The story behind the iconic Mick Jagger’s tongue photo revealed

About 40 years after taking his most popular image, photographer Richard Crawley describes how he has managed to capture the iconic tongue photo of Mick Jagger.

Mick Jagger is one of the most renowned musicians ever. The English singer has been the lead vocalist of Rolling Stones and he is still active today despite being 70 years old.

If you ask someone to quickly describe a photo of something in particular about Sir Jagger, then you will probably hear an answer related to his tongue. It may sound like a poor word association, but the famous Rolling Stones logo is called “Hot Licks” and it has been created in the early 1970s by designer John Pasche.

The logo has quickly turned into an actual thing as photographer Richard Crawley is the author of one of the singer’s most popular shots ever.

Photographer Richard Crawley decides to tell the story behind popular Mick Jagger’s tongue photo

Mick Jagger’s photo with his arms behind his head, while his tongue is sticking out remains an iconic shot of the musician. Although it looks like it has been scripted, the truth could not be farther away, as the photographer has had to go through a series of challenges to capture the shot.

About 40 years have passed since the Mick Jagger’s tongue photo has been captured. Richard Crawley has decided that it is about time to describe how he has captured the image and what camera he has used in order to make it happen.

Mick Jagger tongue

Photographer Richard Crawley has had to overcome a series of challenges to capture this Mick Jagger’s tongue photo. (Click to make it bigger.)

No tickets, running out of film, and a huge crowd could not stop the photographer from taking a perfect shot

The photographer found out that the Rolling Stones will hold a concert in Kooyong, Australia. In the early 70s it was harder to grab tickets than it is today as there were not any PCs around, nor the internet. However, that did not matter at all, as Crawley did not even have enough money to buy a ticket.

As a result, he has done the next best thing: fake a press pass, which was a lot easier back then. He had written “Blue Meanie Press” on the pass and the guards allowed him to go through.

Unfortunately, the place was packed and for a good reason: the Rolling Stones were having a concert. The photographer took a lot of pictures and then he ran out of film, of course. Thankfully, he managed to purchase a spare roll from a guy next to him for only $0.50.

This was going to be one of those days when everything works out, as the crazy mob of rock fans in front of him somehow moved out of his way. Crawley said that he felt like the Red Sea was parting.

As the crowd was moving apart, the “human corridor” ended with Mick Jagger and “his hands behind his head and his tongue sticking out”. That photo was actually the last on the new film that he had acquired from the guy next to him.

Richard Crawley is still in possession of the Minolta SR-T 101, the SLR camera which took the photo

The photo of Mick Jagger with his tongue sticking out has to be considered one of the luckiest ever captured. To take such an amazing photo with the last shot on the film roll even though you were not even supposed to be there is certainly proof that Lady Luck exists.

The image was taken with a Minolta SR-T 101 camera. It was one of the best SLRs of its time and Richard Crawley still has it. The device has helped him documenting the streets of St. Kilda and, although it looks like it has seen better days, it is unlikely that the photographer will give up on his dearest possession.

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