The Rolling Stones: Photo Gallery From Breaking Stones

The Rolling Stones walking past a market trader down a Soho street carrying suitcases.
The Stones in Soho.

In their new book Breaking Stones, photographers Terry O’Neill and Gered Mankowitz share images and anecdotes from the early days of The Rolling Stones. Others, including the band – Mick, Keith, Bill and Charlie – and former manager Andrew Loog Oldham, recall the excitement of a bunch of kids on the brink of infamy and greatness. Says Terry O’Neill: “The Stones just wanted to be very casual and they were the first really cool dressers; dressing down, creating their own laid-back, we-don’t-give-a-damn style. And it wasn’t contrived. They were the real poster boys of this revolution that was taking place – a revolution in identity and individuality.”

“Before the money and the pressure there was just enjoyment, just being there and part of the movement,” explains Keith Richards in Breaking Stones. “I still feel the same way. Can’t really rationalise about it but it was an amazing period. Thank God I was there.”

(Image: © Terry O'Neill)

“Terry O’Neill took this picture of us in Soho. We are these boys walking down the street: ‘Oh look at these sharp kids.’ We all have the Beatles boots on. First time we made substantial cash we all went down to the store and bought new guitars and Beatle boots. That was the kicks. That was it. You’ve made it! I had a brand new suitcase. It was the very first suitcase I ever owned.”

Keith Richards

(Image: © Terry O'Neill)

“Mick didn’t have an instrument so he seemed to use his body – make it work with the music, act out the song, striking poses, pouting, pushing himself. He was very charismatic already. He was a showman. Other bands, the guy just stood there and sang. Mick moved.”

Terry O’Neill

(Image: © Gered Mankowitz)

Keith Richards in the recording studio, 1965: “You’re sitting with some guys, and you’re playing and you go, ‘Oooh, yeah!’ That feeling is worth more than anything. There’s a certain moment when you realise that you’ve actually just left the planet for a bit and that nobody can touch you. You’re elevated because you’re with a bunch of guys that want to do the same thing as you. And when it works, baby, you’ve got wings.”

Keith Richards

(Image: © Gered Mankowitz)

“It was just me and the band and their roadie Ian Stewart, who had been part of the original Stones. Access wasn’t an issue. I was treated like another Rolling Stone. The best thing, actually, was being on stage with them night after night. I was allowed to be on stage as long as I didn’t get in Mick’s way. They didn’t have a lighting show, they didn’t have a proper sound system. It was extremely crude and terribly low key in terms of packaging and presentation and equipment.”

Gered Mankowitz

(Image: © Terry O'Neill)

“People said we were copying The Beatles. Nonsense. They were tidy and we were scruffy. They were nice boys – we weren’t.” Bill Wyman

“When I sent the Stones photographs to my picture editor, he went berserk. ‘They’re ugly – get me a pretty band like The Beatles.’” Terry O’Neill

(Image: © Terry O'Neill)

The Stones appear on TV show Thank Your Lucky Stars in 1963: “We would have made it without the TV show, but it made us known countrywide, and then we got offers to play outside London. Before that we were just a band in a jazz club.” Bill Wyman

“This was really the first decade and the first group of musicians who realised what television could do for them. If a band appeared on a popular show, you can bet their next gig sold out. It was as simple as that.” TERRY O’NEILL

(Image: © Terry O'Neill)

“It was a pressure cooker. There was no time off in those days. For three or four years we maybe had 10 days or two weeks off in the whole year. At that age you’ve got non-stop energy and if things are working out and you’re on the trail of something, you don’t really notice how hard it is.”

Keith Richards

(Image: © Terry O'Neill)

“I got a bunch of office girls to drape themselves over the boys, and put them on the banks of the Thames or up against graffiti, which made them look even edgier in those days. Dangerous was what I was looking for, because they kind of were – rebellious, different.”

Terry O’Neill

For a 35 per cent discount on your copy of Breaking Stones, with free postage and packing, visit www.accdistribution.com/uk/store/register. Register and enter the code STONES 35 upon purchase.

Terry O’Neill & Gered Mankowitz: Breaking Stones 1963-1965 – A Band On The Brink