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Mick Jagger
by Philip Norman

Overview -

A supreme achiever to whom his colossal achievements seem to mean nothing . . .

A supreme extrovert who prefers discretion . . .

A supreme egotist who dislikes talking about himself . . .

Philip Norman has long towered above other rock biographers with his definitive studies of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Buddy Holly, and John Lennon--legends whom the world thought it knew, but who came to life as never before through the meticulousness of Norman's research, the sweep of his cultural knowledge, and the brilliance of his writing.  Read more...


 
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More About Mick Jagger by Philip Norman
 
 
 
Overview

A supreme achiever to whom his colossal achievements seem to mean nothing . . .

A supreme extrovert who prefers discretion . . .

A supreme egotist who dislikes talking about himself . . .

Philip Norman has long towered above other rock biographers with his definitive studies of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Buddy Holly, and John Lennon--legends whom the world thought it knew, but who came to life as never before through the meticulousness of Norman's research, the sweep of his cultural knowledge, and the brilliance of his writing.

Now Norman turns to a rock icon who is the most notorious yet enigmatic of them all. Throughout five decades of fronting the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger has been seen as the ultimate arrogant, narcissistic superstar, whose sexual appetite and cavalier treatment of women rival Casanova's and whose supposed reckless drug use touched off the most famous scandal in rock history. Now a grandfather nearing seventy and a British knight of the realm, he still creates excitement at the mere mention of his name; still remains the model for every young rock singer who ever takes the stage.

Norman shows Jagger to be a character far more complex than the cold archseducer of myth: human, vulnerable, often impressive, sometimes endearing. Here at last is the real story of how the Stones' brilliant first manager, Andrew Oldham, transformed a shy economics student named Mike Jagger into a modern Antichrist...of Jagger's vicious show trial and imprisonment on minuscule drug charges in 1967...his remarkable feat at the Stones' Hyde Park concert in making a quarter of a million people keep quiet and listen to poetry...his unpublicized heroic role at the Altamont festival that brought the sunny sixties to a horrific end...the cavalcade of beautiful women from Chrissie Shrimpton to Jerry Hall, whom he has bedded but not always dominated...the enduring but ever-fraught partnership with his "Glimmer Twin," Keith Richards.

While playful about some aspects of Sir Mick, Norman gives him long overdue credit as a songwriter, whose "Sympathy for the Devil" is one of the few truly epic pop singles, and as a harmonica player fit to rank among the great blues masters who inspired the Stones before money became their raison d'etre.

Mick Jagger, above all, explores the keen and calculating intelligence that has kept the Stones on their plinth as "the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band" for half a century.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061944857
  • ISBN-10: 0061944858
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: October 2012
  • Page Count: 622


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Composers & Musicians - General
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Rich & Famous

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-08-27
  • Reviewer: Staff

Drawing on research he conducted for his first Stones book, as well as on numerous interviews with Jagger's friends, former girlfriends, and musicians, music critic Norman's often plodding and exhaustively detailed though admiring biography recounts Jagger's life from his middle-class youth and first encounters with the blues and early rock to his first meetings with a young Keith Richards.From there, we read of Jagger's many tumultuous relationships with women, his lackluster attempts at acting, and his raging desire to control his and the band's image. Sympathetic to Jagger, Norman digs beneath the bad-boy posturing that Stones manager Andrew Oldham stage-managed—and that Jagger embraced—very early in his career. Along the way, the author reveals an individual shaped by a conservative upbringing and maturing into a loving and beloved father, a history and literature buff, a wine connoisseur, and a stickler for etiquette. Unfortunately, in the end this is a dull set of fan notes, largely composed of much-rehashed Stones lore, especially since there are no new interviews with Jagger himself. (Oct.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Their stars still shine

As Pete Seeger reminds us in his now-iconic ballad, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” there’s a season for everything. This fall is the season for a cavalcade of music memoirs and biographies, books that will make music lovers weep, laugh and sing.

IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL
This year the Rolling Stones will gather no moss but rake in the coin, as no fewer than four new books celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary. In music critic Philip Norman’s admiring and adoring biography of rock’s legendary bad boy, Mick Jagger, we meet the entire cast of characters who’ve feasted at the Stones’ banquet over the years—from Marianne Faithfull and Brian Jones to Jagger’s first girlfriend, Chrissie Shrimpton, Ronnie Wood and many others. At the center of it all is the canny middle-class Jagger, who carefully controlled and orchestrated his rebellious image to distinguish himself and the band from the well-scrubbed lads from Liverpool. Gathering interviews from everyone in Jagger’s life except Jagger himself, Norman takes us for a revealing walk down the moonlight mile of Jagger’s life, from his youthful embrace of the blues through the controversies surrounding the Altamont Music Festival, the arguments with band mate Keith Richards, and Jagger’s own constant need to reinvent himself as performer. Wild horses can’t drag Stones fans away from this riveting tale of a rock legend who’s still trying to find satisfaction.

MY MAN'S GOT IT MADE
In the early 1970s, one of the frequent guests at the Stones’ banquet was a star-crossed lad from Waycross, Georgia. Gram Parsons’ story is well known to many: Charming, handsome and talented young man with a trust fund grows up in a dysfunctional family, leaves home to carry his crystal voice and brilliant songwriting to music circles, rises quickly to radiant stardom, dies young in 1973 and is immortalized as the founder of cosmic American music and country rock. Journalist Bob Kealing rehearses this familiar story in his mesmerizing Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock, but he also draws upon dozens of new interviews with Parsons’ family, friends and fellow musicians. Kealing offers a compulsively readable and intimate portrait of a young man who introduced the pure strains of country stars such as the Louvin Brothers and Merle Haggard to rock.

LIKE A BIRD ON A WIRE
When Leonard Cohen returned to the stage to much acclaim in 2007 after an extended absence, his fans embraced him as a long-lost pilgrim, and indeed he had been holed up in a Buddhist retreat center, looking for tranquility and order in his life. In I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, music critic Sylvie Simmons vividly chronicles the life of a musician whose song “Hallelujah,” affirming his faith in life and love, has become one of the most-recorded songs in pop history. Simmons draws extensively on Cohen’s private archives, unpublished writings and his vast store of published writings, as well as interviews with close friends, rabbis and Buddhist monks as she traces Cohen’s path from his early life in Montreal through his rise to fame as a raspy-voiced singer-songwriter in the 1960s and ’70s, his retreat from the public eye and his return. In this elegantly crafted biography, Simmons captures the artist who, in spite of all his highs and lows, is still sharp at the edges, a wise old monk, a trouper offering up himself and his songs.

AIN'T I A WOMAN
While Cohen has recently returned to the music scene, soul singer Bettye LaVette never left it, and she’s finally getting some long-overdue recognition for her powerful, heart-wrenching singing. Unflinchingly honest, LaVette, with writer David Ritz, shares the searing story of her struggle to gain recognition for her tremendous talent—praised by her friends Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and others—and the many obstacles along the way that kept her from stardom in A Woman Like Me. As a teenager, she hit the charts with “My Man—He’s a Lovin’ Man,” and though life continued to push her down, LaVette never lost hope. Her stunning rendition of the Who’s “Love Reign o’er Me” at the Kennedy Center Honors catapulted her back into the spotlight in 2008. Energetic and frank, LaVette’s unforgettable memoir spotlights a star that still shines.

THE GAMBLER
On a train bound for nowhere, country legend Kenny Rogers met up with success. In his aw-shucks, sit-down-and-listen-for-a-spell memoir, Luck or Something Like It, the singer-songwriter who has sold tens of millions of records asks us onto his front porch as he reminisces in never-before-told stories about his upbringing in a poor part of Houston, his love for his parents and family, his love of music at an early age, his five marriages and his artistic partnerships with Dolly Parton and Barry Gibb, among others. With a twinkle in his eye and a song in his heart, Rogers gracefully recalls the ups and downs on his wild ride to fame, grateful to have had the good fortune to remain in the spotlight as an entertainer for more than 50 years.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE
Read a review of Neil Young’s Waging Heavy Peace.

 
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