by Ian & Lauren Wright
While Richard Havers was researching his next book, “History Of Classic Ships,” at the Daily Mirror’s archives, with it’s collection of more than 60 million images, he came across some envelopes labeled,“Concert, Serpentine, London Parks and Crowd Scenes, etc.”
Havers, ever inquisitive, explored them. “I was trembling at the treasure trove in my hands, over 80 frames of unpublished material taken by a team of Mirror staff photographers of The Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, July 9, 1969.”
On that boiling-hot day, 500,000 fans turned out for the free concert which the Stones dedicated to Brian Jones, the founder and original leader of The Rolling Stones, who had been found dead in his swimming pool three days earlier. As Jagger, wearing a white frock, read the eulogy, he quoted Shelley, “Peace Peace! He is not dead, he doth not sleep,” thousands of white butterflies were released and Jagger kicked off the concert with “I’m Yours and I’m His.”
It wasn’t one of the group’s better performances but, given the circumstances, it became legendary. “The Stones In The Park” gives us a compelling set of photographs immortalizing a day in rock history. Amazing to think these photographs have been hidden away all these years.