Wormwood Scrubs Prison.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Free Men Again (June 30th, 1967)

Mick and Keith at the Feathers pub on Fleet Street following their release from prison. At the end of July, Keith won his appeal and Mick was given a conditional discharge.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Announcement in Hyde Park (June 13th, 1969)

The band gives a press conference at the bandstand in Hyde Park, London, to introduce Mick Taylor, Brian's replacement, and to announce that they will be giving a free concert in the park on July 5th.

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

Redlands Rubble (July 31st, 1973)

"I've had two or three houses burn down. Redlands burned down once – the roof went with the whole top floor," says Keith Richards. "It was a terrible thing to happen to such a beautiful place. Parts of it date back to the 12th century."

rolling stones 50 book

From The Rolling Stones 50 by the Rolling Stones. Photographs courtesy Mirrorpix.

The Glimmer Twins (January 11th, 1977)

Keith and Mick have been known as the Glimmer Twins since 1974. "Mick, me and our ladies took a boat to Rio that was full of these upper-class English people, all drinking like mad, pink gins and pink champagne, crowding the bar," recalls Keith. "I was dressed at the time in a diaphanous djellaba, Mexican shoes and a tropical army hat. After a while, they discovered who we were and became very perturbed. They started asking us questions: 'What are you really trying to do?' and 'Do try to explain what this whole thing is about!' We never answered them and, after a few days, one woman stepped forward from the group and said, 'We've been asking you for days and you just won't say. Can't you give us just a glimmer?' Mick turned to me and said, 'We're the Glimmer Twins.'"