The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World open their first flagship store in the heart of their birth city of London today, despite the coronavirus pandemic having drastically reduced the number of tourists visiting the city.
The store is in Carnaby Street, once the iconic fashion centre of London’s Swinging Sixties scene and famous around the world.
“RS No. 9 Carnaby” will sell clothes, souvenirs and music, and feature a video wall showing the band performing. A super-sized version of the band’s unmistakable lips and tongue logo should tempt tourists passing down the now-faded street.
Why would you open a shop during a pandemic?
“Well, you know, it’s eternal optimism,” said singer Mick Jagger, now an incredibly active 77. “We could have put it off, I guess, till next year but there will be a little bit of pick-up, I think. And fans will be curious.”
In a nod to current times, the shop will also sell Rolling Stones face masks.
Jagger said the band chose to open in Carnaby Street because of its legendary swinging history.
“It’s right on the edge of Soho, where we used to rehearse and perform when we were starting out.”
Nearby Wardour Street was the site of the legendary Marquee Club, often described as the most important venue in the history of pop music, where the Stones recorded a live album in 1971.
The band is still active on the music scene, raiding their back-catalogue for surprises.
This week they released a remastered version of their 1973 album “Goats Head Soup”, which contains recently unearthed tracks such as “All The Rage”.
In July they released a previously lost track, “Scarlet”, recorded at guitarist Ronnie Wood’s house in 1974 and featuring Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
Their new retail venture is yet more evidence that the Rolling Stones, with a combined age of over 300, are determined not to fade away any time soon.