Almanac Music and Photography: A remarkable photo after the Rolling Stones press conference, Sydney, 1973.


This photo was taken by Almanac member Colin Abbott. He explains how it came about in the letter to John Harms that follows:






Hi John,


I took this photo on 9 February 1973 at the rear of the Old Spaghetti Factory in The Rocks, Sydney.


There is a GTK film clip of the only Stones Australian press conference available on the internet. My friend Rodney had found out where the event was being held.


We jumped on my small 100cc Yamaha motor bike and Rod’s Honda 50cc step thru scooter and raced over from our house in Surry Hills. Not being Press we couldn’t enter and seeing nothing happening at the front of the building we went investigating in the laneway at the rear. A very large black limo was parked there so we decided to wait a few minutes.


Sure enough about five minutes later Mick Jagger emerged and made his way from the building and proceeded to the rear door of the limo.


I managed to take about half a dozen pics but this one was definitely the best. The image came together without a word being spoken!


Pictured also are Martin Sharp with hat, famous for the Cream album cover art and the Sydney Luna Park paintings and activism (and possibly infamous for some other activities), the Stones Road Manager and Mick’s bodyguard.


I was all of 21 years old and had only been photographing for seven or eight months, so quite an amazing image from a photographic novice!


The election of the Whitlam Government two months earlier had released us from the conscription yoke and I suppose this image encapsulates some of what was to become my ‘misspent youth’.


Kind regards,





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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    What a cracking photo Col, right place at the right time! I saw the Stones at their Kooyong concert in 1973, great concert.

  2. Great photo Col. In a previous life I met the former CEO of Chelsea Hospital while he was doing some management consultancy work in Australia. He dined out on the story of studying Finance and Accounting at the London School of Economics in the early 60’s. One of the class spent more time rehearsing and playing with a pub blues band.
    One morning the bloke came into the refectory and announced he was dropping out of studies. My friend gave him the incomparable advice “Mick – don’t throw your life away”.

  3. What a beauty! Lucky you had the film rolled on Colin!!

  4. Fantastic photo. One for the ages.

  5. Malby Dangles says

    Great photo and story

  6. Colin Abbott says

    Thanks everyone. Will fill in more when we can all meet up again.

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