March 14, 2013
A Review: A Prince Among Stones by Rupert Loewenstein
Review by R.E. Prindle
Loewenstein, Prince Rupert: A Prince Among Stones: That Business With The Rolling Stones And Other Adventures, 2013, Bloomsbury
Some will rob you with a six gun,
Others use a fountain pen.
-Pretty Boy Floyd, The Outlaw
Now comes the very welcome autobiography of the Rolling Stones eminence gris, financial expert, Rupert Loewenstein, a moments surcease from the excesses of Spanish Tony Sanchez, Marianne Faithfull and Keith. A respite from biographers Christopher Anderson, Philip Norman, A.E. Hotchner and the other sexually obsessed writers. A pause in the hothouse atmosphere of Mick’s groovy sexual liaisons, temporary and otherwise. Rupert keeps his dick in his pants.
When in 1968 the Stones realized that the inexperience of their youthful years was cracking down to destroy their dreams, their hopes had been concealed and buried in truckloads of contracts and documents they couldn’t read and would never understand. Enter Rupert the investment banker from The Square Mile, well mannered and ‘with it’ in ways Rockers could ever understand much less emulate. But Mick tried.
Entangled by the youthful inexperience of their first manager seconded by his partner Eric Easton and outright robbed by fountain pen wielding Allen B. Klein, Mick Jagger turned to Rupert Loewenstein as a thirsting man in the Sahara desert. As despised rock and rollers Jagger was turned down by the lawyers and accountants he pleaded with to salvage the Stones situation.
Christopher Gibbs, friend of Bob Fraser, approached Rupert as an old Etonian and asked his help. Rupert considered and accepted.
After reading internet reviews of Rupert’s book the general consensus seems to be a general rejection. The fact that Rupert took the first sixty pages to explain his origins and give some background offended the majority of reviewers who expected him to begin with glowing accounts of Mick and Keith. As Rupert’s technique was to place himself in his environment, so markedly different from the rest of us, most reviewers interpreted his method as mere name dropping.
I enjoyed the pages and thought Rupert’s technique quite skillful. As his explication narrowed down to his first encounter with Mick as he stepped over his prone drugged out form at a party I became aware of who Rupert was and how he arrived at the crossroads of his life.
At that point he was an owner of the small merchant banking firm of Leopold Joseph & Sons, both Leopold and his sons having departed the firm. Here he had a comfortable, respectable life with, as future developments would show, an opportunity for substantial wealth. An enviable situation actually.
But Rupert, apparently, craved excitement, so for reasons that escape me he took on the task of rescuing the Stones. Did I say crazy? Closer to what I meant but had too much discretion to say. At the time Rupert accepted the mission the Stones were penniless all their money controlled by Klein; they had no means to pay Rupert anything including his expenses. As incredible as it may seem Rupert worked for not only nothing but at his own expense including many trips to New York and back for three long years until he could squeeze some money out of Allen Klein. I mean, what luck for the Stones, my jaw just dropped.
The Stones had thousands and thousands of documents and papers Rupert had to familiarize himself with and this is all boring, very intricate stuff. It took Rupert a couple years alone of study before he felt competent to confront the thug Klein; and then, eighteen years of legal squabbles ensued as Klein fought to hold his ill gotten gains.
In the meantime, as Rupert learned the complexities of the music business and touring he had to find ways to make the ongoing projects profitable. He succeeded in making the perennial money loser, touring, into a cash cow.
Rupert is always understated but his efforts for the Stones in a very corrupt business were astonishing. From being penniless Jagger now has several hundreds of millions of dollars.
While discussing these financial affairs Rupert is more than discreet. One has an idea of what he did for the Stones but nothing in the way of useful details. This was Rupert’s life that so far as I’m concerned he is certainly within his rights to discuss, even revealing, some more pertinent details in his dealings with Klein.
Mick, who can explain Mick, had the effrontery to chide Rupert for, in his eyes, revealing the Stones’ finances. Revealing the Stones’ finances! Who is Mick kidding? The Stones are an untraded public company. They have imposed themselves on their public, us, and what they do is our business. Our dollars have made them very wealthy men. We’re entitled to financial reports. Does Mick have any idea of what havoc he has caused to society and we members of the public, this member, by his reprehensible shenanigans?
Personally I think it astonishing that Rupert would have associated himself with a guy who would get up on forty foot inflatable dick in front of sixty thousand people a time and shout ‘Yahoo!’ What kind of guy would do that?
In many ways that was only the beginning of Stones’ offensiveness in the seventies. One has to understand the homosexual situation of the sixties and seventies in which Mick played a leading role. Hidden at the bottom of developments was the 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange. The story involves a near societal mutation of thug violence. The film rights were immediately snapped up by a combine of David Bailey, Andrew Oldham and Andy Warhol.
The original plan was to star Mick as the protagonist Alex. The movie did not come together until 1971 but then under different owners although Warhol did make an earlier version. The book’s type of violence was part and parcel of Warhol’s Factory whose members apparently took the book’s protagonists, the Droods, as their model. That combined with their homosexuality.
Mick was close to both David Bailey, the fashion photographer who describes Mick and his mate, and Warhol. As the book was a sort of revolutionary text the movie was even more so. For those prone to violence the movie serves as a primer. Yobbos in action.
Andy Warhol was also working toward the homosexual revolution that succeeded in 1969 in the Christopher Street rebellion at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Between the book and the Stonewall the lid was off unconscious violence and homosexuality. Alex of Clockwork Orange was portrayed as an androgynous character not unlike Mick.
Thus the 1970s songs and tours took on a violent homosexual character leaning heavily toward psychotic sado-masochism. Always pushing the envelope Mick over did it with his 1976 release Black And Blue. Black And Blue was a very sick record. Of course it was only part of a very sick period fueled by the homosexual revolution. Appearing in 1976, it was after a series of albums by the sado-masochistic Negro band The Ohio Players. The OP had released a series of objectionable record covers that caused no adverse reaction as they were Negroes. Their LPs Pleasure, Pain and Angel had covers more excessive than Black And Blue. Women were dominatrices, hung from chains, the Pleasure cover shows a woman stabbing a man in the spine during intercourse. This all passed without comment but Mick apparently didn’t realize that Negroes have a ticket to ride but White Boys don’t.
Unlike The Ohio Players the Stones didn’t have the rocks to put their picture of female torture and overt sado-masochism on the outside of the cover concealing it instead within the gate fold. Perhaps Mick was realizing his Clockwork Orange fantasy identity.
To add insult to injury the Stones compelled their label to erect a gigantic Billboard of the centerfold across from the Hyatt House on Sunset Boulevard in LA. The outrage was instantaneous. The outrage was so intense that Mick and the Stones were compelled to back down. The billboard was taken down while the photo was removed from the inner cover replaced by a photo of the band.
One can only imagine the effect the incident had on Rupert and his fellow merchant bankers back in London. The repercussions at all levels were horrendous.
In fact Mick owes me for that one. At that time I was in the record business in Portland, Oregon, running a large six thousand square foot store. I had a huge presence on TV and radio through advertisements thus making me an ideal target for protests. Oddly devotees of porn like Lesbians decided to target my store. A committee in combat boots stormed into my store handing me an ultimatum to not only remove Black And Blue from my racks but a long list of record covers they thought demeaned women. Interestingly The Ohio Players several covers or any records by Negro groups for that matter were not on the list. No White person was going to criticize any Negro for anything. They had immunity. The Stones however where White, objectionable and fair game. As was I.
The Lesbos put their heads together to come up with a media event that they could exploit for maximum publicity. Andy always said that any publicity was good publicity but I beg to disagree with him. They conceived the notion that if they came into my store and slashed the covers of their two hundred objections that would make the paper, TV and radio. They were complicit with my employees. As the store was open till ten they chose a late hour to do their slashing. Well done, but beyond my notice until one of the Lesbos in my employ pointed the albums out to me several days later.
Of course, as I had no idea who did it, similar incidents were always happening, I pulled the damaged covers to be sent back to the manufacturers hoping that it wouldn’t happen again. There was no reason for me to complain to the police because as a record dealer I was outside the protection of the law, the police would have laughed at me. As the evil deed had received no response the Lesbos published their manifesto in their paper. Naturally enough I didn’t read lesbian publications so no response from me.
The gay crowd had their agents in the police department and the Daily Oregonian, the local rag. Unfortunately for the Lesbos as I didn’t advertise in the Oregonian it was forbidden to either mention myself or my store hence that venue was closed. Oddly enough the Lesbos used to police to try to stir me.
Now, I was in the record business. It was universally believed that every record store was dealing drugs. There were TV shows depicting it. Therefore it was believed that I was one of the biggest drug masterminds in the world. I was actually followed by police agents in London on vacation. As it happened I was there when they made a major marijuana bust so I was given attention as it was apparently thought I was there to supervise the operation. It was an interesting time. I hope I don’t have to tell you what a fantastically absurd suspicion this was. I mean, you know, it was believed that all you had to do was ask for a certain record and the clerk would slap a lid of grass on the counter for you. I mean, with a counter full of weed nothing would have been easier than a bust. But logic….
The cops had been irritants for some time so when I got a phone call saying that they wanted to help me, I say, What kind of setup is this? The sergeant or whatever begins insultingly saying that ordinarily the police didn’t care what my kind of people did to each other but this slashing of record covers was one toke over the line. Wow. It was exceptionable wasn’t it? What other things hadn’t they investigated that’s what I wanted to know but got no answer.
Quite honestly I’d dismissed the incident, didn’t remember it and thanks, but no thanks. The Lesbos were back to square one, no media event. Time passed as they revolved the situation in their drug addled minds.
Now, not only was the newspaper riddled with gays, as was my store by the way, but so was the no. 1 TV station in town on which I was a very heavy advertiser, both its radio and TV outlets. Homos and Lesbos ran the place. Time has now flown as Time will and we’re into 1977. More objectionable covers have appeared especially Ronnie Montrose’s first with the abstract painting that resembled perhaps a woman’s crotch but given the homosexual dominance of the industry by 1978 it could have been a man’s rear; the record was called Jump On It if I remember correctly. All the sexual double entendres used for decades, remember the tune Baby, Let Me Bang Your Box? Piano was meant, box being musical slang for piano as well as…(blush) you know. The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane, for instance who was only three years old. You just have a dirty mind, that’s all.
I was known for touting the artistic merits of the covers so getting together with their sisters at K… it was determined to do a short news feature in which I was to be induced to speak out and then they would go for the Montrose cover and get me for porno. I had no objection to their filming in my store but not having been born yesterday I wasn’t going to be drawn into the trap. I refused to speak on camera so that blew the second attempt for a media event. On to take three.
What else? The Lesbos would stage a demonstration outside the store, placards and all. However they once again made some gross miscalculations. They did get the top DJ in town also at K… and also a homosexual to announce that the demonstration would take place at noon at my store. I heard it on the radio on my way to work and was grossly offended. But, you know, too bad wasn’t it?
It was true that because of my massive radio and TV presence through advertising, and I mean massive, I was the ideal target. However many if not most people considered the demonstration as a publicity stunt which I failed to grasp at the time so didn’t turn it to my advantage and ignored it. As it would have been free advertising none of the radio and TV stations would cover the demonstration and the Oregonian certainly ignored it.
Frustrated that no media attended their media event the Lesbos decided to invade my store. A screaming horde of combat booted demons rushed in climbing on record racks, waving their signs, and with them came all the thieves and shop lifters within range of the excitement. Oddly enough many shoppers considering the ruckus a stunt went calmly about their shopping.
It took the helpful police an hour to get there and two hours to restore order. Obviously no arrests were made by the ‘helpful’ police. As Dylan sang: The cops don’t need you and, man, they expect the same. I have no idea how much money the Lesbos cost me, but they owe along with Mick. Once they realized there would be no media event their interest subsided. By that time half of 1977 was shot.
The next time Mick says that songs don’t incite a revolution smile knowingly.
Whatever was happening to me passed unnoticed as I was out on the edge of nowhere. Except for this account of the story the incident has been unrecorded. I hope the Lesbos feel rewarded. But for Rupert his world was changed dramatically on February 27th of that same year, 1977. Keith was busted for intent to distribute heroin in Toronto. The bust was as close to absolute disaster as the Stones ever came. It must also have sent a shiver down Rupert’s spine as he realized how fragile a business the Stones were.
Rupert passes over this stuff casually with a little light hearted banter but the seriousness of this ‘media event’ causes him to issue a nearly audible sigh of resignation. Rupert had spent months lining up bids from every major label for when the recording contract with Atlantic expired.
Mick gave Rupert a call to tell him the disastrous news. You can almost feel the heartbreak as Rupert resigns himself to call each and every label to ask if the bust affected their offers. It did. All signed off but…Atlantic. Ertegun stayed in but Rupert’s bargaining power went into the vein, so to speak. The Stones were only worth what Ertegun would offer. Millions down the tube. Rupert doesn’t tell us what percentage he was working on but we can assume that Keith’s bust cost him plenty.
You don’t read the story that way in Keith’s auto; he may not even still have figured it out.
That was a very serious consequence for Rupert to which I am sure Keith has given no thought ever to the possible collateral damages caused by his actions. In his drugged out haze Keith was not even aware that Rupert could no longer justify his involvement with a bunch of yobbos like the Stones. In the first place anyone associated with Rock was socially unacceptable. I as a record store owner was persona non grata in my social arena. If Rupert had held on to his social status to this point I’m sure he found that certain invitations were no longer forthcoming. Indeed, his fellows at Leopold Joseph made him choose between them and the Stones. Rupert was forced to sell out.
One feels a sort of sinking feeling in his writing as he acknowledges that Keith had sabotaged the chances of both him and the Stones. One can only hope he came out with a couple hundred million otherwise he was woefully under compensated. Rock was a world he could never have understood.
Rupert saw the Stones as a business venture without any regard of the Stones’ relationship to the expectations of their fans. Thus when he negotiated more than substantial sums for the use of Stones’ songs in advertising that was a very good business decision but a potentially disastrous situation with the fan base who saw such financial arrangements as a complete betrayal of their anti-commercialism. Rupert was frustrated that the Stones had a hard time seeing it his way.
Besides he didn’t know who the Stones were or, seemingly so. The Stones were always a minority appeal band. When Andrew Oldham cast them as the ultimate yobbo band he was limiting their appeal to a certain segment of society. In the contemporary world where modern communications allow mind sets to come into contact and maintain communications not only locally but globally mind sets were able to blast their presence into a million or millions through communications. Thus though a small percentage of the overall global population even a perversion such as sado-masochism could appear in millions, seemingly a large connected body. Effects such as this is what Warhol was doing and through associates such as Jagger and David Bailey acting globally.
While the Stones may have sold a couple two or three million globally of their records, while substantial economically, it was not that significant culturally. Beyond the yobbo mentality the Stones had little appeal. The Black And Blue album did not expand their audience but constricted it.
Of course Mick moved the band beyond mere rock and roll by making the Stones the Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey circus of rock. The show was the thing. Rupert himself usually refers to Mick as a great showman. Faint praise indeed. But, once again even though the shows generated hundreds of millions it was to an already sympathetic or curious audience. Preaching to the converted so to speak.
I think that Rupert was originally blinded by the light of the Stones publicity not realizing that he wasn’t representing a universal phenomenon but a mere yobbo fragment of the population. The money was there however. I hope he valued his services accordingly.
The last half of the book meanders with very little useful information save that Rupert negotiated with unnamed buyers to sell the Stones lock, stock and barrel much as Halston sold his name, soul and product to a major corporation.
What Rupert’s motivation was except for a huge bundle of cash isn’t clear. Perhaps in some devious way he was seeking to avenge Keith’s betrayal and cause the Stone’s the pain they caused him. In any event the idea was too novel for Keith and Mick or they were two wary so the deal didn’t go down.
Perhaps there was big money in it for Rupert so that when he lost the opportunity he lost interest in the Stones. It was shortly after the deal folded that he retired severing his relationship with the group whose fortunes he had guided quite successfully for forty years.
Rupert never satisfactorily explained why he decided to abandon his respectable merchant banking career to take up a gypsy existence with the Stones. You may be sure that if I had the choice between owning a record store or being a merchant banker I would definitely have gone into banking. Anything really. You can always buy records.
February 27, 2013
Who Is Spanish Tony Sanchez?
A Review Of Up And Down With The Rolling Stones
Published In 1979 Spanish Tony Sanchez’ memoir is now thirty-four years old. Tony tanked it in the year 2000. Had he lived he might be surprised but gratified at the success his book is enjoying. According to reviews the book as been very well received by book buyers although there are dissident views by others finding the book unbelievable.
Part of the problem is that the book was co-written by a former journalist named John Blake who appears to detest Jagger, Richards and the whole scene they created. As a journalist he was privy to all the gossip about Jagger and Richards and so chips in with opinions of his own while also citing newspaper reports. Although written as a continuous narrative, with careful reading you can separate Blake from Sanchez.
After his journalistic career blew up Blake went on to publishing at which he has been successful. His collaboration with Sanchez was fruitful. The book is a great read anyway you look at it. The question is not what Sanchez tells us but what he doesn’t tell us.
Tony says that he was under he protection of a gang boss by the name of Albert Dimes who ran the West End apparently sharing Soho with the notorious Kray twins, Reggie and Ronnie and their brother Charlie. Sanchez then can be classed as a hoodlum. As Charlie Kray says his gang ran a bodyguard company it seems probable that Tony was employed by Keith in that function.
One of his chief functions for the Stones was as a drug supplier. Opening the book he says apropos of Brian Jones:
I’m not a pusher, but as a boy I’d worked in Soho, first as a night club bouncer, then as a croupier, so I know exactly where to go for anything from a lid of grass to a Thompson submachine gun. Consequently people in the rock world had come to me as a reluctant go-between in their flirtations with the London underworld.
That short paragraph says an awful lot. We know, according to Tony, that he was sufficiently well known in gangland to come under the protection of Albert Dimes, a gangster dating back to the early fifties. Tony says that he worked as a bouncer in gambling joints and that would require the attitude and the temper to use violence whether necessary or not.
And then he says he was a croupier. He later tells us that the games were rigged so that he was knowingly bilking his customers, a form of theft. He then tells us that he could get anything from a bag of grass to submachines guns. This would mean that he was very knowledgeable in criminal matters.
He repeatedly professes that he didn’t sell drugs for profit but apparently had access to commercial amounts. At the same time he is married with two children, dresses like a dandy and hangs out in pricey bars. At no time does he appear to be gainfully employed until for some reason Keith Richards puts him on the payroll at 16,000 pounds a year. Well in excess of the pay for a working stiff. Plus, as Tony never seems to visit the wife and kids, room and board. Kind of a dream deal, you might say. What’s up? We’ll have to guess because Tony and John kept it quiet.
So, how did Tony get so close to Keith? Well, this is fairly interesting stuff. The stuff Swinging London was made of. The story’s real beginning is on page 39 when Tony meets Groovy Bob Fraser who was his entrance to the rock world. Tony tells it like this:
Into this world of intrigue, sudden violence, and bitter feuds dropped Robert Fraser. We met as I sipped a solitary espresso at the Bar Italian in Soho’s Frith Street. It was afternoon and I was killing time before going to work at the club.
Robert sat next to me, and we fell into conversation. Robert mentioned that he had gone to college in Spain…I speak Spanish as fluently as I speak English. This excited Robert and he jumped at the chance to talk to me in his very erudite Spanish…
From there a friendship developed around Tony’s ability to score drugs. Fraser was a gambler who had lost 20K pounds to the Kray Twins and couldn’t pay. He asked and Tony offered to deal with the Krays. Tony approached Dimes who wasn’t willing to jeopardize his wicket for an impecunious gambler. Tony decided to approach the Krays on his own. Bold move. Now, two versions exist; the improbable one of the book and another version in what purports to be a chapter of the book deleted by the publishers that might be more accurate.
The story involves criminal attempts to take over the music business. Sanchez was in a criminal occupation within the underworld while he confesses to wanting to be a criminal. p. 37:
As a teenager my great passions were rock music and big-time villainy- roughly in that order. I had a cousin who had gone way, way off the rails and who had become deeply immersed in organized crime. While my parents complained about the shame he was bringing to our family, I could only look at his big car and beautiful women and pray to God he would show me how it was done.
So, his cousin got Tony a job as a croupier and Tony began to meet big time crooks like Albert Dimes.
Rock and Roll bands at that time played in clubs and clubs are almost universally under the control of the underworld. Thus band members of the Beatles and Rolling Stones are in much closer contact with the underworld than one might assume while that is very carefully obscured by their biographers.
The Beatles played for months in the red light district of Hamburg one of the toughest criminal areas in the world. They witnessed much crime and mayhem. They were no angels. Albert Grossman in his biography gives examples while Andrew Oldham in his latest effort, Stone Free, tells of the time John and Paul dressed as priests and while so posing anointed communicants with their own piss, for which Oldham says they were arrested. At any rate they were under the protection of the crime lord of all Europe. The Krays of England would have been old hat to them.
Tony’s relationship with Keith then is suspicious.
The Kray Twins, who were England’s most prominent villains, as the English say, had taken over a prominent West End gambling spot called Esmeralda’s Barn. Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein gambled here, losing heavily so that the enormous amounts of money the Beatles were generating came to the attention of the Krays. They also knew that Epstein was gay. As they had made the previous owner of the Barn the irrefusable offer they believed they could do the same with Epstein. This aspect of the story is detailed in Colin Fry’s book, The Krays: A Violent Business so the account is not dependent on the missing chapter.
The Krays arranged a meeting with Epstein in a homosexual bar. That it was a homosexual bar indicates nothing to me as gay bars aren’t in the habit of hanging signs out saying: Gay Bar. I have been in several gay venues without knowing where I was until I was being served. The question is, would one go back?
Epstein patiently explained that managing bands was not as easy and effortless as it looked. The Krays then consulted the alleged godfather of British crime Arthur Thompson of Glasgow who as Epstein pointed out indicated to the Krays that managing the Beatles would require sustained effort and concentration to which criminals are not accustomed. Fry says the Krays thought it over, deciding to blackmail Epstein instead which they did collecting a sum every month for years.
Now to the Antiphoney’s missing chapter. Tony says, if the chapter is authentic, that Robert Fraser owed the Krays 20K in unpaid gambling debts. Tony says in Up And Down he tried to arrange a deal in which Fraser paid 30% or less thus freeing him and making him grateful to Tony.
According to the missing chapter the Krays showed him a sheaf of bounced checks and suggested that perhaps Fraser could clear the debt by delivering the Beatles into their hands, apparently not having given up their desire for the Beatles. When Tony told Fraser the idea he says Fraser embraced it setting about to woo the group. Fraser was fairly tight with McCartney to whom he sold a lot of artwork but not so much with Lennon.
In order then to co-opt Lennon, this sounds like a stretcher, he enlisted the aid of Yoko Ono who had arrived from NYC. As an avant-garde personality cum artist she would have looked Fraser up on her arrival so it is at least probable that she knew him. Yoko according to this account had been hanging around Paul who was the Beatle she wanted. Whatever the intent she did besiege John relentlessly until she got her entry and then she seduced him baffling his mind with all that avant garde BS and heroin.
If Fraser had his agenda Yoko had her own. Having conquered John she used his fame to pull off the Performance Art project of the century when he and she staged the Bed-In For Peace.
While all this was going on the Guiness heir Tara Browne entered this scene when he and his friend, , opened a night club called Sybilla’s. George Harrison of the Beatles was a significant investor. You can’t operate a club without dealing with some Mob. Perhaps the Krays saw Sybilla’s as a chance to co-opt the Beatles. Although the story is not yet clear I imagine that the Krays put pressure on Kevin MacDonald and Browne to sell their interest thus giving them direct access to Harrison as a partner. The two apparently refused so MacDonald was thrown off a roof to his death which left Tara Browne to deal with.
Bearing in mind that Paul had been under the protection of the European crime lord and one doesn’t receive favors without returning them, for that or some other reason Paul was probably compelled to lure Browne to his death. It is said, perhaps conjectured, that on that night Paul challenged Tara to a high speed auto race through London. The object being to draw Tara to a certain intersection where he could be caused to crash his car, a little flimsy Lotus. The crash ruse succeeded and Browne was killed although his supposed passenger, Suzy Poitier survived in a demolished car without a scratch sans seat belt or air bag. Doesn’t seem likely.
Browne’s death left Harrison as the sole surviving investor. I have no information as to his reaction but the club was closed and Harrison went his way. Harrison and Browne had been enough of an attraction to make Sybilla’s a hot spot with the In Crowd. That kind of lightning can strike many times.
Subsequently then, Tony, so he says, conceived the notion of opening his own club that he called Vesuvio. As he seemed to be very tight with the Stones and the Beatles he was able to feature them as attractions for his grand opening that was attended by them and the Rock establishment including Eric Clapton who was also a habitué at the Krays’ gambling club, The Barn. According to Tony the club was a stellar success but then he discovered he wasn’t the type to enjoy sustained business activity so his partner, the one who fronted the money took over management putting him on a stipend. Sanchez doesn’t say who his partner was but it surely must have been either Albert Dimes, or…the Krays.
Whatever, but Fraser was still not delivering and the Krays were getting pushy. Here comes a real leap of belief. Fraser could deliver neither the Beatles nor the money owed so, says Tony, he conceived the notion of going to prison to escape the Krays. An odd choice as the Krays had as many men on the inside as on the outside. But if you’ve snorted, puffed dropped and shot enough stuff I’m sure anything can seem like a reasonable plan.
Thus Tony says in the deleted chapter it was he, Fraser, who tipped the News Of The World to the Redlands bust which sent him to prison for six months. During that time the Krays murdered Jack McVitie, for which crime they were finally nailed. They went in as Fraser came out thus freeing him of the threat although Tony says prison was a life changing experience for Bob who became a less groovy Bob.
Alright. That makes a good story, doesn’t it?
Nor was the above the only contact of the Krays with show biz and Rock
It may be time to give a little perspective to the arch-criminals, The Krays, for those who may be unfamiliar with them, at least in the US, the English underworld reformed after WWII, a whole new cast of characters emerged formed by the wartime experience. The Kray twins were born in 1933 while their brother Charlie was a few years older. Ronnie and Reggie, the twins, began to emerge after 1954 becoming powers as the sixties began.
Perhaps their main racket was Protection of which providing bodyguards was a sub-division.
As the sixties progressed and their fame grew the Sicilian Mafia of the US began to take notice of them. The Mafia had always had a stable of singers, actors and performers they controlled for their nightclubs, such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland et al. They suggested the Krays do the same.
In that manner the Krays provided bodyguards for visiting Mafia acts in England. When gambling became legal in England during the early sixties the US Mafia opened casinos installing such as the ex-actor George Raft as front men. The Krays were flattered by the attention showered on them by Raft.
Thus the Krays moved in on the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks and others. While the Beatles Brian Epstein was paying large monthly there was probably a connection to group members also. If McCartney was used to lure Tara Browne to his death, and maybe it was only intended as a scare and a few bruises, then there was mob influence at the personal level.
As I have implied if not stated, Spanish Tony was foisted on Keith as a bodyguard and minder.
The Krays also made a move to co-opt the Kinks but that deal is said to have fallen through. Ronnie Kray as part of the deal wanted to date Kink drummer, Mick Avery. Very flattering to Mick, I’m sure.
Later, when the Sicilian US Mafia wanted to launder money they offered the Krays 2,000,000 dollars to set up a label. The Krays went about it signing a few acts including Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. Kramer was spared further indignities when the money was withdrawn and the deal fell through.
And then in Prison after 1968 Reggie Kray decided he wanted to be a songwriter so his songs were foisted on groups who were required to record them.
Much has been made of the homosexual Communist MP Tom Driberg trying to lure Mick into politics. In point of fact Driberg was well connected with Ronnie Kray and part of ring that borrowed boys from an orphanage for their sexual deviance.
This then is quite involved and while Mick was probably not lured into this pervert scene with the Krays it would seem that there was some attempt to draw him in thus co-opting him into the underworld. The scene and Redlands situation needs a little in depth investigation to clear up details of what might have been going on behind the scene of the Bust.
And then there was Tony’s ongoing relationship with Marianne Faithfull. No one associated with the Stones has anything positive to say about Tony. But, listen to Marianne, autobiography, p. 162:
…(Tony) was a dreadful person. You only had to see him eat to know how loathsome he was. He was a lowlife, a small-time spiv, but a weakling at the same time. He was as enchained as anyone else, completely hung up on his particular sickness.
…I was getting deeper and deeper into drugs…I was also getting involved in a long affair with Tony Sanchez, dealer by appointment to the Stones. I can’t believe I did that! I didn’t get enough pocket money fom Mick and I didn’t have any money of my own, so how else would I have been able to get my own drugs?
There’s a problem. And then:
It’s odd to realize that the person you’re sleeping with is there only because you’re Mick Jagger’s girl friend. Or were.
This was as Marianne moved into her lost years during the seventies. During this period she makes it sound as though she were sitting on her wall over the bomb site beyond the ken of the world. It makes a good story and it drew me in. But, she says she never resorted to prostitution. Well, maybe.
While in France with Keith Tony met a woman named Madeleine D’Arcy for whom he fell hard, ditching the wife and kids. Love of his life, he said. She returned to England with Tony where Marianne apparently fell for her as hard as Tony. Sanchez came home one day to find Madeleine and Marianne getting it on. He blamed Marianne.
As all three were heroin addicts with pretty good habits; one wonders where Tony got the money if he wasn’t dealing. He was not closely associated with Keith after Keith fled the Riviera a step or to ahead of the cops so Tony may then have been off the payroll.
He would have had to be hustling something.
Madeleine was hooking. Marianne pp.225-26:
I hadn’t heard from Madeleine for several days. Her phone was off the hook and I suspected the worst. I had a feeling she’d OD’d, and I might have to smash down her door, so when I went over to the flat in Maida Vale I took with me as muscle a burly Maltese drug dealer and a lowlife friend…Eventually the boys broke down the door and in the bedroom we found Madeleine lying fully clothed in a long gown on the bed. She was obviously dead and looked bruised and bloody…By the time of her death, she had gone back to turning tricks at Brighton for fifteen pounds a night.
The Maltese gangs in London were known both for drug dealing and running prostitution. That Marianne contacted a Maltese and ‘a lowlife friend’ might point to prostitution. I saw a clip on the internet in which the photographer was hidden in a sort of alcove shooting through an opening. Marianne walked in front of the camera obviously dressed as a hooker but very classy in her mini skirt and jacket. She spotted the camera, looked alarmed, and quickly ducked around a corner looking back to ascertain what was going on.
There are numerous pictures of her during her lost years so that when the record producers went looking for her she wouldn’t have been as hard to find as she says.
And then, this: p.221:
I was constantly reminded during these years of my parasitic status in the pop world. I remember once going out dancing to a club and Rod Stewart came home with me. He thought I was just one of those girls that sort of floated around pop stars and tried to put the whole thing across like that… (Pop stars) are looking for their particular type, a girly sort of woman with pretty underwear and frocks and the whole female fantasy….I laughed and threw him out.
Sort of a hard Marianne. The other side of the Faerie Queen.
In 1976 Tony was cut loose by Jagger and Richards for good. I presume he passed out of Marianne’s life at that time. In any event she met her second husband, Ben Brierly, in 1976 and began a different, if not a new, life.
Tony’s primary job after securing drugs was to look after Keith. Keith needed some serious looking after. As Keith says Tony’s facts are straight then the only disagreement would be that Tony mentioned things Keith preferred not be mentioned. Indeed, when a London newspaper was going to publish an excerpt concerning Marianne she got an injunction to prevent it.
If the incidents are true as Keith attests then the evidence is that Keith was, at the very least, off the rails, carefree and reckless. He seemed to be conducting a vendetta against society attempting to see how many rules and laws he could break with impunity not unlike the Droogs of A Clockwork Orange.
Unable to pass the driver’s license test Keith had someone else take the test for him. Although, test or no test, practice should have made perfect. Keith was a slow learner cracking up car after car. As he was usually carrying, he grabbed the dope then ran off leaving Tony to deal with the police. Rather annoying from Tony’s point of view who must have been on the police radar himself.
I’m sure that Tony considered himself more than a minder or drug procurer, thinking of himself as more of a member of the group, especially as he was a friend of Robert Fraser’s before linking up with Keith.
The Redlands drug bust is far from cleared up. There is no certainty as to who alerted the News Of The World paper that drugs would be at the party and where the party was. The drug dealer Schneiderman may have been the one. His presence is certainly suspicious. I am going to suggest another possibility, admittedly a conjecture, that Tony himself might be the culprit. Sanchez ran a lot of risks for Jagger and Keith while being included in most things. Then, he wasn’t invited to the Redlands party at which he knew the regulars well. To be excluded is often considered an insult for hangers on for which vengeance is due. It is possible, then, that to wipe the perceived insult Tony himself alerted the News Of The World. It would certainly have avenged a number of indignities he had suffered at the hands of Keith.
It might have been Fraser who alerted the News as the missing chapter asserts, it might have been Schneiderman or, perhaps, it was Tony himself.
At any rate it appears that Tony was tolerated by Keith but not really welcome. As he was linked to London’s underworld it is possible if not probable that there was some link between it and Keith and Mick. When the Krays were sent up for thirty years in 1968, probably freeing Mick and Keith from their influence Tony’s days were probably numbered.
He was still useful in France but when Keith overplayed his hand finding it necessary to leave France and unable to return to England, he became a man without a country of sorts, the connection with Tony was broken, it being only necessary to sever the relationship.
Tony tells it in the brief epilogue to his book:
I had been running from death too long, knew that I could not live this life much longer. But I wasn’t ready to draw completely away. Keith still called me occasionally asking me to get drugs for him, and usually I would cooperate. It had become my way of life. It was on August 21, 1976, that the Stones were playing an outdoor concert at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, and Keith and Mick asked me to bring some cocaine to the dressing room for them. I was given the wrong type pass, however, and in the midst of a wrangle with a security man I suddenly realized it was all over. I turned on my heel, walked away and the next day reserved a room at Bowden House for a cure.
And so Tony was eased out. I have found nothing that mentions his last twenty-five years. However he died in the year 2000 short after Charlie, Ronnie and Reggie Kray had all passed away. It may have been coincidence or as some suggest…
February 17, 2013
The Sixties: A Comic Book Heaven
Of course, everyone is, and always has been, slightly mad. Still, repressing the unreasonable side of his nature man in the Western world has, since the eighteenth century, built a civilization based on scientific reason and classic Aristotelian logic- the heritage of the Enlightenment. And the result, especially in this country [US] during the past fifty years [article dated 1970], has been a rational society that has made one technological break through after another, from the invention of the pop-up toaster to the ability to land men on the moon. Here, until recently, two plus two had inevitably equaled four, not five, as Eastern mystics suggest, and no one other than J.D. Salinger had been able to imagine the sound of one hand clapping.
–Thomas Meehan- Horizon Magazine, Spring 1970.
Comic books were first sold in 1933-34. Thus the first two comic book generations coincide with those too young to serve in WWII while many of the first generation was obliged to serve in the Korean war while the second generation missed both.
How deeply the mind of the first generation of comic book readers was formed is problematical. Comic books didn’t take their classic form until 1938 when the character of Superman was formed. The number of comic characters proliferated during WWII but as these, i.e. Capt. America, were war specific they fell out of favor after WWII.
The first generation of potential comic book readers, those born from 1933-34 formed the substratum for the sixties when they created rock and roll and the base for 60s pop culture during the 50s. That was Presley, Sanford Clark, Cash, Vincent, Nelson et al.
Following the war those born in 1937-38 and subsequently through about 1943-44 had their minds formed by comic books although not all to the same degree. A significant percentage of them were forbidden to read comics by their parents, perhaps wisely. There were some who indulged themselves indiscriminately. I was one of those. I read them all, avidly. The question is how were we affected?
There was a terrific reaction against comic books. Angry parents fought to have them banned. In perhaps the only, certainly of a very few, successful efforts of censorship, comics were banned in 1954. The survivor, of course, was Mad Magazine published by the worst offender, William C. Gaines. All of the comic book readers plus many of those formerly excluded shifted to Mad thus further polluting our brains. While I never gave up reading the comic books till their banning I did abandon Mad for political reasons after a year or so.
Now, with the exception of Capt. Marvel, and that may only be partial, the comics were exclusively of Jewish origins. Thus we in the US, Britain was excluded, were shown the Jewish point of view without our knowing.
One of the key themes was the all male group of do-gooders. These were some of my favorites. The tops, perhaps, was the very influential Blackhawks comics. The Blackhawks were a group of five ex-WWII pilots who each owned his P-38 fighter and flew around the world, Third World mainly, if I remember correctly, righting wrongs they recognized more quickly and efficiently, that is vigilante style, than organized government could or would. I remember the Blackhawks as terrific, I loved them. The fellowship of the pilots, each with a different character, each loyal to the others was something that I and I suppose every reader wished to emulate, especially the notion of a bonded group of five like minded guys.
Another was called the Daredevil. He had a red and blue set of body tights upper right and lower left red and vice versa for the blue. Weird but that’s the way he was. Daredevil was a surrogate father figure to five orphan boys, same character makeup as the Blackhawks, who righted wrongs in their neighborhood and lived in the same clubhouse. The later musical group The Monkees was probably based on them. The Monkees were short one, being four, which lessened their impact. If they’d had that fifth member I would have been an avid fan although older by then.
Thus in 1954 the origins of Top 40 began on radio. Twenty four hours round the clock seven days a week full time music. An innovation created by the arrival of television. The first generation of rockers were solo artists. Some came attached with a band such Bill Haley And The Comets or Gene Vincent And The Blue Caps who were proto-Blackhawk type groups but mainly they were solo artists with a band not a group. Presley, Sanford Clark and that curious mixture of both, Ricky Nelson.
The societal maturation process was continuing and then in the mid-sixties the Charlatans came down from the hills of Virginia City dressed in movie style cowboy outfits to home base San Francisco and the first group of costumed crusaders a la the Blackhawks burst forth in full flower.
In Britain the situation was somewhat different although coeval with the US. While the US escaped devastation in WWII the South of England was bombarded mercilessly destroying millions of buildings. A good representation of the situation may be found in John Boorman’s I suppose accurate, I wasn’t there, movie, The Hope And The Glory. As Boorman, who was there, portrays it, acres and acres of rubble stretched in every direction. The kids who scavenged and roamed the area are portrayed as little savages. An interesting education for the age cohort that came of age in the fifties.
Those born in the early forties, the core of the second generation of rockers, themselves played in this same although shrinking devastation. But rations were short in hard hit Britain, restrictions were not lifted until 1954. How their psychology was impaired isn’t so clear, although in the mid-sixties a wild party time called Swinging London appeared. Gay abandon one might say.
The group situation there may have been the result of the generation’s discovery of American slave music- Rhythm And Blues. R&B as a new entry to the British music scene met with resistance so that the devotees were possibly forced to form small groups who recognized each other, many wanting to play the music so they naturally formed groups, two guitars, drums, bass and a singer.
At any rate the British invasion of the US consisted of these four and five man groups coinciding with the comic book groups of the US.
Other formative influences other than comics and radio were films and TV. Those all involved a specific point of view repeated ad nauseum or lessons from a know-it-all crusader cum super hero.
Of course we all grew up with Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry among others during the forties but with the fifties came the fantastic science fiction movies. One of the most important was The Day The Earth Stood Still with its famous characters Klaatu and Gort. The premise was preposterous but no one got it. Klaatu is an alien landing a saucer in the US. He is here to vet Earthlings to see if the they are ready to enter the intergalactic community in which peace reigns. Alas, Earthlings, you and me, are hopelessly primitively addicted to violence. Klaatu boards his saucer with a sign of benediction delivering a long sermon about shaping up and saying he’ll be back if we ever sort things out. Alright.
Movie after movie repeated the same message until today people actually believe that extra-terrestrials are all peaceful and Earth is the only rogue planet in the universe. Ask anyone. Flying Saucers were portrayed as hovering out there where the communications satellites would soon be. There they carefully studied mankind for any sign of the diminution of violence. Boy, I bet they think they’ve been wasting their time. Imagine circling Earth for seventy years waiting for indications of peacefulness. Obviously they’ve been sadly disappointed while being joined by the Negro Mother Wheel that appeared some time in the seventies to keep them company Hello, Earth calling Mother Wheel.
These movies established the idea that the whole universe except for Earth is highly developed and pacific along with the idea that Earthlings are worthless, hence most people accepted as fact we were being watched by superior beings and found wanting. We were inferior.
The movies established the notion that there were millions of inhabited worlds out there inhabited by superior beings who could travel billions of light years and get to home base in time for dinner. ‘Honey, I’m home.’
Now, at the same time, pulp magazines existed. Monthly editions of Amazing Stories, Astounding Tales and other poured out endless reams of the most astonishing stuff imaginable. Thus, all three, comics, pulps and movies, sci-fi and movies were rushing through our minds, forming expectations. Of course, the number of us who read sci-fi, almost as despised by parents as the comics, was small, but then as TV developed, Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Star Trek came along both of which mined the sci-fi stories of the fifties while spreading the notions throughout the entire population. This reduced the intellectual discrimination of the people whose minds were prepared to accept anything.
These years of the fifties were very crowded with the most exciting new developments. TV was perhaps at the top of the list. Bear in mind that cable didn’t exist. There weren’t even three channels in most places including a major market like the San Francisco Bay Area. People didn’t think TV would be profitable. The channels didn’t even broadcast until noon and shut down at ten o’clock prime time. There was no 24/7 TV.
There wasn’t even enough original programming to fill a ten hour day so they ran old movies and almost anything anyone could think up. Arthur Godfrey’s show ran for hours every day.
One of those odd things they chose to fill time was a character called Crusader Rabbit. I don’t know how well remembered the Rabbit is today but he had a profound effect in forming the minds of the 60s generation. Crusader Rabbit was a distant relative of the Blackhawks. While they flew around the world able to determine who were the good guys and who the bad, Crusader Rabbit was a self-righteous little bastard of a vigilante squad who instilled certain little minds with his self-righteousness and made them think they should impose their vision of reality on the world by mounting ‘crusades.’ Hawkeye of the later TV series Mash combined Crusader Rabbit with the Blackhawks.
Now, all this was happening in a short six years from 1950 to 1956. In many ways this was a major intellectual/psychological revolution preceding those revolutions of the sixties.
Equally, if not more important, was what was happening in the classrooms of our schools.
If an astonishing variety of educations was going on outside the classrooms what was going on inside was no less astonishing. I don’t know if everyone saw it the way I did but I had a tough time assimilating what I heard. Of course American superiority and the inferiority of Europeans was standard staple. At the same time we were warned to be humble as bearers of these great gifts and to share them with our inferiors who after all couldn’t help it that they weren’t born Americans. True enough I suppose.
And, because of the success of our own American revolution, barring any negative thoughts caused by the French and Bolshevik revolutions, we were taught, indeed, indoctrinated and conditioned to believe that revolution per se was good, indeed, a blessing. Ignoring whatever may have been going on in the world we were taught to revere the South American George Washington, Simon Bolivar, who flitted from country to country on the whole continent until he came to end of it in Venezuela tossing the Spanish aside like so much chaff. Viva Bolivar, hey? Well, Viva Zapata next.
Well, I came from the orphanage and I had a different idea of right and wrong. Heroes were much scarcer for me than for the kids from normal homes.
By the time we got to high school, 1953-56, teachers were preaching revolution, revolution, revolution full bore. Revolution was everywhere. Minute changes in processed breakfast cereals were described as revolutions. Crusader Rabbit was a revo. Who wasn’t?
The reverence for revolution continued in college too. Another four years of revo, rah, rah, rah followed in college which ended for my class in 1960. Portentous year, what? That was the year our limp President, John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corp. We were eager to share our wonderful achievement so recent college graduates with absolutely no knowledge of the world and inadequate educations sallied forth to tell the world how to do it right. OK? How’s that for arrogance?
Now, there were plenty of revolutions in progress in 1960 and all those graduates from say, 1954 to 1959, were primed for revo. Lived for it, breathed for it. They didn’t even have to be recruited; they went searching for it. Give us revolution, they screamed.
These were years of the magnificent march of progress too. Years of change and hope, revolutions one might say, in all areas of endeavor. The people born from 1938 to 1945 leaped in with both feet and arms flailing. The sixties belonged to us, it was a world that we would make ourselves.
The next age cohort born from ‘46-’53 would be instrumental in forming the seventies, the eighties going to the next age cohort. Of course these cohorts created nothing merely extending the ethic of the 60s’ cohort. The interesting thing is that there was a fairly complete break between us and The Greatest Generation as our fathers have been styled.
Those revolutionary minded teachers of our were mostly born c. 1890 so they were at the tail end of the post-Civil War corps, lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. Our fathers born somewhere around 1918 caught the Depression and WWII while witnessing the Korean War. We younger ones, in the US, avoided that while TV, Top 40 and other assorted wonders made us rather distinct, nothing alike in outlook. Our fathers didn’t really like, couldn’t trust us, and certainly were not going to accord us the dignity of adulthood and the authority that goes with it. So we grew distant from them not really thinking an awful lot of them or giving them our trust. Fuck, they couldn’t even deal with the Mafia.
Politically they kept control during the sixties while culturally and socially we managed affairs. As it was a new beginning of sorts the succeeding age cohorts respected us and what may be called our achievements, sex, drugs and rock and roll, but still maintaining that sense of breakfast cereal revo.
To make the break even sharper, in 1960 the real old guard headed by Eisenhower checked out and an Irish upstart son of a bootlegger, Jack Kennedy, leader of the Celtish Camelot and a guy who could twist the night away even with a bad back, attempted to lead the way.
His best wasn’t very good and he caught a piece of flying lead allowing that pale Texan reincarnation of FDR to see how badly he could muff it. He did a good job of muffing it too.
So, there we were on the brink of 1960 raring to show the world what we could do. Really revo the whole machine? We’ll see.
The psychological background of the sixties as exhibited by the second rock generation from 1938 to 1945 is a major manifestation of an effort begun back in the WWII days. It is the realization of the theologico-metaphysical notion of what Sigmund Freud dubbed the Unconscious. As the quote opening this essay indicates the sixties was the undoing of the several hundred year effort to realize the conscious. We thought we’d seen enough of the unconscious to last much more than a millennium. As the effort was begun before the awareness of the nature of the Un or subconscious the effort was achieved as Mr. Meehan states by the repression of sub-conscious motives not their elimination.
Freud quickly discerned this and he understood the function of dreams that he called the ‘royal road to the unconscious.’ Thus the motto he appended to his volume The Interpretation Of Dreams published appropriately in 1900 is ‘Flectare si nequeo, Superos, Acheronta movebo.” which translated means ‘If I cannot deflect the will of heaven I shall move hell.’
Freud interpreting the conscious mind as heaven chose to deemphasize consciousness in favor of his vision of the unconscious that he interpreted as Hell. Thus, you will find almost nothing in Freudian psychology referring to the conscious mind while he enthrones his Unconscious as the moderator of the human mind. He actually believed that the Unconscious was an agency separate from the body. In theological terms it had a supernatural existence. Thus, he has negated consciousness, or Science, in favor of Religion. As he has rejected God or Heaven then it follows that he embraced Satan and Hell.
As the sixties progressed the generation abandoned consciousness embracing unconsciousness. Time Magazine proclaimed in 1966 ‘God Is Dead’ while Satanism came alive, indeed according to Ira Levin in his novel, Rosemary’s Baby, Satan’s son, Andy, was born in 1966 just as God died. Levin continued his story in 1999’s Son Of Rosemary. Interesting.
It is no coincidence that Freud was both a druggie and a homosexual. Now, the royal road to free the mind of consciousness or Heaven is an obsession with sex and the free indulgence of drugs especially Freud’s favorite, cocaine backed with a pounding jungle beat. Eh voila- the sixties.
Sex, drugs and the hypnotic jungle beat of Rock and Roll. The sex was facilitated by the introduction of the birth control pill and anti-biotics; the amusing Shel Silverstein sang of Penicillin Penny who always had VD. If the girls took the pill both they and their boys were freed from the fear of pregnancies while the ga-ga types had no fear of Venereal disease because the cure was quick and easy by a regimen of anti-biotic pills. Almost paradise here and now and on Earth. For less than a buck you could get a nice big piece of pie too.
Freud had achieved his goal; he had overturned Aryan society.
Freud essentially by fraud allowed us to indulge forbidden appetites and responsibility from forbidden acts, for after all as the conscious mind had no authority and the will of the unconscious was unresistible we had no responsibility for our acts- If it felt good, we did it, as the mantra was. Hence by 1966 we had Richard Speck killing all those nurses in Chicago and Charlie Whitman up his clock tower at UT blowing away his fellow students. Guns aren’t the problem; Freud is the problem.
Hell, Dick and Charlie just wanted to be free. Indeed, freedom in the freest of all societies became a problem to the generation.
Sally Banks in her Greenwich Village 1963, Chapter 5, appropriately titled, Dreaming Freedom, explains her views on what being free actually meant to her and a very large part of the age cohort. She is writing from New York City.
In 1963 freedom was a vital political issue charged with artistic consequences for both the mainstream and avant-garde. Part of the avant-garde’s utopian vision was that liberty could be found within community. But, in fact, the very concept of freedom sets autonomy and the notion of individualism in conflict with the bondedness of community. For social life is a potent source of restraint [suppression of freedom], yet, paradoxically, total freedom would mean the humanly unrealizable (and unbearable) state of complete isolation. Thus there is a deep ambivalence in Western culture toward freedom and social life. The dream of community, itself, may be incompatible with the dream of freedom, a contradiction the avant-garde sought to discover.
The Sixties artists’ constructed an art that re-imagined daily life in terms of achieving both liberation and community. If such a situation proved illusory, in 1963 it seemed necessary- and it still seemed possible given the booming economic infrastructure- to find a model that would make these imaginings concrete.
Yes, people wanted total freedom- that is a disconnect from the reality of having to deal with unpleasant facts- free from all restraints including gravity and mostly free from themselves. The drugs seemed to serve as those releases. Under the influence people could imagine themselves as someone else who ‘really had their shit together‘, miracle men and women able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, move mountains with the wave of a hand, fly through the air like a host of angels but they inevitably came back down where if they were anywhere near a mirror they could watch their bodies disintegrate.
Freedom from reality has its price.
So, the sixties that began with such ‘High Hopes’ to realize ‘The Impossible Dream’ of Camelot began to crash in 1966 just as like a flash of lightning in the sky the realization of those dreams seemed to dawn. As Lewis Carroll said, be careful that your Snark is not a boojum, for you see….
The Truth Is No Defense
The sixties, then, was when the impasse between the Scientific Method came into its latter day conflict with the Theologico-Metaphysical mindset. The T-M system is merely a mental state that not only does not require objective validation but positively rejects it in favor of subjectiveness; what Freud called inner wishful thinking.
While the sciences of sociology and anthropology and biology produced irrefutable, by logical methods, results that ran counter to the inner wishful T-M thinking, as there were no means to refute the scientific results the T-M people merely denied them and forced scientists to suppress their accurate but uncongenial truths.
To ensure that the truths were suppressed and remained suppressed the T-M partisans passed laws making it criminal to express these truths. These laws called ‘hate’ laws were then applied to any who spoke these truths. As the truths were undeniable T-M partisans corrupted the law, common sense, and, one might say, the will of God to declare in a court of law by the judges that ‘the truth is not a defense.’
The truth is not a defense! Think about it. Such a rule of law is the triumph of absolute criminality and ignorance. And this happened during the watch of an age cohort that claimed to love freedom and revolution. Well, it was a revolution, one that enslaves the mind.
Now, in a position to punish those who disagreed with them the beneficiaries of the T-M mentality were able to enshrine their will as the law of the land. As the law was no longer concerned with the judgment of facts as evidence but the religious beliefs of the T-Ms the US at that point turned into a theocracy. The religious left became an established religion running counter to the old dispensation of the Constitution in favor of something not yet codified and something not approved by the former electorate that now became passive and an ineffective annoyance to the new slave masters.
The ruling social ethos in the US when the sixties dawned was the theory of the Melting Pot formulated by the Jewish writer Israel Zangwill c. 1900. According to that theory that had nearly the effect of a law all the disparate social elements forming the population of the US would fuse into one people of uniform American belief.
In 1960 or thereabouts the new theory of multi-culturalism was introduced which stated that each culture should have an autonomous existence. This was the dream, wishful thinking, of the wannabe Jewish Autonomous people. Nothing new, it was their age old dream. Thus the body politic of the US as a matter of principle was fractured into many warring cultures.
While the Melting Pot had always been a fantasy having no real existence in fact multi-culturalism was alive and real and exacerbated in 1965 when the immigration act was reformed allowing unlimited immigration to all the peoples of the world. And if they didn’t come willingly members of the T-M mentality went into the actual jungles of Africa, dragged the natives out, put them on a plane, free fare, and flew them to the US.
What can one say to such zaniness.
The whole notion of freedom advocated by the age cohort was thus negated. Dozens of laws were passed giving these ‘immigrants’ precedence over the rights of the native population, depriving the natives of equal rights. This is a true story. Incredible but true.
And lastly, for this essay we come to the complete overturn of reason in favor of a comic book utopia and the installation of an age of inner wishful thinking caused by the introduction of drugs as a mass phenomenon.
Drugs in the sixties were nothing new. Drugs begin to show up in literature during the nineteenth century Romantic period. Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions Of An English Opium Eater is the first famous confession or novel on the topic. Opium was much used in Victorian England as an ingredient in Laudanum which was given to infants to make them stop crying.
Opium was further reduced to morphine and then heroin. Freud is famous as the promoter of the joys of cocaine, synthesized from the coca plant. As chemistry developed, synthetic chemical drugs such as amphetamine began making their appearance at the end of the century.
Drug labs were busy and soon creating drugs that attacked any area of the brain. LSD was discovered in 1938 and popularized after 1943. Drugs like Miltown and other tranquilizers began filling women’s purses after 1950. Pot and hash had been simmering below the Hot 100 for some time but moved up the charts after 1960. So the whole pharmacopeia was available as the decade began. New formulas would be discovered in the following decades as drugs became part of the entertainment industry.
Drugs of course suppress the conscious mind exposing the raw wiring of the user. They also lower resistance to hypnotic influence. Hypnosis is merely a heightened sensitivity to suggestion. A drugged out population can be swayed by propaganda as no other, which is merely suggestion by another name, in any direction. They can be swayed but you mist control the means to do so. The mass media was the means, namely TV, Movies and records, and it was in the control of Jews with their special agenda.
Thus Movies, TV and Records propagandized a pro Jewish revolution agenda along with its subordinate Negro revolution agenda.
It is strange how all trends worked to favor the Negro/Jewish agenda. Of course, Jews had been instrumental in breaking down Aryan resistance to Negro music. Jewish DJs such as Alan Freed and Cousin Brucie along with Jewish song writers such as the hugely influential Leiber and Stoller and Goffin-King led the assault.
The songs they wrote were performed by Negro artists. While the Jewish song writers were not so familiar with Aryan culture as is supposed it was enough to bridge the Aryan-Negro gap making the Negro performances potable while paving the way for Barry Gordy’s Motown label.
As of 1960 there was virtually no one who listened to or was familiar with Negro Blues. The Blues was brought forward by the British Invasion who apparently listened to that crap. I am always astonished by White Blues artists citing Robert Johnson as a source. There was nothing available by Robert Johnson until 1960 when CBS released its first collection that virtually no one bought. The second collection was released in ‘62 with the same result.
I first heard of Robert Johnson in 1968 when I owned a record store. Many people talked about the Blues but when I started a first rate Blues section the records remained untouched and unsold. I doubt that I ever had a Robert Johnson sale.
I was in a university town and when such Blues artists as Lightning Hopkins were brought to town the ‘séances’ were held in someone’s living room with maybe fifteen people attending, ten of which were girls worshipping blackness. Nevertheless White Blues was popularized by the British, spreading to American performers.
I should point out that White performers of the forties and early fifties such as the Singing Cowboy Gene Autry sang may Blues based songs. Autry’s song The Yellow Rose Of Texas that is of course about a Negro woman.
By decades end the cohort’s fascination with exaggerated notions of freedom and revolution had turned into drug addiction and violence. By the late sixties looney tunes like Bomber Billy Ayers and his female side kick Bernardine Dohrn with their Weatherman organization and the Jewish Defense League and its offshoot the Jewish Defense Organization were killing and bombing at will and furthermore they would get away with it. ‘Free as a bird and guilty as Hell.’ as Bomber Billy Ayers would put it.
So by the end of decade ending with the Caped Crusader, Mick Jagger, at Altamont a comic book vision of reality had triumphed over the real thing. Who can forget Mick Jagger mounted on a giant inflatable cock on stage before sixty thousand people. Now, there was a comic book fantasy. Two and two added up to any number you wanted.
February 1, 2013
Who Is Groovy Bob Fraser?
While writing my biographies of Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull it has become apparent that some persons seemingly peripheral are more central to the story than one may at first have thought. One of these is the art dealer, Robert Fraser or Groovy Bob as he was known.
However, behind the scenes underlying all the action are the two Kray Twins, Ronnie and Reggie. As with underworld figures in the US little is going to happen in which their presence is completely absent. Ronnie and Reggie were two Jewish homosexuals. They thus had as much protection as Jews can provide for their own. On the homosexual front the Krays were procurers of young boys for members of the above ground establishment, men prominent not only in government but in the music business.
At the same time the brothers owned, or possibly fronted, prominent gambling establishments, thus people like Fraser and Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein who gambled heavily losing large sums came under their influence or control. Robert Fraser and the Krays thus became intimately connected.
Now, what about Robert Fraser? Fraser is the link between many participants in the 60’s drama. He befriended Richards, Jagger and Faithfull. He was close to Paul McCartney of the Beatles, who is somewhat of a mysterious figure in the drama, as well as being familiar with their manager Brian Epstein among many others of the rock musicians. And then he was linked with artist/film maker, David Cammell as well as arch Satanist, Kenneth Anger, and the main American link to these people, Andy Warhol. He brought Tony Sanchez to the Stones as well as the rock community while Sanchez was his link to the Kray brothers. Fraser’s friend Chris Gibbs is a shadowy eminence grise of this situation. So far, I’ve gotten little other than he was and is an antiques dealer who helped establish the Bohemian tastes a la Oscar Wilde of the rockers.
Fraser himself came from a moneyed family who financed his ventures. He was a public school boy, Eton. He served in the African Rifles in Uganda. There, as a homosexual he says he buggered a young Idi Amin. I have no doubts. Returning from the African happy hunting grounds he promptly left for the even happier hunting grounds of New York City, the sybaritic capitol of the world. There he soaked up the art scene where he learned the ins and outs of being a gallery director. He was in New York during the seminal years from 1960-62 just as the pop art scene was taking off. There he met Andy Warhol who would be the outstanding pop artist. As they were both homosexuals and revolutionaries they bonded.
Fraser, Warhol, Epstein, Gibbs, the Kray Twins and most of the cast were all homosexuals. Jagger was at least ambiguous so sexual lines blurred and those who may not have been homosexual by nature may have found it convenient to act like one. Certainly after Stonewall in 1969 the music scene became predominantly gay.
There are pictures and videos of Fraser on the internet so that we can gauge his appearance and manner. His manner was very engaging and while fey, not exceptionally so. He wasn’t camp, at least not in public.
What exactly his role in the scene was is less than clear. While apparently an excellent pop art gallerist his role among rock musicians while prominent is not clear. He frequently had large parties in his apartment attended by the cream of the rock community. Of course he sold them art work but perhaps through his drug connection Tony Sanchez he also dealt on the side to augment his income. Drugs were always prominent at his parties. Paul McCartney bought many artworks from Fraser which all appreciated significantly although Fraser is accused of overcharging. But then, why not, a collector always thinks he’s being overcharged as he buys one of a kind items.
Perhaps also Fraser was indoctrinating the musicians in tolerance for gays and other political matters. Perhaps he was seeking homosexual alliances from among these yobbos. Certainly after Stonewall it seemed that everyone in rock was fruity. It was then that Rock and Roll began to lose its appeal. When the homosexuality became so obvious rock declined in interest to non-gays leading it further into a gay audience that augmented by the evolution into all-gay Disco. YMCA and all that, and then the end.
Whatever his political intent the goals were subverted by personal defects. Of course drugs will reduce your effectiveness by a little more than somewhat, but gambling and its resultant debts were much more deleterious of personal autonomy. While gambling has never been mentioned in connection with the rockers one wonders whether McCartney and others didn’t become involved.
Now, the record business in both the US and Britain was in the hands of homosexual Jews. The British groups, especially the Beatles and the Stones were god’s gift to his Chosen People. Between the Beatles and the Stones probably a billion dollars was generated in just four or five years including ongoing royalties and residuals. The entire billion was siphoned off by the Jews in both the US and Britain with only tip money going to the musicians.
Brian Epstein was the chief beneficiary. It was perhaps through his gambling debts, described as enormous, that the extent of the cash being generated by the Beatles came to the attention of the Kray brothers. Epstein apparently lost and owed a fortune to them. The only way he had to pay his debts was the Beatles which with his contract expiring in 1967 he was afraid he would be dismissed leaving him without that extraordinary income.
The Krays conceived the idea of taking over the Beatles from Epstein. At this time Robert Fraser had gambling debts with the Krays for which he had no available resources. The Krays put the squeeze on him. Fraser didn’t know what to do but he did know a man about the scene named Tony Sanchez, the Spaniard in the works, who did. Sanchez was nicknamed Spanish Tony. He would soon figure in as Keith Richards’ factotum and bodyguard. Spanish Tony is an interesting character meriting much more serious attention. As a connection between the underworld and the above world one would like to know more about his associates both under and above. He certainly used his underworld persona to threaten Marianne Faithfull into bed.
At any rate Sanchez told Fraser that he had underworld connections and might be able to resolve Fraser’s problem for him. As usual with Fraser he only fed Sanchez half-truths and when Tony contacted the Krays he got the other side of the story. Bear in mind that the Krays were crazy. They were pimping boys from the orphanage to social figures of the status of former Prime Minister Edward Heath. I mean, the moral state of the British upper class was beyond questionable. I would like to hear what the boys who were so used have to say now that they are men. Where are those memoirs anyway?
The Krays showed Sanchez a pile of Fraser’s bounced checks they had received which made Tony reconsider his position. Whatever bargaining chips he may have had were nullified. However the Krays had a proposition. Conversant with all the gambling characters they thought that Fraser might have some influence on Epstein so that if Fraser could arrange the transfer of the Beatles to themselves they would forgive Fraser’s debt. Who wouldn’t?
Negotiations and time dragged on and 1967 appeared at the top of the calendar with nothing accomplished, no debts settled. 1967. A big year in our story. That was the year that Brian Epstein supposedly committed suicide, the year his contract with the Beatles expired. We know for certain he left this sportin’ life. And 1967 was the year of the Redlands bust in which Fraser went to prison.
Sanchez gives conflicting stories of what took place. In his published memoir Up And Down With The Rolling Stones of 1979 he says the Krays amiably reduced the amount owed by Fraser and Groovy Bob gave them a good check for it. Problem solved. Tony says in his memoir.
Improbable as that seems, a missing chapter of Tony’s book has surfaced. Apparently many of his revelations were deemed too controversial and deleted. In this missing chapter Tony says that Fraser, unable to deliver the Beatles, set up the drug bust at Redlands in order to go to jail where for some strange reason he thought that he would be beyond the reach of the Krays.
In any event he didn’t seem to resent going to prison. Shortly after he was released from prison the Krays were arrested in May of 1968 while being sentenced to life on 3/5/69.
Presumably Robert Fraser escaped payment of the debt, however with the stigma of a jailbird his career as a gallery operator drew to a close after his release. He ended his life as a casualty of AIDs in 1986.
In his prime one wonders what he was doing. He seems to have been closely connected to Warhol and his crew. Andy himself seems to have been the center of what appears to be a political conspiracy. On their trip to Paris they made a Bee line to visit Fraser. So there is probably a strong political bent to Fraser’s activities.
Much more research is needed on Groovy Bob as well as his underworld connection Spanish Tony Sanchez.
January 27, 2013
Marianne Faithfull: The Faerie Queene Of The Sixties
We skipped a light fandango
Turned Cartwheels across the floor
I was feeling kind of seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
And so it was that later
As the Miller told his tale
She said there is no reason
And the truth is plain to see
That her face at first just ghostly
Turned a white shade of pale.
Now in 1968 both Mick and Marianne’s life were rolling by while both were teetering on the edge. Shortly after Godard’s filming of Sympathy For The Devil in June Mick was signed by Donald Cammell for the lead role in his film Performance. The invitation to star didn’t come from nowhere. There are many links from Mick and his friends to Cammell. Cammell was already known to the Stones having met them in 1965 at the time of the Paris Olympia shows. He was naturally first attracted to Brian Jones but then found some kind of love for Mick. Over the subsequent years he formed many projects that he offered to Mick. As Mick’s asking price was a million or more the projects did not pan out.
Not only did Cammell know the Stones but his live in the Parisian model Deborah Dixon had had a menage a trois with Anita Pallenberg. She had moved on to Brian Jones, passing on to Keith with whom she was living when the movie was shot. She had also viewed and/or worked on the script with Cammell a year previously so she knew that she was playing opposite Mick in advance. She then, was well aware of what the movie entailed.
In addition Cammell knew Robert Fraser and Chris Gibbs while being involved with the American
Satanist Kenneth Anger. Anger was himself a disciple of the arch Satanist of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley. Cammel’s father had known Crowley reasonably well while Cammell himself had at least seen Crowley live. His father even wrote a biography of Crowley, so let’s just say that the sex magic of Crowley and his Golden Dawn played a prominent role during the filming.
Mick would have brought his knowledge of The Master And Margarita to the proceedings. He may have persuaded Cammell to read the book or perhaps as a Satanist Cammell had already read it.
Marianne who had become pregnant perhaps in January or February was sent to Ireland during the filming so as to be out of the way for the sex stuff where she became distraught. She was giving herself and was being given a psychological beating that was disappointing all her expectations leading her into a deep depression. This was furthered along when she had a miscarriage at eight months losing the child. I would imagine the miscarriage was the result of the stresses Mick had placed on her by sending her away along with his sexual misconduct. It may have been her own subconscious rejection of Mick that caused her to subconsciously refuse to have his baby.
Thus as 1968 drew to a close as the Stones recorded their Satanic Majesties Request album Marianne was trying to recover from her miscarriage and put her life in order. She probably ought to have left Mick at the time but as she tacitly admits in an interview video on You Tube the reason that she went with Mick was because her own royalties were dropping and she had gotten used to the money. Mick was a source untapped. I think that this is an underlying cause of her anguish. Nineteen sixty-nine would be a traumatic year for all concerned.
What To Do About Brian?
Marianne was a sentimental girl who formed sincere attachments to the people of her world. Thus Brian was not just someone on the scene but one might say a part of Marianne’s life. She cared for him. As we all know Brian Jones was the actual founder of the Rolling Stones. He named them and gave them their original musical direction. He held them together during the early stages. Naturally he considered himself their leader. He was actually a much more charismatic figure than Mick. While Mick was wiggling around all eyes were on Brian. There was just something about him.
This aroused Mick’s jealousy who once stated that the lead singer was supposed to be the center of attention. Mick also had the most powerful personality so that while he may not have been the leader he made himself the director. And then he and Keith shifted the direction of the music. While never a fan of the Stones I found myself reviewing the albums when I began writing of the group. My original opinion was only confirmed.
It became immediately apparent that Oldham’s first recordings done necessarily on the cheap were not good recordings, four track on primitive and worn equipment. While Brian and the Stones thought they were doing a good job imitating American Negro rhythm and blues it’s actually not even close. Mick makes a terrible imitation of a Negro blues shouter while its painfully obvious that the music doesn’t come close to the original. It’s so far off that it might as well be an original genre while being very close to a garage band.
Perhaps Mick who thought it impossible for an English band to pass themselves off as authentic was right to change the direction of the band to Negro influenced Rock and Roll. Brian was probably too close to his aspirations to know how far from the mark they were.
The original tunes are somewhat better but the inspiration for those soon ran dray so that by the 1966 and ‘67 albums Aftermath and Between The Buttons the band was quickly approaching the rocks. The West Coast fans were disappointed by both albums and, quite frankly, they’re not listenable today. As the albums veered toward English music hall Brian was quite right in thinking that they had abandoned his original intent. The 1968 Their Satanic Majesties Request, intended to be psychedelic in imitation of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s wandered off to a musical somewhere although one can sense the transition from the Old Stones to the New Stones of Beggar’s Banquet.
The cover of Satanic Majesties must have really sickened Brian as it had the boys dressed up in some sort of magician’s getup. A long way from Negro rhythm and blues.
Mick’s conception of the band judging from the current situation was always himself, Keith and Charlie. Bill Wyman, the bass player, being several years older was always an awkward fit. Mick marginalized him as much as he could until Wyman finally gave up terminating his role in 1993. So, was Brian forced out? Of course.
Andrew Oldham who promoted the Stones to a prominence far beyond their then abilities was the first that Mick pushed away in 1967. As a parting present Oldham turned them over to the American Jewish pirate, Allen Klein. As Oldham owned the masters to the Stones catalog he sold it lock stock and barrel to Klein who then legitimately owned them much to Mick’s chagrin.
As Brian was being marginalized by Mick, losing control of the band and its direction his behavior became erratic while he also sunk in the haze of drug addiction. It became obvious to the casual viewer of him on stage that his days must be numbered. On the Ed Sullivan show in the US he could barely stand on his feet but everyone was watching him placed back in the shadows by Mick.
Mick and Keith continued their petty harassments until Brian became a shambles of himself. After the Redlands bust the police turned their attention to Brian who hadn’t the emotional resources to bear the burden. It then in June of 1969 that Mick and Keith advised him that he was no longer in the band.
Brian either drowned in his swimming pool on the night of 7 July or was drowned. There is controversy over his death that may never be conclusively resolved.
Marianne, who by 1969 was not in a healthy sate of mind, was herself sinking into drug addiction, actually becoming a heroin addict, watched these proceedings. She was shocked by Brian’s death. And this came on top of her other woes. But life goes on. It is always painful when death removes a loved one from the building but painful or not the sun does not stand still in the sky nor do the bills stop coming in. Life goes on without missing a beat and you better had too.
So, Mick had movie offers coming in. Both he and Marianne as reigning pop couple were signed to do a movie in Australia. Ned Kelley an Australian bandit. In the 1840s when plays and books began celebrating former outlaws, highwaymen and crooks they were called Newgates after the equally famed Newgate Calendar of criminal trials. This would be a sort of Newgate movie.
Less than a week after Brian’s death Marianne and Mick arrived in Australia to begin their commitment; after all they had signed well before Brian’s death. Psychologically however all of Marianne’s misgivings were adding up to a heavy burden. While the reasonable approach may be that life goes on not everyone is so reasonable and I suspect Marianne was one of these. Perhaps, too, she realized that she and Mick were becoming estranged. Mick’s history was beginning to become apparent; his abominable treatment of women, Chrissie Shrimpton, of Oldham, of Brian; perhaps she began to wonder if she were next. While Mick may have had justifiable reasons for Oldham and Jones they may not have been that apparent to Marianne.
Certainly Brian was on her mind when the place touched down in Sydney. Exhausted by the long flight she and Mick checked into their hotel. Mick promptly flopped down on the bed to doze off. Marianne troubled in mind picked up a bottle of Tuinals and perhaps in a hypnoid state of grief and confusion dropped a hundred forty of them. Wow! That must have taken five or ten minutes. Shows determination. Who would do that if they weren’t serious about suicide.
For whatever reason Mick woke up and probably groggy himself scoped the situation. He rushed Marianne to the hospital for medical attention. But Marianne had overloaded her brain, she lay in a coma for six days.
The last thing on her mind before she suspended animation or slowed her synapses to a crawl was Brian. Since she was still alive although unconscious synapses must have continued; she must have continued to work on her problems, the anguish that had caused her attempt at self-destruction. Thus, when she came to Brian was still on her mind. I quote from her auto-biography Marianne Faithfull, pp.175-79:
By the time we got to the hotel in Sydney I’d forgotten not only where I was but who I was. I looked in the mirror. What I saw was a very thin, frightened face. I’d cut my hair, I was anorexic, and my skin looked cadaverous. I saw someone literally falling apart. Someone with blond hair and looking very scared. In my drug induced stupor I dimly recognized the ravaged face of Brian Jones staring back at me. I was Brian, and I was dead.
…At that moment Brian was my twin. I identified with him because he had been a public sacrifice; it was a role I understood.
Quite logically, I though I was Brian.
It was all very rational in the way these things are when you’re unhinged. I reasoned that since I was Brian and since Brian was dead…(ellipsis in original) I had to take the rest of the pills so I could be dead too.
…The Tuinals were taking forever to kick in, I looked down and saw things on the street that shouldn’t have been there…And then I saw Brian Jones. At that moment I went into a coma that lasted six days.
When I first spotted Brian he was far below at street level, but greatly enlarged…Various parts of him- his face, his hands- expanded and extended toward me as he spoke, and then he rose straight up as from a shaft of air until he was directly opposite the window of our room.
…He beckoned to me the way spirits traditionally beckon to mortals in the movies. I passed through the plate glass and found myself outside. But instead of standing suspended above the street, I was now in an unstable landscape that pulsed and shifted as we spoke. I had I assumed gone over to the other side.
The grandeur and enormity of the place had the phantasmagoric mood of illustrations by Edmund Dulac or Durer engravings of Hell. As we were walking along, I realized that Brian had no more idea of where we were going than I did. Obviously he had woke up dead, not known where he was and decided to call for me!
It was the nicest chat I ever had with him, actually. He told me how he had woken up and put out his hand for his bottle of Valium, and about the panic that seized when there was nothing there. He said he had been lonely and confused and had brought me to him because he needed to talk to someone he knew.
We strolled blithely along as the quivering earth crumbled away on either side of us, and he told me about the miniature coronation set with Beefeaters and the coach and horses. He said he like books about railway bridges, guides to switching boxes, George McDonald’s fairy stories and Fox’s Book of Martyrs.
…Afterward he became weepy like the Mock Turtle in Alice In Wonderland and said he was sorry to have put me to all this trouble. He didn’t seem to know he was dead. I’m sure this happens frequently…They don’t know where they are. Hence ghosts.
…’Brian, Dear, isn’t this lovely, I said, trying…to distract him from grisly realities. But my sudden descent to small talk must have tipped him off that something was wrong. I was speaking to him in the patronizing way people talk to mad people, children and small dogs. Nevertheless, he plunged ahead in typical Brian fashion.
“Death is the next great adventure.” he said portentously. This something I used to go around saying myself, so I nodded wisely.
“Oh, yes, I quite agree,” I said fervently, as if we were speaking of a new religion. Or a new drug.
…”Welcome to death!” he said brightly.
…”Oh, is that where we are?” I asked.
…We came to the edge of the Dulac landscape. It dropped off abruptly and completely. There was a very obvious point where you chose to go over the edge or not. Brian said, “Coming?” and slipped off the cliff. I drew back. I heard a chorus of voices calling to me, but I wasn’t ready just yet.
Getting back took a long time. I was stranded in a desert town. The color had been drained from everything. The houses were empty. I was in Albania! Wandering down long deserted streets with names like the Avenue of the 17th October. Looking pretty incongruous, people I knew floated by (their feet didn’t quite touch the ground.) I called out, but they hurried past as if they hadn’t seen me.
I was lost in an airport. People came up to me and asked me the sort of questions you ask a child stranded at a railway station. “Are you lost, dear?” “Do you know your name?” And I would answer, “I’m waiting for Mick to come and get me.”
This was obviously the crisis of Marianne’s life. She associates her life with the desolation despair of Brian’s. She must have had the fate of Chrissie Shrimpton in mind, who Mick had crushed so completely. Mick had treated Chrissie and Brian in much the same way. Certainly Marianne could see the same fate for herself on the horizon. So now in an attempt to escape she slips into a Tuinal coma. She doesn’t explain what medical procedures were used to sustain her but she maintained mental activity throughout the coma.
Essentially the first half of her coma is a near death experience and a pretty interesting one. Wonderful, wonderful story; I could have stood another dozen pages. I’m sure she could call it up if she wanted to. I’ve had a couple near death experiences myself. They really leave indelible memories as this has done for Marian. It is possible to relive at any time you choose. I can run both concurrently through my mind.
Marianne’s problem at this time has been building since 1964 when the the life she living came into conflict with her youthful ideals obtained in the convent school. In those years she was much influenced by the chivalric literature of King Arthur, especially the quest for the Holy Grail.
Now, only the pure of mind and body, I. e. virginal, can ever hope to experience the Holy Grail. It takes only one sexual encounter. Even the great Lancelot who was tricked into a sexual act by Elaine forfeited the Grail even though he was innocent of intent. In chivalric terms Marianne was way beyond any hope of redemption. She must have known that. Thus the earth heaved beneath her feet and crumbled away beside her.
Having left Brian at the brink her way back was through a desolate wasteland of colorless desert. Thus, all hope had been lost. Her awakening must have been bleak, as her life would soon become.
She doesn’t mention the Arthurian fairy tales by name but she does recreate a dream landscape from the fairy tale illustrations of Edmund Dulac. (coincidentally Edmund Of The Lake). It is possible that she also confates Dulac with Arthur Rackham, another famous illustrators of fairy tales and also King Arthur.
Marianne also references other of her formative reading bringing in Alice In Wonderland, quintessential for the druggies of the sixties, plus George McDonald’s fairy stories and significantly, Fox’s Booke Of Martyrs. Very good browsing by the way as is Butler’s Lives of the Saints which is terrific.
I wondered if Brian liked books about railway bridges and the surprising guides to switching boxes? There can’t be too many of the latter so ‘switching’ may have a different reference point. It may mean switching horses in mid stream as Marianne said to Mick when she opened her eyes: Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.
The landscape ‘pulsed and shifted’ which may refer to her emotional instability. The Allman Brothers had a great line in one of their songs; See that clock up upon the wall? Rushing tides could make it fall. So possibly she could feel the ground moving out from beneath her feet.
‘He said he had been lonely and confused and brought me to him because he needed someone to talk to someone he knew! Sounds like Marianne is reversing the situation as it was only possible that she brought Brian to her reinforcing the similarity of their situations vis-à-vis Mick.
Then some more chit chat and Brian passes into the Great Beyond while Marianne stands on the brink at road’s end. Great story. I know where that’s at. In one of my experiences my heart stopped and I was standing in a huge empty concrete bunker type thing wondering what to do next. I dead no problem with being dead but I had no instructions what to do next. ‘Oh, well..’ I thought and turned to my right to start hoofing it when my heart started up and I was back in bed.
Obviously for Marianne her medical crisis passed and she was to return to consciousness. But then getting back took a long time. The first part of her fantasy then my have lasted a day or possibly two while reconstructing her nervous system took a little longer leaving room for mistakes that she feels might have occurred. She has obviously began to come to in her post-singing career with its overwhelming challenges that she wasn’t able to successfully deal with. The Avenue of the 17th October sounds as though it may be the Bolshevik October Revolution, if so she got the date wrong, it was the 25th not the 17th. She is obviously returning in a depression. I can dig that, too.
Marianne’s own brief interpretation of her experience is on p.178:
In anguished relationships like the one I had with Mick; it’s much easier and more satisfactory for all concerned if the one playing my role dies, after which I could turn into a sainted mythical figure- like Brian- and no longer be a threat to anyone and- more importantly- no longer be a bother to anyone.
They martyred Marianne…thus Fox’s Book Of Martyrs.
Marianne knew she had come to a turning point in her life or, rather, a dead end. She could no longer rely on Mick, he was a weak reed, a failure as the man he posed to be. At this time she chose to renew her acquaintance with her father at his sex shop who she says was a man Mick could never hope to be. Thus, goodbye Mick. She had been financially dependent on him and having known money liked it. Why not? But she was in no position to make money or at least sufficient money. Royalties of a diminished sort would keep coming in. There was seldom a year that went by that something wasn’t released in her name although she wasn’t recording. As she says Oldham had a re-release of her greatest hits edged in black on the streets before she recovered.
But she would have to record again, perform again for any real money. It was not possible to return again as the Virgin Queen of yesterday. As she was part of the myth making period she would always be the Faerie Queene of the sixties, she was secure in that position, but with four tarnished wings. She sank into a deeper depression finally ending up sitting on her wall above the bomb pit, thinking what to do next.
Her resurrection, such as it was, will be the topic of Chapter 8.
Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones And The Yobbo Revolution
Mick And Keith Come Face To Face With Nemesis
The sixties were very critical years for the various revolutions that made up The Revolution. Yet their activities were very disguised to prevent detection. At no time could they admit who they were or what they were doing. For Instance the takeover of the university system of the US that began at UC Berkeley in 1964 was disguised as some sort of ‘student protest’ over some supposed lack of or suppression of free speech, hence its name, The Free Speech Movement. While it appeared spontaneous it must have been a planned maneuver. I was at Cal State Hayward a couple of miles down the road. We had library privileges at UC that had one of the spectacular libraries of the world that I used so I was on campus when this noise was going down. It was quite professional, extremely well organized and no student revolt per se. The leaders were well instructed in the psychology of crowds. Something the ordinary person would never recognize. From UC it spread throughout the US intensifying in the years 1968-72.
Nineteen sixty-eight, of course, kicked off the worldwide Cultural Revolution orchestrated by Chairman Mao’s China. It was all organized from China. The Paris fiasco, everything even into remote corners such as the University of Oregon in Eugene was run from China. By 1968 I was a grad student at UOregon and in the poster and record business. Some crazed Chinese styled Communists from out on the rural route opened this Communist book store right next to my store. Needless to say police surveillance increased drastically as I was already under suspicion for selling posters and rock and roll music, literally the devil’s music in fundamentalist Eugene. As the whole world knew anyone in the record business was also dealing drugs whether they were or not and I wasn’t. And then the nutty SDS Jews from New York City flooded into town in their hip denims and abetted the Maoists. This increased the fun.
Wait a minute now, there’s more. Eldridge Cleaver and the loony revolutionaries in the Bay Area were conducting open
warfare, guns and bombs you know, with the Feds and local police that naturally enough led to the arrest of such Negro revolutionists. But then, quite naturally, Eldridge escaped from maximum custody or something just like it and disappeared. No one knew where he was and they really wanted to. He didn’t surface for a few weeks so in the interim where did they look for him?
I hesitate to say this because I know you’re not going to believe it. They asked me if I had him hidden in my four hundred square foot record store. You see the logical progression, revolution= rock and roll= dope, Marxist store next door- where else is Eldridge going to hide, right? The store was an open square with a two by four enclosure for a toilet in the right corner. I pointed out to the cop that he was already looking at the entire store and he could see that there was no Eldridge Cleaver. But he wanted to check the 2×4 enclosure. I knew better than to laugh but I could barely contain myself. The cop opened the door to find himself staring into a toilet bowl. Eldridge cabled from Algeria shortly after.
I certainly was not aware of revolutionary activity per se or else I couldn’t take their stuff seriously but looking back things remained on red alert until at least ‘72. For the election of the second Nixon term, which I now see as serious potential danger, I saw them move several truckloads of Army troops out beyond Spencer’s Butte. One might say Mick Jagger and John Lennon, and I say this modestly in a local way, myself, had them worried.
I’ve always respected the intelligence agencies but placing me in the same category with Mick and John makes me have some doubts. I had no revolutionary or drug connections. It wasn’t that they couldn’t find them, as they thought, they didn’t exist.
There you have it, ‘68 was the crucial year. The authorities in both Europe and America were aware that something was going down. They were not taken by surprise. The Stones were.
They might have asked why are they busting us in ‘67 when they had plenty of cause for at least three years. Undoubtedly in an attempt to defuse the ‘68 show as much as possible. The direct action of the revolution failed so whatever counter revolutionary action the authorities took voided that while the revolutionaries themselves misgauged their popular support by a little more than somewhat. There were only a few fanatics backing them. The ‘kids’ were just not that dissatisfied. We were getting plenty of satisfaction.
According to Tony Sanchez/John Blake in their Up And Down With The Rolling Stones Mick fumed thusly after the ‘67 bust, p. 62:
I see a great deal of danger in the air. Teenagers are not screaming over pop music anymore, they’re screaming for much
deeper reasons. Pop music is just the superficial issue….When I’m on that stage I sense that the teenagers are trying to communicate with me, like by telepathy, a message of some urgency. Not about me or our music, but about the world and the way they live. I interpret it as their demonstration against society and its sick attitude. Teenagers the world over are weary of being pushed around by half-assed politicians who attempt to dominate their way of thinking and set a code for their living…..This is a protest against the system. And I see a lot of trouble coming in the dawn.
I don’t know about Mick’s mental telecommunications but the message he was getting was maybe being scrambled by some alien force. Apart from some experts at crowd control and excitation there wasn’t that much interest in fighting in the streets.
Mick remained pugnacious personally, according to Sanchez/Blake:
They think they can break us, man, but no way. We’ll take everything that they can throw at us, and we’ll still win. We’re in a position to tell the kids about all the shit that’s going down, and that’s just what we’re going to do.
Mick was smoking some powerful stuff while taking the teaching of the London School Of Economics a little too seriously. He should have said ‘some kids’, by no means all the kids were concerned with the Stones while as the events in Chicago during the worldwide insurrection of ‘68 showed that concentrating on sex and drugs was not conducive to direct political action. ‘The kids’ made a poor showing. Besides which teenagers were only a part of the rock audience; most of us were at least over twenty.
Nor in ‘72 in Miami after much hoopla and the expenditure of large sums of John and Yoko’s money was there much of an insurrection. Keith in his auto of 2010 speaking of 1985 and 1972 had this to say about that on page one no less.
Every copper wanted to bust us by any means available, to get promoted and potentially rid America of these little fairy Englishmen. It was 1975, a time of brutality and confrontation. Open season on the Stones had been declared on our last tour [that of the inflatable penis], the tour of ‘72, known as the STP. The Department had noted riots (true), civil disobedience (also true), illicit sex, (whatever that is) and violence across the United States. All the fault of us, mere minstrels. We had been inciting youth to rebellion, we were corrupting America, and they ruled never to let us travel in the United States again. It had become, in the time of Nixon, a serious political matter. He had personally deployed his dogs and dirty tricks against John Lennon, who he thought might cost him an election. We…they told our lawyer officially, where the most dangerous rock-and-roll band in the world.
Kind of tells it like it was. I was in the record business, considered an arch liberal, and I thought the Stones were attempting to corrupt the US if not succeeding. I mean, you have only to look at the original picture inside their Black And Blue album to confirm that. The Stones, Lennon-Ono, Dylan, the outlaw groups like the Baader-Meinhoff gang, the Weathermen, the Red Brigades and their ilk saw the world through some drug induced mental haze in which the finest, most just, most democratic and widest opportunity society the world had ever seen and will see was just the opposite of repressive and undemocratic.
I mean, I had been pushed down hard in life, I come from the orphanage, and I still made a major success in the record business and that was against the wishes, not of the system, but the people, the shitheads, I had to deal with. Good god, you have to bully the bullies, elude their repression. It will never be any other way.
Whence came such a bizarre interpretation of reality. As the German politician in the movie, The Baader Meinhoff Complex thought, the insurrectionists were motivated by a myth. The Robin Hood Complex.
Yes, by a sense of materialistic frustration which they justified by the myth of Robin Hood. The problem was the same as the Negro insurrectionists in Watts. The range and quality of material goods increased on a daily basis continually out of reach. Yobbos like the Stones with no discernible abilities other than to write trite lines of lyrics and play hashed over music taken from nearly musically illiterate street corner Negro bands were realizing their material fantasies. What did they do in their rebellion in Watts? Break into stores and steal Tvs and stuff. Mere economic frustration. The Beatles were buying Rollers then desecrating them with psychedelic mockery. Richards himself driving without a legitimate license bought Rollers and smashed them up with glee laughing as he skipped away to avoid arrest. Keith was living the Yobbos dream. Baader-Meinhoff tried to replicate the dream by stealing Mercedes to go joy riding through the night. Same thing the Negroes were doing. That was what the revolution was about. To revel in cash money as the Stones, Beatles and other rockers did they robbed banks to ease their frustration. A leading hatred of the revolutionists was Consumerism. In other words there were more goods than they could come up with money to buy.
Then, as that would garner no sympathy from hardworking people who looked on the cynosure of their eye- the Mercedes and Rolls Royces being destroyed- with horror the gang claimed to be expropriating the expropriators a la Robin Hood and many another criminal but they bought no Thanksgiving dinner for the starving a la Pretty Boy Floyd.
Did the Stones believe the authorities so stupid that they didn’t know what was going on? Apparently so. Didn’t the Stones realize that they were merely taking advantage of the system the claimed to despise? Apparently not. The intelligence agencies infiltrated even the one man organizations of a nincompoop without a chance of success. I was invited to join one by agents in which the ‘mastermind’ was the only non-agency member. What are you supposed to think?
Who was this cocaine supplier to Keith, Freddie Sessler, if not a government agent? I’ll go into him later. Ask yourself, who can obtain unlimited quantities of sealed Merck cocaine containers if not government agents. Some believe that during the sixties the availability of LSD was provided by the CIA/FBI. There was so much LSD coming out of UC/Berkeley and Stanford programs that the whole Bay Area could have been supplied. Who was Owsley? Ask yourself.
The Agencies were funding programs by importing Indo-Chinese heroin also plentiful at that time. What was the result of plentiful Acid, Cocaine and Heroin? Incompetent malcontents. Work it over in your mind. Think about it. Electro-shock therapy? There’s a good one; scrambles your brain forever. Then add Acid and Heroin. Whoo-ee baby.
Anyway, the authorities knew what the Stones, Warhol, Lennon-Ono and the revolutionary crowd were up to. If the West had been the Soviet Union the whole lot would have been shivering the winter through out in the gulag instead of making millions riding giant inflated penises. Hello Mick, are you listening?
But, back to 1967 and the Redlands bust.
It is difficult to know exactly when Oldham and the Stones appeared on the authorities radar. A reasonable assumption would be perhaps sometime in late ‘64 or early ‘65. On the other hand Mick associated himself with David Bailey who probably was politically active since the late fifties who then drew Mick into a revolutionary circle including Andy Warhol in New York. Perhaps some sort of notice was taken at that time but probably of a cursory sort.
Why the Stones would have gotten a shot on the Ed Sullivan show isn’t all that clear to me; they had no reputation in the States at all. Or, for that matter why the Beatles got a shot. Nor why Dave Clark and all the early Invasion groups were hooplaed and accepted so readily as the next big thing by the Sullivan show. Obviously something was going on behind the scenes that we aren’t aware of.
At any rate the Stones got their shot making a not overly favorable impression; definitely inferior to the Beatles although, as we were informed, top competitors of the Beatles over in England. Well, bully. Somebody must have figured out a money angle and it wasn’t in records. In ‘64 a top selling record was 250,000 copies or a million dollars retail. That was the definition of a million seller. And there weren’t a lot of those.
Even drugs were not yet that prominent although the use of grass had been spreading since the fifties. An elite clique in my high school in Michigan was covertly smoking it in 1956 imitating the kids in Scarsdale New York who were apparently leading the curve.
Pharmaceuticals and psychedelics were in use while I was in the Navy ‘56-’59 but not that widespread. Then in the ‘60s psychedelics came into fairly widespread use. I had no idea that amphetamines were practically universal in NY during the early and mid-sixties. LSD became a phenomenon early in the sixties with Leary given the most attention at his post at Harvard becoming the spokesman for turning on, tuning in and dropping out. One way streets were becoming ubiquitous at the time too. That phrase may have sounded the alarm for the authorities as multitudes actually did drop out becoming rather a useless burden on society. I can tell you, Haight-Ashbury wasn’t all that cool.
That ought to have been about ‘65-’66 when the revolution itself was gathering steam.
Mick, of course, was a political revolutionary committed to the cause while his lyrics are a negative portrayal of society if not a put down. Richards was soured on society at age 13 or so when his voice changed. He had been a boy soprano at his school where he and two others were so excellent that they won many prizes. In the process they were excused from certain classes. Then their voices changed and naturally enough they were given their walking papers.
At this point their award winning efforts were thrown back in their faces as they were demoted in grade to make up the classes from which they had been excused. The trio might have tutored to bring them up to speed but Keith felt that had been discarded like so much refuse. Society made itself an enemy who as time would prove would be able to wreak his vengeance with effect.
Keith accepted adoption by the revolutionaries as one being shown the inner sanctum of the Red Brigades of Italy and other revolutionary groups. So he and Mick were more or less of one mind.
Actually by even playing rock music in the fifties and sixties would be to know that he was infuriating the teacher class that had wronged him. Rock was the devil’s music. The notion that rock was part of the Communist conspiracy to corrupt youth was fairly widely believed, speaking of the US. Folk Music was held to be subversive and there is a fair amount of truth in both assertions.
Certainly the Reds didn’t invent Rock but they quickly took advantage of it to inculcate their doctrines.
After the assault on youth in the late fifties when even Dion of the Belmonts was toned down by Mitch Miller and Columbia, the ‘sweet Jewish rock ‘n’ roll of Carole King and Bob Crewe’ and the promotion of a series of bland ballad singers rock seemed to have been contained by the reaction. In Britain the pop scene had been managed so that only bright, pretty faces and perky personas were universal.
The Stones in a very rebellious revolutionary manner broke that mold. On their entry to the United States they struck people as somehow dirty, compared to the Beatles I suppose. They were actually more repulsive, although that might have been Oldham’s hype, although not so much so as The Animals who absolutely horrified the old guard so that it seemed like the scruffy and scruffier were seizing the youth. And of course even on their first Sullivan appearance you could easily see that Brian Jones was under the influence of something. So the Stones may have come under suspicion by the authorities sometime in 1964.
Before 1965 pot and drugs were still somewhat clandestine among youth but by 1965 and after especially with the surfacing of Haight-Ashbury at least pot and LSD were endemic. In very early ‘64 I used to know a guy who kept a bowl of LSD tabs on his living room table. Of course that was Berkeley. In those days acid was considered a sacrament or some kind of transcendental experience. While not that common the experienced walked around like they had been transformed from ordinary mortals into demi-gods. They wouldn’t talk to anyone who hadn’t dropped. It was quite a sight to see although I never indulged myself.
There was one golden moment of, oh, perhaps a half a second in 1966 when the essence of the ‘60s came and went. It was short and quick and even if you got it it was gone before you could grasp it, little golden shimmers filtered through your fingers and that was that. Sic transit gloria and away we went to Altamont. But I anticipate myself.
You’ve heard of the Generation Gap and that was real. Nineteen thirty-eight when I was born was the year of the lowest number of recorded births in some time. We weren’t as rare as hens teeth but even the war babies out numbered us and when they were born half the male population was overseas, so you figure it. Somebody was having a good time. Then in 1946, of course, when the men who survived began to return the population really began to boom, hence baby boomers. So, there was this gap between a huge youth and an older population. The old folks didn’t like us and, well, the relationship was difficult, kind of like between Martians and Earthmen.
The Stones had that jungle beat the old folks couldn’t tolerate. Shucks, the Stones hadn’t even heard real Negro music. All they knew was Motown and that Chicago shit blues music that no one in the US would even listen to. I owned a record store beginning in ‘67 and, let me tell ya, you couldn’t even give that stuff away and that includes Robert Johnson. Oh sure, some stumblebum blues aficionado would shuffle in to ask for Lightning Hopkins, Little Walter or something like that but when you stocked it they would only fondle it say something like I like knowing it’s here. To hell with those guys.
This was a university town and these fanatics would actually bring Lightning Hopkins, for instance, to town for a concert before twenty people in somebody’s living room. Those guys couldn’t play guitar and they couldn’t sing. Leadbelly! Spare me. Memorized Carl Sandburg’s American Song Bag. I never could figure it out.
Shoot! The Stones missed out on the real thing. They should have been in Oakland in ‘60 to ‘66 where I was. Boy, we had the real thing. The most godawful stuff you’d ever want to hear came blasting out of KDIA. White disc jockeys though. The Stones could have learned a lot.
The jungle beat might have garnered them some real attention.
But then, under Andrew’s urging the Stones began to write and compose their own songs. These were often cruel sexual songs expressing the desire to oppress and hurt women or else mocking the older generation. Very strange, unsettling stuff at the time. Now everyone has been unsettled, can’t move them now. As Jagger and Richards, who wrote the songs, found their way in songwriting, the songs became ever more revolutionary while they meshed with a slew of revolutionary movies released during the mid-sixties on. These were often coded plans of action that an agitator provided with the key could decode for other revolutionaries and direct action. Such a key movie that was very influential for the Baader-Meinhoff gang and among German revolutionaries in general was Louis Malle’s Viva Maria. While on the surface a nonsensical even stupid movie when one has the key the movie becomes coherent indeed. Part of the Matriarchal Revolution for starters, but watch it.
Jean Luc Godard, another Nouvelle Vaguer also filmed the very propagandistic film One + One (reissued as Sympathy For The Devil) built around the Stones song of the same title. There was also a slew of satanic movies such Roman
Polansky’s Rosemary’s Baby that aimed at undermining Christian Beliefs. I Am Curious: Yellow that aimed at destroying female chastity. But more of that in the appropriate place.
So, by ‘67 the time of the bust the Stones were building up a dangerous reputation. Always remember that all of these outfits were infiltrated by espionage agents. And those guys were the ones bringing in the dope so how couldn’t the authorities know what drugs the Stones were using and in what quantities. Nice calling card, isn’t it: an unopened ounce of Merck cocaine?
At any rate they decided in 1967 to rein the Stones in a little bit. Shoot the old warning shot across the bow. Also remember that as much as the authorities wanted to suppress the Stones there were just as many Communists or revolutionaries in just as high places to thwart their efforts and actually place the Stones above the law. Their credo: To revolutionaries all things are permitted. Now, you figure it out.
In point of fact the older generation just couldn’t understand the youthful attitude. Everything was going along swimmingly as far as they were concerned. The war recovery was proceeding nicely while the economy seemed stabilized, no return of the Depression. That’s what really scared them and now the little creeps benefiting from this wanted to destroy it. Go figure. That high point of Western Civilization has been subverted today.
As far as the bust at Redlands the authorities were just giving the Stones a good razzing, a taste of what could happen if they were serious. In all likelihood they probably had no intention of making Jagger and Richards serve their sentences. Robert Fraser, the art dealer, arrested with them, was a different situation. He was a member of the establishment having held high military responsibility in Kenya possibly during the Mau Mau insurrection. Therefore he had no excuse whatsoever.
The Stones are quite right that it was a setup. The supposed dope dealer, the American Jew Schneiderman was quite obviously a CIA plant, hence his unlimited supply of pharmaceutical Acid.
Rees-Mogg’s editorial ‘Who Breaks A Butterfly On The Wheel’ was obviously an inside joke as well as well as an insult to the effeminate Jagger. One doesn’t take butterflies seriously hence they were calling Mick a little twit. Why bother with someone so inconsequential? Mick and Keith don’t seem to have understood this. Indeed, Mick, according to Tony Sanchez blubbered:
They think they can break us, man but no way. We’ll take everything they can throw at us, and we’ll still win. We’re in a position to tell the kids about all the shit that’s going down, and that’s just what we are going to do.
Well, bravo, Mick. But you might have been speaking from jail, a rather poor pulpit, had they chosen to put you there while you were not speaking for ‘the kids’ just the yobbos who weren’t going to do anything.
Then according to Sanchez/Blake Mick launches into a clairvoyant séance:
I see a great of danger in the air. Teenagers are not screaming over pop music anymore. We’re only serving as a means of giving them an outlet. Pop music is just a superficial issue…When I’m on that stage I sense that the teenagers are trying to communicate to me, like by telepathy, a message of some urgency. Not about me or our music but about the world and the way they live. I interpret it as their demonstration against society and its sick attitude…This is a protest against the system. And I see a lot of trouble coming in the dawn.
So did the authorities and they were taking measures if not to avert it at least to minimize it. I fail to see how the Paris imbroglio of 1968 took anyone by surprise. I mean, there was no organization not infiltrated by the intelligence agencies. The Chinese Cultural Revolution of which Paris and the rest was part, was directed from Beijing so the West’s intelligence agencies had to be well informed. But as the enemy was their own children they had to be sparing in the use of force. Even Chicago that would have been a great excuse to eliminate the proven troublemakers wasn’t used. Instead we ended up with the farce of the Chicago Eight trial.
They should have just dumped on them. No one was going to riot; those creeps didn’t have that much sympathy.
And then just to show Mick how little they thought of him they sent a helicopter to bring him to them for a little mocking chat. A helicopter: give me a break. Keith does have this to say about that in his autobiography Life of 2010:
The same day we were released the strangest TV discussion ever took place between Mick- flown in by helicopter to some English lawn- and representatives of the ruling establishment. They were like figures from Alice, chessmen: a bishop, a Jesuit, an attorney general and Rees-Mogg. They’d been sent out as a scouting party, waving a white flag, to discuss whether the new youth culture was a threat to the established order. Trying to bridge the unbridgeable gap between the generations. They were earnest and awkward, and it was ludicrous. Their questions amounted to: what do you want?….They were trying to make peace with us, like Chamberlin. Little bit of paper…Yet you know they’re carrying weight, they can bring down some heavy duty shit, so there was this underlying aggressiveness. In a way they were begging Mick for answers. I thought Mick came off pretty well. He didn’t attempt to answer them; he just said, you’re living in the past.
They flew Mick in a helicopter. It was a mocking importance and it came off that way. I saw the bit at the time and came to some different conclusions than Keith. Mick staggered out of the chopper and had to walk across a broad expanse of lawn as though a suppliant to the haughty waiting establishment, sort of like going to see the school principal. They awaited on the patio of a huge house. It was the back door and Mick wasn’t even invited into the kitchen: he was treated like a servant or better yet, a beggar. Butterfly indeed.
They were condescending enough to make your bones ache, Rees-Mogg, one of the establishment, included. They asked the spokesperson of the generation: What do the kids want? Mick flopped. He just stuttered. Keith may have thought he came off well but at my end of the tube I burst out laughing. As far as I was concerned Mick humiliated himself, but then, it was planned that way. All the power was on their side; Mick could really only stand like some penitent school boy and that’s pretty much what he did. Mick wasn’t and couldn’t have been prepared. The deck was stacked against him. But then he, in his turn, shouldn’t have blustered in the aftermath. I wonder if he had to walk home as the heli lifted off without him. That would have been the usual part of the trick; to leave the victim stranded.
In their own way the establishment succeeded in that they knocked the Jagger-Richards writing team off center. Or possibly the duo had exhausted their first momentum, much as Dylan had done and had to regroup as Dylan did. Keith acknowledged that they were dry after the bust. As he says the duo was able to find a new center that was just as successful, perhaps moreso, than the first.
The revolutions were still on and about to reach their first climax.
Next: Leading to Altamont
Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones And The Revolt Of The Yobbos
Mick, Dave And Andy
If you had looked you wouldn’t have seen it but Sigmund Freud, or at least, his ghost was quietly at work transforming the psychology of Western Man. The old chivalric ideals of the Arthurian sagas was rapidly being replaced by the Jewish hopes and fears of Sigmund Freud and the Jewish people.
The Aryan ideal was based on an intense consciousness and objectivity while the Jewish understanding was unconscious and subjective. Aryans followed a concept of honor, Jews followed a concept of chutzpah. The transformation was understood if not clearly seen by the science fiction writers of the fifties. Stories subsequently made into movies such as The Blob, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, book title: The Body Snatchers, and I Am Legend told the tale of the subversion of the conscious as people were portrayed as the living dead or zombies.
With the way prepared then the next step was the free expression of subconscious desires undeterred by reflection and the subversion of men and women in sex. Freud proclaimed that the more frequently men ejaculated the better a person they would be, at the same time preaching the dangers of repressing those psychological ‘needs’ or desires to the exclusion of all others.
The Libertine element or Bohemians of society seized the opportunity while those yet imbued with Chivalric or Christian ideals held out while those ideals were slowly eroded replaced by Jewish ideals. Of course the Pill and drugs came along to push Freudian ideals into fast forward, a bunch of Charlie Chaplins rushing to the future.
At the same time movies and TV began to glorify the expression of an undefined rage against Western ideals and justifications of its impression appeared regularly in ever more sadistic and uncontrolled expressions. Movies glorifying drug use and homosexuality appeared regularly. This enabled homosexuals, sadists and what have you to recognize and find each other thus being able to organize in associations. The Homosexual, Sexual and Yobbo, or Undermen, revolutions were thus able to more forward much more rapidly. One was able to discuss these aberrations as normal conversation, mere expressions of the varieties of sexual experience. Then in 1962 Anthony Burgess published the Yobbo bible, A Clockwork Orange, which in 1971 was made into the most despicable of movies.
The Yobbo bible apparently found a ready audience awaiting it. In New York, the Prince, even the King, of the Yobbos, Andy Warhol, teamed up with the London fashion photographer David Bailey to buy the screen rights from Burgess at bargain basement rates. They obviously saw the book’s potential for forwarding the revolutions on the screen for the corruption of Western youth. Bailey who must have been one the earliest jet setters having met Andy on an earlier occasion perhaps after Andy had introduced his soup cans unless Andy had been recognized as a leader of the revolutions before he had gained fame as an artist.
Warhol and Bailey were quick off the block obtaining the rights in either late ‘62 or early ‘63. Certainly a prescient move. As Andy was just beginning his switch from art to film while having no experience in film making Bailey’s collaboration seems as though it were a leap of faith. Perhaps if they met in ‘62 or even earlier he and Andy jabbered about the potential of movies while riding a white horse name Obetrol.
David Bailey who had risen rapidly in the late fifties at British Vogue is credited with being one of the originators of
Swinging London. What a knockout combination that was, had us all slavering at the mouth wishing we were part of it. Bailey even had his career commemorated in Antonioni’s film, Blow Up of 1966. A sensational film in its day though I find it difficult to see the significance today although still good mood and photography.
David had met Mick sometime in 1963 through his girl friend model Jean Shrimpton. Mick was dating Jean’s sister Chrissie who introduced him to Jean. Jean had no trouble spotting the Stones potential introducing David to Mick with the giddy news that he and the Stones were going to be bigger than the Beatles. Slightly enthusiastic; the Stones were going to be big but not bigger. Nothing really approaches the impact of the Beatles. The dead Lennon is either a god or nearly one while none of the Stones will reach that status.
David and Mick bonded immediately becoming in David’s word, mates. David was five years older than Mick and already successful so that must have enhanced his appeal to Mick. As David looked at Mick and saw the Stones play he apparently said to himself; These are the yobbos I need for my movie, droogs if I ever saw them. He and Mick boarded a big 707 jetliner, one assumes, in mid to late ’63 to be introduced to co-owner of the movie rights of the intellectual property as the star of the semi-porn flick, at least as it would be filmed in 1971.
This was a fateful connection for Mick and the Stones. Now, Mick had been attending the London School of Economics, LSE, during ‘62 and ‘63 only leaving university in late ‘63 when he believed the Stones were going to make it. It is hard to believe that he would give up school for the ephemeral success of England- two good years and out, replaced by the next pretty face. Perhaps Bailey and Warhol were already planning the exploitation of the record industry as a propaganda tool. Certainly Bailey was conscious of the trans-Atlantic connection between British and American Vogue. For guys on the qui vive it wouldn’t be much of a leap to imagine trans-Atlantic musicians, after all, the Englishman (Scot, I know) Lonnie Donnegan had already had a few hits, including a monster, The Rock Island Line, in America. If, in their discussion Mick could have seen the potential, leaving university would be a bet on a bigger and more glorious future.
Some think Bailey and Warhol would have made the movie but ALO placed the price of the Stone’s too high. As Oldham was as keen on Clockwork Orange as anyone that doesn’t necessarily ring true. There must have been other reasons.
Nor was Mick studying bookkeeping at LSE as often represented. The school was established by the Fabian socialist Webbs c. 1900 and was a Communist training ground. Mick did have a scholarship which means he must have been vetted as good future material. Although LSE does have an accounting department Mick was enrolled in political science with the intention of being a Communist politician. So, Mick, David and Andy were to follow a revolutionary agenda pushing the envelope in sex and unruliness. The emerging drug scene promoted both aspects and added a new one.
Shortly after Mick returned home the Beatles burst upon the scene from the Ed Sullivan show in February of ‘64. This was the avant garde of the British Invasion opening up fabulous new vistas for the yobbos of small insular England. For whatever reason the Beatles were an immediate sensation. I’ve got a very good ear but I couldn’t hear it then and I still can’t. The Stones, not really that big a deal yet, followed shortly after gaining full national exposure on Sullivan’s show. Young America was watching. Regardless of the opinion of Stones’ fans they didn’t cut it. There didn’t seem to be much there other than the hype. Mick couldn’t sing while having a very weird appearance. All eyes were on the magnetism of Brian Jones, looking right past Mick. You can see him noticing where the attention was going and looking over at Brian as though to say: But I’m the singer and should be the center of attention. Perhaps Brian’s fate was sealed at that moment. Certainly if he had been brought up front, as all four Beatles had been, there might have been more interest.
No matter, the first tour may have been a bummer but the conquest was still quick enough. The Stones were after all British. Gold, at the moment.
In any event Warhol and Jagger became fast friends. A friendship that was to endure to Andy’s death in 1987. By the time the Stones had gotten settled in Andy had been shot in 1968 actually killing him but the doctors brought him back.
The early endorsement of Warhol had cemented the relationship of the Stones with the yobbos of Bohemia. In ‘63-64 Warhol was only just getting the Factory, the clubhouse of homosexual drug addicted Yobbos, going but that gang would have spread the word effectively in Manhattan club land.
I’m sure Mick’s sexual ambiguity, bi-sexuality, or whatever you wanted to call it kept the enormous homosexual population of Greenwich Village Bohemia in his corner. After Andy’s recovery in 1969-70 the relationship between the two men developed.
To quote the website
Mick Jagger was painted [by Warhol] while he was at the height of fame. Andy and Jagger first met in 1963. Warhol spent a lot of time with Jagger and his wife, Bianca, but claimed he was the closest to their daughter Jade, whom Andy remembers teaching to paint. Over the years the artistically inclined Jagger kept tabs on the musically inclined Warhol. Mick was such an admirer, that in 1972 when the Stones formed their own record company, they tapped Andy to design their logo.
Montauk is the easternmost town at the end of Long Island. Andy and Paul Morrisey had bought a twenty acre compound there that they rented out. In 1975 they would rent it to the Stones for 5K a month while they were making Black and Blue.
In the meantime the Stones expanded their list of celebrity acquaintances on their 1972 Exile On Main Street tour. Needless to say these celebrities were all related to Warhol and the Bohemian scene. This included meeting the Warholite photographer Peter Beard who directed the Stones to Montauk. The linked Montauk site is worth reading.
All right. A Clockwork Orange was released in 1971 with devastating results. Just previously in 1969 the Homosexual Revolution had succeeded in escaping the restraints of New York City laws with the Stonewall Riots leading to the golden age of homosexuality before AIDS hit. The Stonewall Inn was on Christopher Street in the Village, the very heart of the Homosexual Revolution and Warhol’s empire. This led to an increase in the corruption of society. Following on the heels of the Riots perhaps encouraged by them the effects of A Clockwork Orange were much greater than The Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without A Cause of the mid-fifties.
There were serious consequences not least of which was a sado-masochistic tone to the Stones as exhibited in their Black And Blue release of 1975. It is hard to believe that this record didn’t reflect Andy’s sado-masochistic influence. The inside cover depicting a bound woman being brutalized, the title Black and Blue seeming to indicate the bruises she was getting from the beating caused a major uproar, especially amongst Lesbian groups, resulting in the photo’s being withdrawn to be replaced by a group shot. Warhol and Mick were in sync.
In addition to providing the Stones’ logo Andy also designed three record covers for them which advanced the homosexual sadistic agenda. The first was the blatantly homo Sticky Fingers. The title was interpreted to mean the result of beating off while the cover has the famous zippered jeans with the working zipper.
The second cover was Love You Live with its double entendre of cannibalism. The third, Emotional Tattoo, a bootleg, featured Mick on the cover of 1983.
In 1975 showing Andy’s great admiration or love or Mick he made a portfolio of large 42 x29 inch prints reproduced in this article.
During this whole period of the seventies Mick’s wife Bianca was the reigning queen of the Warhol/Halston entourage. While Mick promoted satanic sex riding an enormous inflated penis on the stage he was somewhat more puritan with his wife off stage. He found Bianca’s sexual behavior in the Warhol entourage so humiliating that he was forced to divorce her. One can say that he was patient with her past the endurance of most guys.
But Andy and Mick remained good friends. In 1987 when Andy took the one way barge trip to a new life Mick was the only celebrity friend who took the time to attend Andy’s funeral in Pittsburgh. Thus ended probably one of the most significant friendships of our time.
By the time Andy died they and one presumes, David Bailey, had been more successful in achieving their goals than they might have hoped. Of course Sigmund Freud gave them more than a leg up.
Next: Nemesis Catches Up With The Stones.
April 17, 2011
Maid Of Constant Sorrow
Blonde On Blonde
One can only guess at Edie’s feelings when Dylan dismissed her so brutally from the lines of One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later). She must have intuited if not known that her short and glorious career as the toast of New York was going nowhere. She came to New York with a handsome inheritance that she squandered in a trice, her parents disapproved of her conduct to the the point that they cut her off from support leaving her as Dylan had sneered in Like A Rolling Stone, a poor little rich girl ‘who had never lived out on the streets but now she was going to have to get used to it.’ Screamingly in pain from amphetamines one can only imagine her bewilderment with no way to rectify the situation. Whatever golden opportunities she may have had were now gone forever. Frome here to her death in 1971 would be one long wailing ‘horrorous’ nosedive that is terrifying to relive as a writer even. My stomach quakes as I try to organize the course of events.
Chuck Wein, one of the Harvard homosexuals she had associated with and who had come to New York with her was her evil genius, some say Svengali, who had guided her to Warhol and the
Factory and then presided over her self-destruction. Then for that brief glorious summer of ’65 she had set New York on its ear as a companion to Andy Warhol. Made her feel giddy and indestructible. Andy was apparently in love with her but as a self-centered homosexual was too flaky to work out a relationship that would give her dignity while he was unable to support her more than extravagant tastes.
Behind Warhol was Dylan competing for Edie’s favors which he won in December of ’65 and then discarded her like an old shoe. He recorded the course of his relationship with Edie in various songs from mid-1965 to the completion of Blonde On Blonde in the Spring of ’66. His own career course was changed dramatically in July of ’66 when he had his motorcycle accident.
It might be well to review the songs that comprise Blonde On Blonde now. The song list of Blonde On Blonde is as follows:
1. Rainy Day Women #12 And 35
2. Pledging My Time
3. Visions Of Johanna
4. One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
5. I Want You
6. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
7. Leopard Sking Pillbox Hat
8. Just Like A Woman
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine
10. Temporary Like Achilles
11. Absolutely Sweet Marie
12. Fourth Time Around
13. Obviously Five Believers
14. Sad Eyed Lady Of The Low Lands
With a knowledge of the lyrics the titles themselves read consecutively tell story while the lyrics confirm the tale. The story hinges on who the two women are. One is Dylan’s mother who blasted herson’s psyche when at about the age of twelve she told him in so many words that he had ruined her life by being born. Apparently it was more than Dylan could handle because it was then that his lifelong misogyny began. It is forbidden for a son to revenge himself on his mother so his only recourse was to take it out on another woman or women. Dylan has been a serial misogynist.
One of the women he chose to vent his spleen on was Edie Sedgwick. Thus the two rainy day women most likely are his mother and Edie. All the time Dylan was bedeviling Edie he was courting Sara Lowndes who he eventually married in November of ’65. It was a quiet wedding that didn’t became known for several months and not widely known until later than that. He married just before he succeeded in abstracting Edie from Andy’s entourage so there is no doubt that he was only toying with Edie as a surrogate for his mother.
He may actually have cherished her vulnerability from drugs, inexperience in the world and low self-esteem. She would have been as helpless as a baby, almost like shot gunning fish in a barrel. Sara was his Madonna, Edie his whore. He waits to the very end of Blonde On Blonde to mention Sara and then he wrote Sad Eyed Lady Of The Low Lands for her. Of course, this was all very mysterious for us back in ’66 because we knew nothing of what was happening in New York. None of us had even heard of Sara Lowndes until she showed up as Dylan’s wife
As blogger Jim De Rogatis says, when he sat down to listen to Blonde: What I discovered was an artist who sneered and snarled with more venom and conviction than Johnny Rotten, and
finally it dawned on me: Dylan was a punk…
Jim wasn’t there at the creation as I was, he is a younger man. I guess my soul was so canchred at the time that I welcomed the sneering and snarling as an expression of my own trauma while today I find the venom is so grating that I can no longer listen to Dylan’s records. Besides he borrows nearly everything.
The album opens on a note of forced sardonic merriment as though in a house of ill fame and ends with the dirge dedicated to his wife, Sara. I leave the interpretation of that up to you. I can’t pretend at this date to understand the lyrics to Sad Eyed Lady. One would have to know more of her and Dylan’s courtship. Dylan thought she was supposed to be impressed that he wrote a song for her with a title that sounds like another of his caustic insults.
To take the songs in order: Rainy Day Women is a raucous, very noisy mocking song along the lines of Like A Rolling Stone with its refrain of ‘How does it feel?’ On release the song was so noisy it was nearly unlistenable, certainly objectionable and barely music. Time has conditioned our ears. The refrain here: Everyboyd must get stoned, has layers of possible meaning. While the allegory of stoned meaning pelted with rocks is present, stoned can also have a secondary meaning of smoking marijuana. I don’t think the meaning has anything to do with getting ‘stoned’ from dope. I think it’s a combination of the first meaning and what was perceived by Dylan as a devastating insult from his mother.
The refrain must refer on one hand to his mothers perceived ‘stoning’ of Dylan by her announcement to him that he had been basically unwanted. That stoning is turned around to apply to his ‘stoning’ of Edie in vengeance. He then gleefully taunts and mocks her with the refrain: Do not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned (How does it feel?) which refers back to his earlier song about Edie, Like A Rolling Stone.
In order to make ‘poetry’ of his taunt, our incipient ‘Shakespeare’ gives several poetic references that have nothing to do with rocks or joints. For instance the line ‘They’ll stone you when you’re riding in your car’ must refer to radio DJs pitching products. Thus stoning is meant as a verbal assault. One can compare that line with the Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger’s lyrics to his song Satisfaction:
When I’m drivin’ in my car
And that man comes on the radio
He’s tellin’ me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can’t get no, Oh, no, no, no
Hey, hey, hey, that’ what I say
I can’t get no
So Dylan’s use of ‘stoning’ is giving or getting unpleasant information.
Song #2, Pledging My Time merely means he is obsessed with his mother’s ‘information’ that he was unwanted which is reflected in song #3, Visions Of Johanna when he sings: These visions of Johanna have conquered my mind. Johanna being his mother. Then there is discussion about Andy and Edie. (see my essay at http://idynamo.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/exhuming-bob-xxviii-visions-of-johanna-decoded/ for a full discussion.)
Song#4 Sooner Or Later mocks Edie who he ‘really did try to get close to’ as he dismisses here as he would have like to have dismissed his mother. Song #5 is self-explanatory.
Song #6, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again awhile the lyrics are unclear must refer back to I Want You on one hand and forward to Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat and Just Like A Woman on the other. He’s stuck inside of Mobile, i.e. he wants his mother with the Memphis Blues, i.e. he want his vengeance on Edie is a possible interpretation. At any rate it is placed between I Want You and the two Edie songs so it must be related to all three.
Then come two really unnecessarily vicious songs that everyone agrees are about Edie- Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat and Just Like A Woman. There are no obvious reasons for Dylan to express such vehement, disfiguring hatred of the poor girl unless he’s visiting his repressed hatred of his mother on her.
Song #10 Temporary Like Achilles involves Edie and Andy and himself. I doubt if Dylan had any understanding of the Iliad, if he had even read it, so apart from Achilles short life and the seven month interruption of his relationship with Edie by Warhol an interpretation is somewhat of a hazard.
Songs 11, 12, 13, Absolutely Sweet Marie, Fourth Time Around, and Obviously 5 Believers seem to wander off topic. I have read one interpretation in which the blogger thought Obviously 5 Believers was a response to the Beatles Norwegian Wood. Or possibly they lead into song #14 Sad Eyed Lady Of The Low Lands that Dylan says he wrote about Sara Loundes. The lyrics of this ‘poem’ are incomprehensible but if I had been Sara I wouldn’t have taken the title as a compliment, especially not after being locked out of a discussion about Dylan, Edie and his mother. After all, this is a married man lashing out at Edie.
After completing the LP Dylan left for his 1966 tour of England in which there was such a violent reaction to his electric backup band. I don’t remember their being a violent reaction made on the West Coast. For myself I welcome it. I never did like that faux folk crap he did anyway. Apparently Dylan didn’t either. A new expanded edition, lots of new material. of Robert Shelton’s biography, No Direction Home, just released by Omnibus Press is available, speaking in 1965 Shelton quotes Dylan thusly: ‘There never was any change. No instrument will ever change love, death in any soul. My music is my music. Folk music was such a shuck. I never recorded a folk song.’ He did however call himself a folk singer.
So, whoever shouted Judas at the Manchester concert knew what he was talking about. I never listened to those nauseous early Dylan records anyway. Blonde On Blonde was released in June of 1966 while Dylan was thrown by his ‘chrome horse’ on 7/29/66 thus putting an end to the first phase of his career.
I don’t know what Edie thought wen she heard the record that summer but one supposes she would have recognized herself as the topic of the conversation. Warhol certainly did and he was not amused. Knew something about motorcycles too.
Both Edie and Dylan were so heavily into amphetamines that they probably were not responsible for their actions. Drugs tend to put one into an internal state in which the outside world assumes a subordinate position, almost irrelevant, to one’s interior reality. A person functions in his own mind as a sort of magician who can comman the world to his own world. A certain type of insanity I suppose. Right and wrong are merely expressions of one’s own subconscious will. As Dylan confused Edie with his mother who he subconsciously wished to punish he transferred those feelings, that resentment, that hatret onto Edie as his surrogate mother thus gaining his revenge. How much satisfaction he got isn’t known and he’s not telling.
Edie herself was so far gone into amphetamines as to be oblivious to what was happening in her life. As far as she could dissociate her life from reality she could obviously make black white and vice versa.
Having dealt with Dylan’s relationship with Edie, let us return to January of ’66 to take up again the story from there.
Chap. 14 has been posted as of 6/23/11
December 9, 2009
George Harrison, Eric Clapton, And Me
I of II
Review by R.E. Prindle
Boyd, Pattie: Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, And Me, Three Rivers Press, 2007
I don’t believe in boogie bars,
Macro biotics or souped up cars.
I don’t believe the price of gold;
The certainty of growing old,
But, I believe in you.
Perhaps it’s because I lived through the era experiencing what I did and vicariously the rest that I was thoroughly charmed by Pattie’s autobiography. I hope I will be excused for calling Pattie by her first name throughout but Boyd sounds so brutally unisexual eliminating amything but female sexual aspects that it doesn’t seem fitting and I don’t wish to sound formal otherwise.
This part of the review will cover pretty much Chapter 3: Modeling, 4: George and 5: Mrs Harrison. The chapters brought back the glittering memories of the sixties, memories created more by magazines and television shows than reality for most people but perhaps more or less real for some. If it wasn’t real for Pattie than it probably wasn’t real for anyone. But then it’s hard to tell where you are at any given moment in time.
She was there in what was called ‘Swinging London’ at the time. From a distance it was just dazzling. We were entranced by the possibility. As the late great Roger Miller put it: London swings like a pendulum do. By the time I got there in the seventies the pendulum was stationary. Pattie herself began life as a hair stylist but in a top notch salon. While there she was given an intro to a modeling firm and was lucky enough to catch on. From the looks of the photos whe was in the Twiggy line. She could have become a high fashion queen.
And London was a place where staying on top of fashion was a full time job. The scene was perhaps best captured by Ray Davies and the Kinks in their song: Dedicated Follower Of Fashion. If memory serves it was written about Marc Bolan.
…his clothes are loud but never square
It will make him or break him
So he’s got to buy the best
‘Cos He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He does his little rounds
Amongst the boutiques of London Town
Eagerly pursuing all the lates fads and fashions.
Pattie was in the thick of it mentioning the people she associated with, mere names to us, like Ossie Clarke, Twiggy, Mary Quant, David Hockley, photographers, artists, fashion designers who were realities to her although the glitter is brighter than the shabby fabric beneath. But then, how else could it be?
One feels envy at her luck. I was on the West Coast viewing it all from a distance with wonder, but owning a record store. By the time I got to London in the early seventies the swing had swung. Carnaby St. was deserted when I strolled down it all alone past the shops empty of customers. What sounded so good in song looked effete in reality. Of course I was straight Beverly Hills, dressed completely Eric Ross, quite a standout, but strange and exotic to Londoners.
Oh well, there were always the great book stores.
Pattie had begun her career as a fashion mdoel when she received a call to appear on the set of the Beatles movie in progress, A Hard Day’s Night. I suspect that George Harrison had seen her about town and requested her by name, only a guess, but he certainly glommed on to her when she arrived. Honorable intentions too. The couple got together and it was on. Thus she entered the charmed circle of the Beatles. You couldn’t get no higher.
The Beatles? Who cared really? other than the millions. Whatever was happening there passed me flatter than the Grateful Dead, and that’s flat. I was cool to both the Beatles and the Stones. I wasn’t really a dedicated fan of anybody; I liked certain records- Superlungs by Terry Reid. The first Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart when he still had intact pipes, the second with Bob Tench wasn’t bad either, lousy cover. Beck apparently hated vocalists because he played so loud, on purpose, I was backstage once and watched him do it, that he blew out their pipes. Donovan’s Sunshine Superman was tops, Procol Harum’s first, Alan Price’s This Price Is Right, stuff like that. Dillard and Clark, Flying Burrito Brothers’ White Line Fever, some Johnny Rivers. Nice stuff. Two or three Byrds.
But, the Beatles were gods and here were George Harrison and Pattie Boyd trying to fashion a normal lower middle class life in a hundred room mansion. The Beverly Hillbillies in London. Good luck boy and girl. And that was not taking into account drugs. Pattie’s story of the maniac dentist sends a chill through the marrow; a real demon dentist, the Sweeny Todd of the profession. Lord, deliver us from evil. It was he who introduced Pattie and Harrison to LSD, surreptitiously of course. Spiked their coffee just as they were about to leave his house.
Then the stuff came on, a little like the Airplane’s song, White Rabbitt- one side makes you larger, one side makes you smaller. Pardon me for writing myself into the story but the pen is in my hand:
Happened to me once. I was down in Berkeley at what was supposed to be a party. Pot parties in that time and place meant everyone sat around self-absorbed looking out vaguely at what could possibly have been you, or possibly just empty space. This particular set played draggy jazz so possibly they weren’t even looking out, their eyes were just open. As I was to learn it wasn’t pot. I had never smoked before anyway. Nobody could have ever been busted for whatever it was I smoked. Nothing was happening except the draggy jazz, maybe John Coltrane going around in fifths, and I was getting bored so I said I was leaving. As with the dentist of Pattie’s experience I was abjured not to leave. I never knew really what it was until I read Pattie’s story. It hit me a couple blocks down the street. The ’tobacco’ must have been laced with acid.
Getting out of the maze of streets of Berkeley always required a little concentration on my part anyway and now I didn’t have any. I didn’t even know where I was or where I was going. Fortunately for me the car drove itself. I did have to keep my hands on the wheel though it wasn’t always uppermost in my mind. The car did strange things when I took my hands off the wheel, wandering here and there. A voice spoke saying: Keep your hands on the wheel.
The car found its way to the MacArthur Freeway which, although it was a road I knew by heart I couldn’t recognize. Plus everything had turned a shiny patent leather black, the highway just glittered and shown so. Colors had disappeared; the lights of the cars shot through my eyes to the back of my brain. They were all driving very slowly it seemed but passed me going very fast. Of course I was driving about twenty-five per which was as much as I could handle. I got in the slow lane. A good thing because it seemed like I was going around this curve for twenty-five minutes. Everytime I looked it seemed like I was in the same place. I decided to put my foot back on the gas.
The next problem was that the sky and highway were bonded together. Fortunately the car was able to separate them and they moved apart before us- the car and me.
My next big problem, after a seeming eternity, was that in order to make a left exit to Castro Valley I had to cross three lanes dotted with cars moving at varying speeds in different lanes. I had to time it just right to get in between cars in two different lanes. Sort of a Rubiks Cube kind of problem. While I was dithering my car changed lanes for me and I was on the off ramp with a smile.
An underpass lay before me where the most miraculous event in my life took place. As I began to enter the underpass this set of ram’s horns, you know, like a male sheep, began to grow from my forehead. Great white curling things they were, magnificent. It was at that moment I realized I was Master Of The World. Just as I was about to assume the mantle I came out the other side losing my spectacular rack and my crown. While I was pondering the imponderable my car finding its way back gliding noiselessly up the street into the driveway where it pertly came to a halt. Heaving a sigh of relief I got out and entered the house.
I don’t know what I looked like, perhaps fierce because of the loss of my horns, but my wife and mother-in-law seemed to run from me. Entering the kitchen I saw my brother-in-law about to have some tacos he’d cooked up. The guy was a wizard with hamburger; he could do things with hamburger than no chef had ever done. I had issues with him which I won’t go into. When I saw the tacos I became ravenous and wanted them. He was experienced. He took one look at me and realized the situation his hand stopping before his open mouth.
I didn’t hesitate, I remembered being Master Of The World. I snatched his tacos from his hands saying: I want those. He was knowing. He made no resistance, just said, sure. Smart move because I wouldn’t have taken no for an answer while still feeling superhuman. I wolfed those suckers down; best tacos I ever ate. But now there were fireworks going off in my head. I got in bed and watched the light show going off behind my closed eyes for a couple hours. I woke up grouchy and ragged. I took care in the future to make sure that never happened again. Wherever I had been I didn’t want to go back. I sure missed those horns though.
Apparently Harrison and his band mates liked it going back repeatedly. But then Pattie discovered that old fraud the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his Transcendental Meditation. What a fraud. She turned Harrison on and the band followed. First it was Bangor, Wales and then on to the big temple in the Himalayas of India.
There are many wondrous stories of their Indian sojourn at the ashram. The upshot was that the holy man liked girls as much, perhaps more, than the rest of the fellows. This tore a rent in his spirituality and disillusioned the group who left in a huff.
Pattie does tell a good story about Ringo who was wary of spicy Indian food having had digestive problems as a youth. He took along a suitcase full of Heinz Baked Beans. Imagine going through customs with that. Imagine watching the guy in front of you opening a suitcase full of cans of Heinz Baked Beans. US Customs would have made him open each can on the spot. I’d be laughing yet.
After their marriage George wanted her to give up the job of modeling. she had regrets but as far as modeling went she was getting old. Younger women were pushing up. The Twiggy look was dated from the start anyway. She might have been near the end of her career whether she liked it or not.
Couple intesting points before this idylic phase of her life and life with George Harrison ended. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull came to their house one night. Jagger wrote on the Harrison’s wall: Mick and Marianne were here. Strange action for guests. The only thing I can figure is that Mick was marking out the limits of his territory like one of the big cats who go around peeing on bushes to set up their territory. As a Beatle and tops of the pop world it was incumbent on each Beatle to establish their priority, their dominance over the lesser princes. When Mick wrote that on Harrison’s wall without demurrer he was establishing dominance over his superior. Eric Clapton would later do the same when he took Harrison’s wife while defeating him, as some say, in a guitar duel.
If you watched the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show you saw Jagger and Bono dueling it out for the crown. A very haughty Jagger beat Bono into absolute submission having him groveling before himself worse than Obama before the Emperor of Japan. Jagger was so taut that after he flipped off Bono he almost dismissed the audience but then caught himself and gave a dismissive back hand wave in acknowledgment. That was somethin’ else man.
Jagger as leader of the Rolling Stones also foisted Allen Klein on the Beatles also demonstrating the priority of the Stones over the Beatles. And lastly Jagger, how shall I say, induced Bob Dylan to open a show for the Stones placing Dylan therefore beneath the Stones. I would have to say that the Stones have finished as the undisputed Kings of Rock of Roll. There’s always more going on than you think.
And then Pattie and Harrison were in attendance at the famous first drug bust of Jagger, Richards and Marianne Faithfull. As Pattie tells it she and her husband left the party at 3:00 AM. Immediately after they left the police raided. She believes the fuzz waited until they left as they were Beatles. The Beatles were thought of as clean at that time while the Stones and Marianne were monsters. She may be right. If the type of glamour achieved by the Beatles and Stones was new to them and difficult to manage perhaps the same was true of society. The Phenomenon of the British Invasion was so spectacular that you just had to stand back and ask: What’s this? So maybe the cops did honor The Top Of The Pops.
Whether she was slapping back at Mick for writing on her wall by the observation I can’t tell although both stories found a prominent place in her narrative. High school never ends.
The contest for her favors by Harrison and Clapton is very complex, a lot of psychology involved. I’ll have to work on it some but that will be covered in my review of the second half of the book to follow.
November 11, 2009
Famous Groupies Of The Sixties Series
Faithfull: An Autobiography
Review by R.E. Prindle
Season Of The Witch
All night, all day, Marianne
Down by the seaside sifting sand.
Even little children love Marianne,
Down by the seaside sifting sand.
-Terry Gilkyson And The Easy Riders
Technically Marianne Faithfull wasn’t a groupie. Her early years resembled one but in her later years she was sought after as a conquest by men of the groupie mentality. I’m sure as everyone knows Marianne Faithfull began her career as a very successful pop singer. Produced originally by Andrew Loog Oldham she was among the first of the new breed of Rock singers, as opposed to Rock n’ Roll. She belongs to the new rather than the old school.
Her first song was As Tears Go By. Single and album were very successful, more or less establishing her reputation for all time- or at least until the generation passes away.
My first knowledge of Marianne Faithful was when the strains of As Tears Go By wafted into my study window. They continued to waft all day long for weeks. The girl in the apartment next door was fixated on the song. A little fat girl. So after the 7000th rendition of As Tears Go By I had my first nervous breakdown. Marianne Faithfull was a sour taste.
Then as far as I’m concerned she dropped out of the pop scene.
Her auto was first published in 1994, I just read the paperback the other day so the book is probably old hat to most of you but as I didn’t find any real reviews on the internet I decided to give it a try. I don’t see any reason to do the whole book so I’ll concentrate on the three Bob Dylan incidents, aspects of her relationship with Mick Jagger and Donald Cammell and his movie, Performance. The book is highly readable and entertaining until after her divorce form Jagger about two thirds of the way through the book when she falls into a drug stupor. At that point it is necessary to avoid falling into Marianne’s own depression. Too late for her to get over it now.
Her career began when she was selected for her looks by Andrew Loog Oldham, producer of the Stones, who saw her at a party. Asked if she could sing she said yes. Next, there she was behind a microphone lisping As Tears Go By. Thus she was an established big pop singer when she first met Dylan and later came under the thumb of Mick Jagger. She brought something to the table, she didn’t come empty handed. She was an equal. To be treated as an appendage enraged her probably contributing to her drug addiction
She met Dylan during his ’65 tour. You can see her sitting in the corner in the movie Don’t Look Back. She has some trenchant comments to make of the various prticipants in the Savoy Hotel debacle. She’s very intelligent. She was a young girl at the time, Dylan being five years older. She was in awe of Dylan who she considered the hippest god on the planet.
Dylan is supposed to be a master seducer. It wasn’t that Marianne wasn’t ready and willing, she was. In her mocking portrayal of the scene Dylan rather than complimenting her beauty and talent made an attempt to overawe she who was already overawed with his own wizardry. In the process the seduction fell through. Mazrianne skipped merrily away.
Now, this is a girl who a year or two younger , while on tour with a review including Roy Orbison responded to him when he knocked on her door and said: Hi. I’m Roy Orbison. I’m in room 602. And Marianne skipped on down the hall. How could Dylan have missed?
Later in the book, the year was 1979 when Dylan was going though his Jesus years, while Marianne had entered clinical depression doing heroin and sitting on her wall like Humpty-Dumpty all day, every day, Dylan arrived for another tour. His dealer was a friend of Marianne’s and he asked if she knew where Marianne was. Oh yes. Demelza, the heroin dealer got Marianne to come over. Dylan and Marianne’s second verse was worse than the first. By this time depressed, enraged and seeking vengeance against the men in her life Marianne was far from compliant. She had recently released Broken English, I’ve never heard the record so I can’t comment on the lyrics, so she mocked the Wise One by asking him if he understood her lyrics. He couldn’t explain hers any better than she could his. A little drip on the name of Bob, a little triumph for Marianne. Dylan went away unfulfilled again.
Oop, there is a third meeting. Marianne now beyond depression walking down railway ties none of us will ever be able to see. She overdosed on heroin, staggered and fell breaking her jaw. Complications arose requiring serious surgery. Pins were put in her jaw along with some contraption to hold the two parts together that apparently went
through her cheek sticking out like a water spigot. Had to sleep on one side.
While Dylan was playing in Boston she presented herself backstage in this grotesque appearance. Too weird for Dylan. Three strikes and he was out. Never spoke to him again, she says. (To 1994 when the book went to press.
After the first meeting Marianne hooked up with Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones for whom we have to thank for As Tears Go By.
In late 1966 the great Donovan included a song on Sunshine Superman called Season Of The Witch. The song epitomized the era. At the time the song made little sense to me but in reading Faithfull it all began to fall into place. While the sixties were terrific they were also horrific. Today the horrific impressions dominate my mind. All standards, all morality disintegrated before our eyes. It was the end of the world as it dissolved into stange and perplexing LSD fantasy. Hell, I never even took LSD and I think I know the feeling perfectly. I’m still getting flashbacks.
Nothing was real, it was all an illusion. You could turn yourself inside out right before everyone’s eyes and get no reaction. Hey, everyone was living through their own movie. Marianne captures this feeling perfectly in 300 pages but so did Donovan in three verses:
When I look out my window
Many sights to see.
When I look in my window
So many different people to be
That it’s strange, so strange,
Must be the season of the witch,
Must be the season of the witch.
Marianne’s succession of people to be began in childhood. She as well as all these musicians, singers and dancers came from humble backgrounds with low expectations but grand hopes and dreams. Picked for the size of her bust to be a rock star, piles of money were thrown at her. Inevitably dissociation occurred as the possiblity to be anyone appeared possible only to be held back by that humble past of low expectations. how to behave in these new circumstances, not so easy, not so easy.
The rabbits are running in the ditch
Beatniks are out to make it rich.
Sang Donovan. Standards and barriers were down, libertines crawled out of the woodwork nd there stood Mick and Keith, two libertine beatniks who could actually wallow in money.
Mick took a fancy to Marianne and moved her in. Married in heart if not in law, but she was to lose her independence. There was Swinging London or the tail end of it and swinging is what Mick and Marianne did. However Marianne did not come to Mick as a nameless groupie. She was a somebody that the fans admired and wanted to get close to also. Marianne Faithfull, all in capitals. All that was submerged into the personality of Mick Jagger. At first her own money was coming in allowing her independence but as her catalog grew old her money had to come from Mick. Her lost independence made it impossible to function as a wife and expect a joint account where she didn’t have to ask for money, it was hers by right. A conflict and contest arose.
When I look over my shoulder
What do you think I see?
Some other cat looking over
His shoulder at me.
And he’s strange, sure he’s strange.
Oh no, must be the season of the witch.
And the witching got serious. All kinds of users, abusers and losers followed the libertines out of the woodwork, masters of manipulation they knew how to easily hypnotize whacked out marijuana smokers, cokeheads and general druggies to get them to do various things, sex things, criminal acts, whatever to gratify their evil schemes. People did things they never thought they would do and fortunately some or a lot them couldn’t remember doing them. Such a character was waiting in the ether to snare Mick and Marianne. The movies, ah, the movies, what a way to snare unwary souls. Everyone wants to be a movie star.
Donald Cammell, one such, had his nose to the wind and the wind brought the sexual antics of Mick and Marianne wafting his way. Truly, it was the season of the witch.
Cammell had a novie he wanted to make; Mick and Marianne and assorted friends were just the libertines to bring Performance to life. Oh no, oh no, must be, must be the season of the witch.
According to Marianne, Cammell replicated the sex scene the set had had as though he had been there. Uncanny? Maybe or maybe it was such a far out thing participants talked and word got around and Cammell’s imagination was inflamed.
According to Marianne the filming brought disaster into the actor’s lives. Cammell, the manipulator escaped, of course, as his kind always does. The pleasure was all his, you may be sure.
The filmwas a turning point in the relationship of Marianne and Mick. Perhaps the film stirred memories of when she had been The Marianne Faithfull, since submergeed into Mick’s identity. She had been unable to adjust to the new circumstances. Pentulantly she just walked away. Immersed in drugs the downslide slow and pleasant became precipitous until she could be found sitting on her wall of the bombed out building not rebuilt as yet.
Could it be that the remaining wall of that Marianne Faithfull of low expectations was bombed out by the force of a success undreamt of in her pleasant teenage dreaming? Was that the fascination that kept her glued to the wall in pleasant heroin dreams? Would Humpty Dumpty fall into the abyss or not?
This was now the seventies. Hard realities existed on every side. It was’t fun anymore either. The actual season of the witch had passed over. This was hell.
After Marianne left Mick drugs are the topic of her converstation. What is more boring than a junkie talking drugs. Shoot up and shut up. Who wants to hear?
But she did regain her identity, she had shed Marianne of the little m and was Marianne Faithfull again. Men sought her out. Producers came around again, there was still money in that drug wracked carcassof Marianne.
When she walks along the shore,
People pause to greet,
While little birds fly round her,
Little fish come to her feet…Marianne.
Somehow from that drug drenched state Marianne was able to cobble together enough strength and concentration to begin doing a Mick and Keith. Maybe her time had not been wasted by the proximity to Mick and Keith. While still with Mick she had written Siser Morphine, later recorded by the Stones. She got no writing credit because of old contractual problems with discarded agents but she did receive a third of the royalities which were considerable.
And now she began to string words together to make songs. The stuff was nothing I would ever listen to. I mean, choice lyrics like ‘Every time I see your dick I imagine her cunt in my bed.’ Maybe that’s why Dylan couldn’t understand the lyics. I’m not going to try. It worked for Marianne though. Today she’s proudly known as the Edith Piaf of her generation. I’m happy for her that things worked out for her after a fashion. Her smile still photographs well but I’m not going to buy her records, CDs, whatever they’re called nowadays. Time has gone by and I can’t get As Tears Go By out of my head. I’ll carry that tune to my grave.
All night, all day, Marianne,
Down by the seaside sifting sand.
Even little children love Marianne,
Down by the seaside sifting sand.