Fabulous Photos of the Rolling Stones and the Audience at Hyde Park, July 1969

Cool it for a minute because I would really like to say something about Brian. I don’t know how to do this thing, but I’m going to try...I’m just going to say something that was written by Shelley...

Rolling Stones free concert at Hyde Park, 5th July 1969

On July 5 1969, The Rolling Stones played Hyde Park in London. Brian Jones, guitarist and co-founder of the band, had drowned in his swimming pool just two days previously, and before the concert started Mick Jagger said:

Cool it for a minute because I would really like to say something about Brian. I don’t know how to do this thing, but I’m going to try…I’m just going to say something that was written by Shelley…

John Gale of the Observer wrote about the concert the next day although one suspects he hardly noticed which band was playing…

There were any number of delectable girls with their bra-less breasts bobbing beneath their white vests, confidently aware of their appeal. One wore a lacy transparent dress with nothing at all beneath.

Many in this enclosure were camp followers: beautiful girl friends and wives, some in transparent blouses, feeding their grubby, healthy children. Others were swarthy, wearing rings and handled whippets, at times it did feel like a Gipsy encampment. Julie Felix was here in jeans. Marianne Faithfull carried a small child and wore a long white dress: an antique dealer wore a yellow-and-black checked plastic bowler hat. A girl official had small nipples peeking from her string dress.

‘It’s nicer that I expected,’ said a middle aged man.

Richard Gott of the Guardian, while not obsessing with girls cut-away outfits (“navels abound”) wrote about the audience:

Most fantastic of all was that this was a free concert, an event that seemed to be taking place in a Socialist society in the distant future. The participants, almost all born since the Second World War, had a classless air, and they were less disciplined, less puritanical than the middle-class protesters of earlier days.

Today there is no protest, but merely a feeling – perhaps a false one -that a kind of freedom has been achieved in spite of, rather than. Because of, the activities of Wilson, Heath, and company.

Anyone who wants to understand the present political malaise in Britain, or who wants to have an inkling of what Britain will be like in 10 years time, should have been in the park on Saturday.

Ten years later Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and for many people living in Britain it felt a long, long way from that free concert in Hyde Park by the Rolling Stones.

Rolling Stones fixer Tom Keylock releases a box of butteflies after the Shelley poem.

 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alan Messer/REX/Shutterstock (28141d) The Rolling Stones 1969 Concert in Hyde Park, London, Britain - 15 Jun 1969 The Rolling Stones play their 1969 Hyde Park Concert in memory of recently deceased band founder, Brian Jones.

 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Randolph/REX/Shutterstock (28139f) Hells Angels - The Rolling Stones play their 1969 Hyde Park Concert in memory of recently deceased band founder, Brian Jones. VARIOUS - 1969

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Randolph/REX/Shutterstock (28139d) Alexis Korner's New Church (Korner, L, Ray Warleigh, Sax) behind Hells Angels 'security' - The Rolling Stones play their 1969 Hyde Park Concert in memory of recently deceased band founder, Brian Jones. VARIOUS - 1969

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Randolph/REX/Shutterstock.
Alexis Korner’s New Church (Korner, L, Ray Warleigh, Sax) behind Hells Angels ‘security’ 

5th July 1969: About 150,000 pop fans attend a free open-air concert in Hyde Park given by The Rolling Stones in memory of guitarist Brian Jones who died two days earlier. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Mick Taylor in concert with the Rolling Stones in London's Hyde Park. The free outdoor concert was a tribute to recently deceased band member Brian Jones. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Mick Taylor in concert with the Rolling Stones in London’s Hyde Park.

A group of Hell's Angels at the Rolling Stones free concert in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Getty Images)

A group of Hell’s Angels at the Rolling Stones free concert in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Getty Images)

th July 1969: A member of the Hell's Angels provides the security at a Rolling Stones gig in London's Hyde Park. The free outdoor concert was a tribute to recently deceased band member Brian Jones. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

th July 1969: A member of the Hell's Angels provides the security at a Rolling Stones gig in London's Hyde Park. The free outdoor concert was a tribute to recently deceased band member Brian Jones. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: A long-haired spectator at the free Rolling Stones tribute concert to recently deceased band member Brian Jones in London's Hyde Park. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

A long-haired spectator

5th July 1969: A spectator dancing at the free Rolling Stones tribute concert to recently deceased band member Brian Jones in London’s Hyde Park. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Music fans in Hyde Park to see the Rolling Stones in concert. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: A woman in a cropped top and cut-off shorts standing among people gathered in Hyde Park to see the Rolling Stones in concert. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: A Hell's Angel acts as a security guard at the free Rolling Stones tribute concert to recently deceased band member Brian Jones in London's Hyde Park. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

A Hell’s Angel acts as a security guard

5th July 1969: Marianne Faithfull and her young son Nicholas attend a Rolling Stones concert in London's Hyde Park. She is currently divorcing her husband John Dunbar to be with her boyfriend, singer Mick Jagger. (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Marianne Faithfull and her young son Nicholas

A member of the Hell's Angels at the Rolling Stones Concert held in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Getty Images)

A member of the Hell’s Angels

Gilbert and George at the Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones members (left to right) Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor and Keith Richards before their concert at Hyde Park

5th July 1969: Music fans in Hyde Park to see the Rolling Stones in concert. (Photo by J. Marmaras/Keystone/Getty Images)

Teenage girls cooling off in the Serpentine during the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, London, 5th July 1969. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

Cooling off in the Serpentine

Mick Taylor playing with the Rolling Stones during their concert in Hyde Park, London, 5th July 1969. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

Mick Taylor playing

A teenage girl cooling off in the Serpentine during the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, London, 5th July 1969. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

Cooling off in the Serpentine

5th July 1969: Singer Mick Jagger reads a passage from Shelley's 'Adonis', in memory of recently deceased colleague Brian Jones (1942 - 1969), before their band the Rolling Stones perform a free concert at London's Hyde Park. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Singer Mick Jagger reads a passage from Shelley’s ‘Adonis’, in memory of recently deceased colleague Brian Jones (1942 – 1969), before their band the Rolling Stones perform

5th July 1969: A section of the 250,000 strong crowd gathered in Hyde Park, London, for a free concert by British rock group the Rolling Stones. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: A section of the 250,000 strong crowd gathered in Hyde Park, London

5th July 1969: Hell's Angels, acting as security at the free Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, London, lifting a fan to safety after he passed out. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: Hell’s Angels, acting as security at the free Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, London, lifting a fan to safety after he passed out. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

5th July 1969: British rock singer Mick Jagger, performing with The Rolling Stones, at the free open-air concert in Hyde Park given in memory of guitarist Brian Jones who died two days earlier. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)