The Rolling Stones recently announced rescheduled dates for their “No Filter” tour after lead singer Mick Jagger underwent successful heart surgery. But for those who don’t want to wait for the Stones to hit the stage, guitarist Keith Richards, legendary for both his iconic rock riffs and his imperviousness to drugs and alcohol, has his own “Keith, Unfiltered” show up right now.
The Morrison Hotel Gallery is featuring five decades of iconic photographs of Richards at all three of its locations: New York City, Los Angeles and Maui.
“Keith, Unfiltered” shows Richards in classic portraits at work and at play, which in his case often involves cigarettes and a bottle of Jack Daniels.
Following are a selection of shots from the show, along with the photographers’ vivid memories of hanging out with perhaps the greatest rock ‘n’ roll guitarist of all time.
Keith Richards. “Patience Please” during The Stones tour of America – STP Tour, 1972
Ethan Russell: “… I was traveling with the Rolling Stones, watching from the sidelines, when I noticed the sign. I called Keith over and took two quick snaps. The customs officer threatened to confiscate the film, so I retired quickly. I knew what I had.”
Keith Richards, The Third Eye. Industria Studios, New York City
Stephanie Pfriender Stylander: “Black set, hot lights, smoke, drink, music, film, rock and roll, Nikons, ashes, Dolce & Gabbana, ‘how are you doin’ love’, as Keith gets out of the dark limo walking into the studio, we start in this atmosphere, intimate, moving, cinematic and real.”
Keith Richards, England, 1966
Gered Mankowitz: “In 1966, I photographed each individual member of the Rolling Stones at home so as to create a stock library of these more personal and individual images for press use. By this time there was an increasing demand for such images and the band hated the idea of having unknown photographers coming to their homes. Keith is photographed here at his glorious home Redlands in West Sussex with his beloved Bentley motor car, which he called Blue Lena after the great singer Lena Horne. By this time, Keith and I had become pretty close, and the entire day was a joy of picture taking and giggling with Keith showing his own particular take of this rather cheesy ‘at home’ format!”
Keith Richards, New York City, 1988
Timothy White: “It was a major coming-of-age moment for me. No publicists or bodyguards, just a rising photographer and this legend I’d grown up listening to. Between rounds of pool and drinks at an otherwise vacant dive bar in Tribeca this is among the few shots we managed to get before heading over to the Hudson to catch the sunset. Crossing Greenwich Avenue, we were stopped by an NYPD office asking Keith to sign his violation book. Moments later, a few more showed up. I tried to rush things along as the sun began to sink, but when a female officer opened her bulletproof vest to reveal the Rolling Stones shirt she wore under her uniform, Keith couldn’t refuse signing just one more autograph. I may not have gotten that moment on film but we did manage to get the shots we were looking for and then some. Turning away from New York’s finest, he told me, ‘I could run for mayor of this town.’ After that day, I’m convinced he could, and win, too.”
Keith Richards, Midwest Airport, 1979
Henry Diltz: “I spent three weeks on the road in 1979 with the New Barbarians; Ronnie Wood’s solo album touring band, which was like the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger. We traveled on a huge jet plane from city to city. Each time we landed, eight limos would appear on the runway around the plane, and the band members would descend the steps and look for their own private limo and driver. Here, Keith is getting off of the place in St, Louis, looking for his limo and driver and carrying the thing that mattered most… his bottle of Jack Daniels.”