Capturing The Rolling Stones Since 1965

By Divya G May 3, 2021

Bent Rej was a Danish photographer who had the opportunity to be in his friend’s place at just the right time. In 1969 when The Rolling Stones were touring Denmark for their first and only tour of Scandinavia, they happened to be friends with Bent—and this is where he got lucky! He spent an extensive amount of time documenting them through Europe, not as professional but more like a close personal follower. This led him into some interesting times such that Brian Jones would often come over and hang out on breaks from all the rigorous work during those days-long tours, escaping back home away from it all.

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When the Stones toured Germany in September 1965, Bent Rej was the only photographer they’d accept to follow them around. “Bent’s a member of the family” – they said. What started as one man following their tour became an entire entourage with Bill and Charlie joining after seeing his initial results; Richards didn’t yet have a home, so he rented out a suite at The Hilton whilst Jagger allowed him into his house after being told that he could make some good money from these photographs – but only if HE were included too!

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Bent Rej wrote:

Brian’s house became a favorite refuge for me during my time in London. I was always welcome there and spent all of the days on any given visit to London over those five years at Brian’s place because it offered privacy, stability, comfort, and safety that 14 Elm Park Mews could not offer elsewhere.

After staying with me in Copenhagen while he attended art school from 1964-1965 (much as his family had done when they lived overseas), Brian moved into this rented home—actually an old mews house just outside Chelsea called “14 Elm Park.”