Stones’ ‘Sticky Fingers’ Photos Resurface

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1971 promotional pictures of the Rolling Stones (Photos © David Montgomery; used with permission)

Negatives from a promotional photo shoot taken with the members of the Rolling Stones intended for use in promotional purposes for their 1971 album, Sticky Fingers, have resurfaced in London after fifty years. The photos were taken by American photographer David Montgomery in London in 1971.

Seeking vintage rock photos in London a few months ago, French gallery owners Dominique and Frederique Aubert reached out to the well-known photographer of such celebrities as Jimi Hendrix, Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Warhol, and President Bill Clinton, to reprint the contact sheet of his historic shoot. But at age 85, Montgomery had just a vague memory of these photos.

He warned Frederique Aubert that it would “be a real miracle” if he could locate them. After a long search the negatives were found exactly where they had been left and forgotten about during the spring of 1971: in a dusty box in Montgomery’s studio in Chelsea, London. He even found the bill of the session. They’re now being made available for purchase at the Aubert’s gallery and website, Speedbird Photo Vintage.

The circumstances surrounding this photoshoot are far from banal. It appears that the project did not start very well since Montgomery’s photo agency begged him to go to the very hastily planned photo shoot for the modest sum of £60.

The Rolling Stones in 1971 (L-R): Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor, Bill Wyman, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger (Photos © David Montgomery)

Montgomery is said to have been put off by Mick Jagger’s casualness when he showed up four hours late and refused to look at the camera. The photographer told Jagger he wasn’t taking snapshots for his own pleasure but to promote the band’s album, so the moody rock star would do well to “hold still and look at the lens.” Things improved: the shoot ended with the Stones joining Montgomery for a fish and chips feast down his studio.

Montgomery and Aubert have for the first time created 15 contact sheets showing a selection of hand signed photographs that are now on sale, in a silver gelatin print, and in a large format, 30 In x 40 In.

Montgomery’s work and highlighted selections that he had originally made by hand on the contact sheet using a black chinagraph pencil are evident in the photo at the top.

Related: Our story about the 1971 album’s release

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. Mickey
    #1 Mickey 3 February, 2023, 08:33

    Yeah, hard to imagine David Montgomery didn’t want to remember that photo shoot.

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  2. carlsagan lives
    #2 carlsagan lives 10 February, 2023, 14:53

    My cool older brother by 11 years had one of those posters in his ‘pad’ back in the day, which they were giving out a the record store….sigh.

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  3. RoseO'Dear
    #3 RoseO'Dear 17 May, 2023, 15:23

    A friend of mine met David Montgomery & his overriding memory of the shoot seemed to be how much of a pain in the ass a particular member of the band was! Important to note he refrained from saying so in quite as many words & respectfully avoided naming & shaming, but this article definitely confirms our best guess at the time:-)

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