Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Keith Richards enjoys cheers from the crowd while playing with the Rolling Stones during their 50 and Counting tour at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mick Jagger performs Wednesday at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mick Jagger, foreground, performs with The Rolling Stones as Ronnie Wood's projected image is cast on a hugh LED screen.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

From left, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

The band's signature lips hover over the stage as an image of a smiling woman is projected on a huge LED screen.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mick Jagger, center, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Keith Richards in Anaheim.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mick Jagger, left, and Keith Richards.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mick Jagger plays harmonica while musical guest John Mayer takes over on lead guitar on the blues classic "Champagne & Reefer."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mick Jagger, left, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts perform Wednesday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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The Rolling Stones 32 years later — It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it

By Genaro Molina

It was 1981 when I photographed my first Rolling Stones concert. It was the Tattoo You tour at the Oakland Coliseum with the J. Geils Band and George Thorogood opening the show.  I was 21-years-old and taking pictures for the joy of it.

I camped out for hours waiting for the gates to open.  When they finally did, I made the hundred-yard dash toward the stage along with a crush of others and found a choice spot dead-center.

The Rolling Stones On StageI was shooting with a 35mm Canon AE-1 camera, a 24mm wide-angle lens and a 180mm telephoto.  I think I had five rolls of Tri-X black-and-white film with 36 exposures on each roll.  I shot the whole show.

It’s 32 years later and I’m photographing the Stones once again for the 50 and Counting tour at the Honda Center in Anaheim, but this time as a professional photographer for the Los Angeles Times. Personally, I wasn’t planning on seeing the band again until most of its members were closer to 80, but how could I turn down the assignment?

This time I was in a group of photographers who were guided to a spot about 60 feet from the stage by press people.  I would be allowed to shoot only during two songs. I didn’t mind, since the songs turned out to be “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)” and “Paint It Black,” two of my favorites.  The powers that be were generous and they gave us an additional song, with musical guest John Mayer.

This time out, I used two Canon EOS-1 Mark III digital cameras, a Canon 5D Mark II camera, three lenses: a 24-70 mm, 80-200 mm, a 1.4 Extender and a 300 mm along with digital cards capable of recording hundreds of images.  The equipment has been greatly upgraded since my early days in photography, but some things never change – I’m still a Canon man.

So what’s changed in the Stones’ performance? Nothing, especially when it comes to the music. OK, they may be a little grayer, but as we all know, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

The members of the historic British band gave it their all once again. Mick Jagger, a consummate performer, strutted every inch of the stage like, well, like Mick Jagger. Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood struck those classic chords with vigor and style and Charlie Watts maintained his jazzman precision on the drums.

I don’t think the rebel mantra, “…hope I die before I get old,” by the Who has ever crossed the lips of Mick, Keith, Ronnie or Charlie.  They are loving life and we’re all feeling younger for it.

The Stones’ are a combined age of 277 years, but you’d never know it.  The future never looked so promising.  Nothing has really changed for me either.  I’m still shooting for the joy of it and still have the best seat in the house.

I can’t wait for the Stones’ 60 and Counting tour.

2 Comments

  1. May 17, 2013, 6:41 am

    Great shots Genaro! The joy you have for your work is clearly seen in the wonderful photos I've been able to enjoy over the years.

    By: Michael
  2. May 20, 2013, 1:17 pm

    There will never be another era of music like the "60's! And thank God that I was there to hear them all every day! The Rolling Stones. The WHO, Rod Stewart, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, JANIS JOPLIN, AND MANY MORE – it was the best age of music ever!

    By: Marion

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