South Beach to Host 200 Vintage Photos of The Beatles and the Rolling Stones During Art Basel

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Photo by Bob Bonis / NotFadeAwayGallery.com
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote the song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on the same day this photo was taken at the Fort Harrison Hotel. The hotel is still there today but is now the headquarters of the Church of Scientology.
How convenient for the rest of us that when Bob Bonis embarked on the Beatles' and Rolling Stones' first U.S. tours from 1964-66, he thought to toss his modest Leica M3 camera in his suitcase. Bonis, who served as the bands' tour manager during these crucial first U.S. appearances, captured the groups in over 3,500 deeply intimate, behind-the-scenes photos that were never revealed to the public -- until now.

"The Lost Beatles and The Lost Rolling Stones Photographs," a collection of nearly 200 of Bonis' shots, will be on exhibition at The Betsy hotel on Miami Beach throughout Art Basel week. Already blown away by this shot of a baby-faced Mick Jagger, lounging poolside in Clearwater in 1965? Well keep your red Speedo on, because there is plenty more revealing portraiture where that came from.

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The exhibit, which is free and open to the public and debuts on Monday, December 3, will be curated by Larry Marion, author of The Lost Rolling Stones Photographs (2010) and The Lost Beatles Photographs (2011). The two books were the general public's first peek into the seriously intimate backstage world that Bonis shared and documented with the wee Beatles and Stones. Now, you may not recognize the name Bob Bonis, but he played a crucial role in introducing two iconic bands to U.S. soil, along with millions of fans for generations.

"Bob Bonis was the luckiest person on the planet, in my opinion," said Marion. "He had access that no one else had, plain and simple."

Marrion, himself a gallery owner, author, and rock n' roll memorabilia expert, might also be considered pretty darn lucky as well, given that he has been charged with the joyful task of sharing Bonis' revelatory Beatles and Rolling Stones photos with the public.

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Photo by Bob Bonis / NotFadeAwayGallery.com
Men of many talents: the Beatles levitate a yellow balloon on a break during their first U.S. tour, in August 1964.
Until very recently, the pictures had been boxed up and for all purposes forgotten. Following the passing of Bob Bonis in 1992, his son, Alex, inherited a treasure trove of rock n' roll artifacts, many of which had never seen the light of day. When he stumbled across a stack of contact sheets displaying thousands of photo negatives, he enlisted the help of Marion, who immediately identified the pictures as one-of-a-kind.

"Bob was an amateur photographer, but the word "amateur" just speaks to what you get paid, not your talent," Marion said. "The result is intimate, honest, candid photography at its finest."

Location Info

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The Betsy Hotel

1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

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