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BOOK REVIEW: HOT STUFF – The Story of The Rolling Stones Through the Ultimate Memorabilia Collection by Matt Lee

| 20 January 2022 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: HOT STUFF – The Story of The Rolling Stones Through the Ultimate Memorabilia Collection by Matt Lee
Welbeck, through Allen & Unwin
November 2021
Hardcover, $49.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Biography/ Memorabilia/ Rock and Roll


Matt Lee has somehow managed to assemble a collection of memorabilia celebrating the extraordinary career of the ‘greatest rock and roll band in the world’, The Rolling Stones, expansive enough to be recognised by the Guinness World Records folks as the largest in the world.

In order to achieve that accolade in 2019, 2789 items were assessed, but Lee estimates his full collection at over 100,000 items.

In this lavish coffee table book he shares many of the rarest pieces in his collection, spanning the entire history of the band from an incredibly rare acetate recording of their first ever recording session in 1963, right up to a shirt worn by frontman Mick Jagger onstage in Foxboro, Massachusetts in 2019 on the band’s No Filter tour.

Covering the nearly-sixty-year span in between, Lee presents signed posters and album covers, rare merchandise, clothing worn by the band, entourage passes and official staff tour itineries, hand-written notes, promo items, ticket stubs, and much more. It truly is a staggering array and amongst the highlights of the collection is seeing how the band – and the music industry – evolved from almost amateurish beginnings to the highly oiled revenue raising machine they are today.

Lee inserts himself into the story repeatedly, explaining how he and his collector friends came to be at certain venues, and how they got their hands on certain items. This is all well and good – his enthusiasm for his special subject is both admirable and infectious – but with no hint as to how he can afford to indulge his passion (on which he has apparently spent upwards of seven figures), there is no way to fully feel sympathetic for this super fan, or to empathise with his motivations.

Still, we can’t fault the man for keeping some things to himself. That he has shared this incredible collection is a worthy effort in itself. When The Stones put on a travelling show of their own, called Exhibitionism, in 2016, apparently around 15% of the gear was borrowed directly from Lee. His next mission is to display his collection in a soon-to-open London Rolling Stones museum.

Until we can all travel again and see it in person, this book is a fascinating trawl through the history of the greatest band ever, and not to be missed.



Category: Book Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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