Photos of the Swinging Sixties Featuring The Rolling Stones, Pattie Boyd, Jane Birkin and More

keith richards portrait
Keith Richards, 1964

When British photographer Eric Swayne passed away in 2007 from a bout with cancer, he left behind a box that turned out to be a gold mine containing hundreds of images from the Swinging London 60s scene. The then terminally ill Swayne sought to de-clutter his possessions as he began sifting thru his studio, unloading a lifetime’s worth of kept prints and negatives, vinyl records as well as some equipment. After his passing, much to the astonishment of his son, a box labeled “do not throw out” turned up. As he opened it, lo and behold the swinging 60s were back.

keith richards sunglasses
Keith Richards with photographer Eric Swayne’s reflection, 1964

These never-before-seen photographs offer yet another glimpse into that decade where many rock legends emerged. The collection, called The Stones and Their Scene, is currently on a run at Proud Chelsea until July 28. It features Swayne’s encounters with Swinging London’s trendsetters of the 1960’s.

pattie boyd portrait
Pattie Boyd, 1963

Prominent in the series are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts all in their prime. The images also contain other notable figures of the time including Chrissie Shrimpton, David Bailey, Pattie Boyd, Ossie Clark, Anita Pallenberg, Mary Quant, Jane Birkin, Chrissie Shrimpton, and Catherine Deneuve. Swayne likewise appears, very much a part of that defining era.

charlie watts with shirley
Charlie Watts and Shirley, 1963

Tom Swayne, Eric’s son, was the one who found the box singled out by his dad for safekeeping. Tom said that he was aware of his father’s stature, but not did not really appreciate the extent of who he rubbed elbows with.

“We knew he had been a photographer in the 60s, and he did sometimes tell stories like Keith Richards turning up in a limousine to collect him to go shopping, and if he liked something buying one in every color they made,” said Tom Swayne. “But he didn’t talk about it much at all…”

portrait mick jagger
Mick Jagger, 1964

Stories have it that Eric Swayne didn’t strike it big with photography right away. He had a coffee shop in central London where he would meet photographer David Bailey. “When Bailey saw he was interested in photography, he encouraged my dad to pick up a camera and have a go for himself, and he never looked back,” said Tom. That turned out to be a perfect time to get into a craft that lasted many decades.

grace coddington
Grace Coddington modelling Vidal Sassoon’s five-point bob, 1964
portrait jane birkin
Jane Birkin, 1965
mick jagger with chrissie shrimpton
Mick Jagger and Chrissie Shrimpton, 1963

See some of the photos here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.