The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, ‘Black-eyed by Chuck Berry’

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2020 © Bill Wyman Archive
New York, U.S.A. 30 June 1981

Digital archival print embossed and hand signed by the photographer
Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity

This serene shot depicts Keith Richards taking a break at The Stones New York office with a black eye Chuck Berry gave him. ‘We saw him play in New York somewhere, and afterward I was backstage in his dressing room, where his guitar was lying in its case. I wanted to look, out of professional interest, and as I'm just plucking the strings, Chuck walked in and gave me this wallop to the frickin' left eye, But I realised I was in the wrong. If I walked into my dressing room and saw somebody fiddling with my ax, it would be perfectly all right to sock 'em, you know? I just got caught.’ Keith Richards for Billboard Magazine

Bill Wyman’s photography intimately captures life on the road with the Stones and catches the band, more often than not, unaware. ‘I try my best to photograph a subject while they are occupied doing something else,’ he says on his style, ‘preferably not looking at the camera. The photography just filled in the years of hanging around between the journeys and the hotel rooms.’ His love of photography started at a young age and he began to document the band, capturing them in rare and private moments behind the lens. His photography body of work is a closer look at one of the world’s most high profile music groups that challenges rock and roll stereotypes.

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