Iconic Rolling Stones logo creator no longer gets royalties

It gave him shelter.

The creator of The Rolling Stones’ iconic tongue and lips logo used the money from its copyright sale to buy a house, he told The Post.

“That was enough for me to buy my own flat in London,” said graphic designer John Pasche. “So from that point of view, it wasn’t negligible.”

He sold the copyright to the logo in 1982 for close to $28,000 — meaning he no longer gets any royalties — because of stringent laws in England that favored the organization an emblem belonged to rather than the art maker.

The 77-year-old’s logo, dubbed Hot Lips, is considered the most famous in music history, but the artist behind it unusually tight-lighted about it.

“Well, I don’t often tell [people] … why should I? he said.

John Pasche was a 25-year-old art student when the Rolling Stones called upon him to make a logo.

But more fans will become aware of his name now that he is featured in the docuseries “My Life as a Rolling Stone,” premiering this Sunday on EPIX.

“I think a lot of people sort of found out, particularly after this film,” he added.

In 1970, the then-25-year-old Brit was getting his master’s in design at London’s Royal College of Art when the band called the school asking for a student’s assistance. He didn’t know at the time that the group hadn’t paid taxes for years and had no money in the bank.

Pasche’s logo design is now considered one of the most iconic images in music.
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Pasche’s firts job for the group was their 1970 European tour poster, above.
John Pasche poses with his design in Paris in 2017.
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“I didn’t know about the background of it all. They got into a lot of trouble with their taxes with their old manager … He sold a lot of their music, so a lot of the stuff from the ’60s actually doesn’t belong to them anymore,” he explained. 

Pasche, who still works on his craft from his home in the English countryside, started his job with the Stones by designing their 1970 European tour poster.

Several months later, Mick Jagger asked him to create their logo. The famed frontman gave him a photo of a Hindi goddess with a pointed tongue as reference material.

Pasche is still an active artist.
The iconic logo hands above the stage during one of the band’s concert in 1975.
Michael Ochs Archives
Frontman Mick Jagger initially gave Pasche an image of a Hindu goddess as inspiration.
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“I just focused suddenly on the tongue and thought that would be an interesting image for them given their background and the way that they were quite anti-authority and rebellious,” he said of the artwork, which earned him 50 pounds.

He is used to dispelling the myth that the image he drew were the lush lips of the lead singer.

“He’s got quite a remarkable mouth, it’s kind of iconic on its own,” he quipped. “I understand why people make that connection.”

Mick Jagger, left, and Keith Richards performing in 1973.
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The logo is still a popular reference point for rock fans to this day.

Devotees of the British rockers also get very personal satisfaction from the logo, Pasche learned.

“A few years back, a Rolling Stones fan sent me an email and it was a picture of his girlfriend’s bottom with the logo tattooed on it,” he said. “It was a bit embarrassing.”

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