(NEW YORK) — Half a century ago, the Rolling Stones started as a blues cover band. They found their voice as a kind of anti-Beatles.
Together, they’ve sold 200 million albums.
Fifty years later, the Rolling Stones still rock and their fans have remained loyal.
“I’ve been to at least 300+ Rolling Stones shows. And I’m not stopping yet,” said superfan Ed Lieberman.
The band will kick off their ”50 and Counting” tour with a live concert Sunday night at The O2 Arena in London.
Tickets to the show are going for more than $18,000 online.
Lieberman first saw the Stones in his hometown of Miami in 1969.
The 300-plus shows Lieberman has seen have taken him to half a dozen countries.
“That raw energy, the power that came to me, intoxicated me, infected me. And I haven’t quit. Can’t stop,” Lieberman said.
Photographer Gered Mankowitz was just 18 years old when he flew with the band right as they got huge.
“We had hordes of screaming teenage girls outside the hotel mobbing us and climbing on the limo,” Mankowitz said. “I mean, it was fabulous.”
He took photos of one of the great recording sessions of all time of the album aftermath.
“It was an extraordinary session, because out of this session came songs like ‘Paint It Black’ and ‘Under My Thumb,’” Mankowitz said.
And he snapped the Stones’ most iconic early covers — “December’s Children,” “Between the Buttons” as seen in his book, and “One on One.”
“This is how the Rolling Stones are supposed to look — shaggy, slightly bedraggled, worn out, stoned,” Mankowitz said.
Today, as the band turns 50, they don’t look that different.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN
Tom Kludt, CNN
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com columnist