THE ROLLING STONES ARE COMING TO CHICAGO IN JUNE
CELEBRATING THE 55th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ROLLING STONES 1st RECORDING SESSIONS AT CHESS
Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation
A WORLD PREMIERE EXHIBITION
THE ROLLING STONES AT CHESS
PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ROLLING STONES AND VINTAGE MEMORABILIA OPENING JUNE 5th at 6 PM
2120 S. Michigan Ave.
The band has yet to officially announce when the U.S. tour shows will be rescheduled. However, if
you live in or near Chicago, or will be visiting in June for the Chicago Blues Festival in early
June,TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE!
Blues legend Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation, which occupies the hallowed ground of the
world famous Chess Records building, at 2120 South Michigan Avenue, in association with Bob Bonis
Museum, Miami and Gallery Schuster, Berlin, are thrilled to announce THE ROLLING STONES AT
CHESS – a World Premiere Exhibition celebrating the 55th anniversary of the first time the Rolling
Stones recorded at Chess.
The exhibition will feature over 50 photographs, many of them unpublished and never seen before
by the public, from these historic recording sessions. There will also be photographs of the Stones
at the Palmer House hotel on their second visit to Chicago in November 1964. Historic collector
memorabilia will also be on display.
The photographs were taken by the late Bob Bonis, an accomplished photographer who also served
as the U.S. Tour Manager for both The Rolling Stones and The Beatles from 1964 through 1966
beginning with both famous bands’ first ever tours of America.
Limited edition portfolios and prints of photographs will be available for sale, with a portion of the
proceeds going to the Blues Heaven Foundation and their efforts to restore the recording studio in
the historic Chess Records building.
The association between the Rolling Stones and the city of Chicago and Chess Records is one of the
most important in the bands’ history and was the spark that connected its founding members,
leading to the formation of the band in 1962. Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones was a Blues
enthusiast who idolized Blues masters such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and other Blues masters
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, childhood friends, ran into each other on October 17, 1961 on the
train platform in Dartford, England. Keith, carrying his guitar, noticed that Mick had some record
albums under his arm, Rockin’ at the Hops by Chuck Berry, and The Best of Muddy Waters. Keith
learned that Mick had mail-ordered these albums directly from Chicago’s Chess Records, as they
were unavailable in England. Later they saw Brain Jones playing slide guitar (considered the first
British guitarist to play this style of Blues) and they soon joined forces and the Rolling Stones were
During their first-ever tour of America, Phil Spector helped the Rolling Stones book to record at
Chess on June 10 and 11, 1964 where they met several of their heroes, including Muddy Waters,
who helped them carry their equipment into the studio, and Chuck Berry, who stopped by to
eavesdrop on their recording session, giving them his stamp of approval.
On their second and third tours of America they returned to again record at Chess, on November
10, 1964 and in May of 1965. No photos of those later session are known to exist. Bob Bonis’
photographs from this first visit to Chess are among the only known to exist and will be displayed
at the Blues Heaven Foundation for the entire month of June, 2019.
Larry Marion, curator of the Bob Bonis Archive, a renowned memorabilia expert, will be offering
free appraisals of any vintage Rolling Stones, Blues or other memorabilia during this exhibition.