In November, as the iconic red tongue and lips began popping up again on sidewalks and stadiums around the US, it was clear to everyone that The Rolling Stones were coming. It's the most iconic image in all of rock n' roll, a calling card of attitude and legend, nearly six decades of excellence daring you to come closer. It's the best band logo in the history of band logos, and it was born at an art school in London.
Thursday the band recirculated a video about the tongue and lips creator, Jon Pasche. Pasche was at the Royal College of Art when he was asked to work on a tour poster for the band's 1970 European Tour, and his design won over Mick Jagger.
Encouraged by his work, Jagger asked Pasche to create a symbol or logo for the band, presenting him with a picture he had found of the Goddess Kali, featuring a pointed tongue. "He said this is the kind of thing I'm into, I quite like this" explained Pasche about receiving the picture Jagger found in a local corner shop. "We talked about it, and he said well, just go away and do something. Come back and we'll talk some more."
"I think it was, almost really during that meeting that I just suddenly thought, maybe, the use of a mouth. I just had an idea that that would be something to base some ideas for."
After some variations and work, Pasche presented a finished copy to Jagger who really liked it. "I got my fifty pounds, which is what I was paid for doing it."
Although inspired by the Goddess and picture presented at that meeting, Pasche admits that the lips of Jagger might have played some part in the final design. "It wasn't initially, but it might have been something that was unconscious" Jon explained. "It was a number of things, and that's certainly conscious of the fact that it might be influenced by Mick Jagger himself."
The logo was first used in 1971, as part of the Sticky Fingers album, and it has gone on to be a part of every album The Rolling Stones have released since. The original artwork is now a part of the Victoria And Albert Museum in London.
Jagger and the Stones return to the road this year for their No Filter US Tour, beginning in April. When we had a chance to talk with Mick, he revealed the differences in touring now since their first tour of the states back in 1964.
You can find more details and tickets to the No Filter US Tour at RollingStones.com.