Gered Mankowitz, trusted photographer of the Rolling Stones, shares memories from his early times on tour with the band
When we started planning Off The Hook I was keen to try to mount an exhibition that was different to any other show I had done of my photographs of the Rolling Stones. I wanted the scale to be different. We are presenting everything big – from the panoramic print of Mick, Keith and Brian in the back of the limo taking us into New York City in October ’65, to a giant contact strip of three of the infamous Between the Buttons out-takes, taken on Primrose Hill in November 1966.
My first session with the band was in early 1965 and included taking passport photos that were intended for their US visas. After a day shooting the band, taking pictures that would end up on album sleeves, single-bags, adverts and in the press, I found the challenge of taking these passport portraits far more intimidating than any other part of the entire day. The results stayed hidden for decades. Now, over 50 years after they were taken, I believe they have an innocence and an honesty that we never could have imagined at the time.