Sunday, April 4, 2021

50 Years Ago Jon Pasche Stuck Out His Tongue

In April 1970, Jon Pasche was a 25-year-old student at the Royal College Of Art, when a call came through looking for a young artist to work on a poster for a forthcoming Rolling Stones tour. Jagger commissioned Pasche to come up with a logo for the brand new label, Rolling Stones Records, which would release the band’s material once the band’s contract with Decca/London expired. 

Originally, the commission was for "a logo or symbol which may be used on note paper, as a programme cover and as a cover for the press book." Jagger's inspiration was a newspaper cutting he'd seen that showed the Indian goddess Kali, with a pointed tongue, hanging down. In Hindu mythology, Kali symbolizes death and time but is also a powerful feminine figure. 

Pasche said, "A lot of people ask me if it was based on Mick Jagger's lips - and I have to say it wasn’t, initially. But it might have been something that was unconscious and also really dovetailed into the basic idea of the design. It was a number of things."

The logo took Pasche about two weeks to finalize - working every evening - and he was paid the princely sum of £50. The design first appeared on Sticky Fingers in April 1971 and has been used ever since. 

Pasche thinks the design has stood the test of time because "It's a universal statement, I mean sticking out your tongue at something is very anti-authority, a protest really… various generations have picked that up.” And he admits, "When I’m out and about on holiday, it's always a bit of a surprise when someone comes round the corner wearing a t-shirt or whatever!"

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