The Rolling Stones in Paris this Friday promises to be one of the highlights of the 2014 tour.
Why? Because the Rolling Stones love France: lots of images suggest that the Stones, particularly Mick Jagger, have enjoyed a richly rewarding 50-year relationship with la Belle France.
Their most productive visit to France, in 1971, delivered Exile on Main St, one of the top Rolling Stones LPs, with its distinctive album cover.
Here are a four more illustrations of the French connections of the Rolling Stones (with apologies for the poor sizing – I’m in a rush to make Eurostar to Paris first thing on Friday morning):
#1 Mick Jagger with Francoise Hardy, 1967
Francoise Hardy was the leading French pop singer in mid-’60s Paris, with hit singles like Tous les Garcons et les Filles. Mick Jagger was clearly a fan…
#2 Sympathy For The Devil, 1968
Sympathy For The Devil (aka One + One), a film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, the best-known French director of the period, has extensive footage of the Rolling Stones recording their classic song, Sympathy For The Devil.
(The DVD pictured is a freebie promo copy distributed with the English newspaper The Sunday Times.)
#3 The Rolling Stones in Paris studios
The Rolling Stones have occasionally recorded in Paris, most recently in 2012 at Studio Guillaume Tell in Suresnes, where they recorded One More Shot, and Doom and Gloom, for the GRRR! compilation.
Mick Jagger is thought to have laid down his vocals for Tattoo You in a studio on an industrial estate somewhere on the Peripherique.
And the rehearsals for the current tour included a set in a studio in Bondy on 14 February 2014. Other recent tour rehearsals featured a flash gig on the the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.
#4 Mick Jagger, le gentilhomme francais
Mick Jagger is probably the most francophile Rolling Stone. He’s owned an impressive chateau near Amboise, in la Touraine in the Loire valley, since 1980. And he’s a fluent French speaker, as you’d expect from such an intelligent man.
Yes, the Rolling Stones certainly give the impression that they love France.