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The Day The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts Did The Photo Shoot For The Cover Of ‘Get Yer Ya-Ya’S Out!’

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Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out photo shoot with Charlie Watts

June 7, 1970: Charlie does the photo shoot for the cover of the Stones’ next live album GET YER YA-YA’S OUT! Although the two photography sessions for the cover featuring Charlie and a donkey are depicted in the documentary film Gimme Shelter, showing Watts and Mick on a section of the M6 motorway adjacent to Bescot Rail Depot in Birmingham, England, posing with a donkey, the actual cover photo was taken in early February 1970 in London, and does not originate from the 1969 session. Legendary photographer David Bailey took care of the photoshoot, featuring Charlie with guitars and bass drums hanging from the neck of a donkey, inspired by a line in Bob Dylan’s song ‘Visions of Johanna’ (“Jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule”). The band would later say “we originally wanted an elephant but settled for a donkey”

Charlie explained it in a 2017 interview: “It was David, who we worked with a lot in those days. I went to this place near where I used to live which was Hendon. It had a plane runway, an aerodrome. They brought the donkey along, put a drum on it. I was in my stage clothes and borrowed Mick’s hat in one of them. David was up a ladder shutting down, then on the floor shooting up. That’s about it”.