“It’s quite amazing when you think about it,” Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone late last year, discussing the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, the band asked artist Shepard Fairey to update their iconic tongue logo with a sleek new design.
The tongue was first used on the Sticky Fingers album sleeve in 1971 and designed by John Pasche, a student the Royal College of Art in London. Pasche was commissioned in 1969 by Jagger, who was unhappy with the designs provided by the Stones label, Decca Records. “The design concept for the tongue was to represent the band’s anti-authoritarian attitude, Mick’s mouth and the obvious sexual connotations,” Pasche later said. “I designed it in such a way that it was easily reproduced and in a style I thought could stand the test of time.”
Today, even Jagger is surprised at how far the band has come. “It’s a very different group than the one that played 50 years ago,” he said. “When I think about it, one part of me goes, ‘We’re slightly cheating,’ because it’s not the same band – still the same name, but it’s only Keith and myself that are the same people, I think. I’ve tried to find out when Charlie [Watts’] first gig was [but can’t]. But it’s an amazing achievement. It’s fantastic and I’m very proud of it.”
Here’s hoping we’ll see the logo onstage later this year.