Part V: Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones And The Yobbo Revolution
July 18, 2015
Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones
And The Yobbo Revolution
…they’re just war babies with the bell bottom blues.
Along about 1968 Jagger among the Stones, at least, became disenchanted with his and their new manager Allen B. Klein of notorious fame.
By 1968, counting 1963 as the beginning of their labors the Stones had been working hard. Jagger and Richards had emerged as successful songwriters giving them a financial advantage over fellow stones, Jones, Wyman and Watts. By that time the band was said to have earned millions but had virtually nothing to show for it except for a heroin habit and several cases of VD. When one says heroin habit one reduces disposable income considerably.
The Stones last effort Their Satanic Majesties Request seemed to indicate a loss of direction. Their initial impetus had been expended. The impetus that began in 1963 had then played out. The good part of the Sixties was over and the bad part had begun with the ’66 release of the Doors first album containing the appropriately named song The End. The Rock scene had turned dark while turning the volume up.
The Stones knew dark so they quickly reinvented themselves as a Dark band turning out Beggar’s Banquet in 1968. Out there on the buying end of rock and roll I groaned. The new Stones were born as the Hounds of Hell emerging from a drug fueled Freudian unconscious. Just what the world didn’t need.
While Jagger and Richards engaged the world with their follies the other three members had to suffer enduring the ignominy in silence. Richards would go on to astound the world with his drug offenses. While Jagger himself descended into darkness as a Satanist carrying his inamorata Marianne Faithfull along with him.
While both deny other than a titillating passing interest in Satanism the facts imply a more serious involvement.
These years that should have been bright were the beginning of dark times, darker than the Communo-Nazi era for the world. Deny it if he can, Jagger was a leader on the downward path.
Undeniably the Fifties and Sixties were a trying period but which decade of the century hadn’t been? Fear of both Communism and the A-Bomb, not to mention the Neutron Bomb, kept people tense. There was a disturbing lack of balance in which TV, newspapers, and magazines presented developments. Nevertheless the beginning of the post-war period was one of astounding advances in knowledge both in Science and the Liberal Arts. Huge layers of ignorance were sheared away. For instance the knowledge of geological tectonic plates that demonstrated how the planet evolved was, shall I say, earth shaking.
In 1950 the highest an object had been was measured in feet; the atmosphere hadn’t been penetrated. Seven years later the Soviets put the Sputnik in orbit. Telstar went up in July 1962 to tremendous astonishment and acclaim opening the way to the future and the fabulous prosperity of the late Sixties and the Seventies.
Medicine cured syphilis and all venereal diseases, killing and disabling diseases were gone and even TB and polio were ended. At the beginning of the Fifties a child had to ponder being debilitated by both as a probable occurrence. The diet was improved immensely and made more varied. But, as life improved the psyche grew darker, dissatisfaction with virtual perfection was endemic. Murder and crime increased dramatically. Charlie Whiteman in his UT tower, Richard Speck’s ritual murder of the Chicago nurses. While the good genie let many good things out the bottle at the same time a cloud of darkness followed. The country chose to embrace the darkness rather than the light.
During the Sixties Satanism was on the rise. We all know there is no existing entity called Satan but Satanism is a fact of the psyche. First truly released by Freud in 1900 Satanism had been emerging as a social force. A 1966 cover of Time Magazine asked the question Is God Dead? This sparked a fair controversy at the time. That same year, less conspicuously and metaphorically saw the birth of the Son of Satan, Andy, in the book Rosemary’s Baby by the Jew Ira Levin followed by the movie of the same name directed by the Jew Roman Polanski. Rosemary’s Baby was followed by a spate of Satanic novels and movies. The shift from God’s Son, Jesus, to Andy was quite noticeable but we were slow to comprehend.
The Satanic movement had been building since the middle of the nineteenth century when the Frenchman, Eliphas Levy, reorganized the occult along modern lines. The Golden Dawn brought Satanism into prominence in the English speaking world. The Golden Dawn was captured by the pervert Aleister Crowley who guided Satanism through the first half of the century. He died in 1946. A druggie and sex fiend, his sex magic in the Sixties was joined by that of the Jewish sex madman, Wilhelm Reich, also a notable Freudian. Reich had even had his books burned by the US government but like a phoenix his sexual ideas rose from the flames during the Sixties. ( See the movie WR, The Mysteries Of The Organism, read organism as Orgasm. This movie is not for the weak of mind.)
The magical crowd had coalesced in the beginning of the Sixties. In England it was led by the Satanic Process Church that emigrated to the US, LA based, and back to England. In the US the chief Satanist was the San Francisco based Anton Lavey with his acolyte in Los Angeles, Kenneth Anger. It is to be noted that the sex magician Charles Manson was associated with all these people in one form or another.
Jagger and his consort Marianne Faithfull were drawn into the flames through their friend in London, Groovy Bob Fraser who seemed to be the clearing house for all strange in London. He introduced Mick and Marianne to Kenneth Anger while they found their own way to the Process Church. Mick was recruited by the Crowleyian Satanist and filmmaker Donald Cammell. Cammell’s father had been a Crowleyian having writing a biography of him. Cammell’s mind thus had been corrupted from childhood.
Cammell starred Jagger and Keith’s girlfriend Anita Pallenberg in his ’68 movie Performance. Pallenberg was a long gone cutie deeper into Satanism than probably anyone in the crew.
Mick had become acquainted with the fashion photographer David Bailey in late ’62 or early ’63. Anthony Burgess published his Satanic novel A Clockwork Orang in 1962.
In ’62 and ’63 Jagger was a nobody, a student at the London School of Economics while doubling as frontman for the unknown Rolling Stones, or Rollin’ for the purists. The two apparently bonded on sight as the two bought the movie rights to A Clockwork Orange. This strange situation has never been explored. As far as we know Mick had no money or anything really to recommend him to Bailey who was a very successful photographer and the model for Fellini’s movie Blowup. Yet while a student and singer for a grungy R&B band Bailey took him under his wing, or perhaps Andrew Loog Oldham that inveterate man about town introduced himself to Bailey, then introduced Bailey to Mick with whom he was palling. It would seem that Andrew first discovered A Clockwork Orange in mid-62 talking it up with Bailey and Mick. Andrew and Bailey saw Mick as the hero of the book, Alex, leader of his band called The Droogs. The idea of the Droogs exerted a fascination over the minds of Andrew, Bailey and Mick and through Bailey and Mick the Warhol crowd of NYC. As a photog for English Vogue Bailey would have had an intro to New York and the American Vogue.
For those who aren’t aware, Vogue Magazine is a huge global presence. There are many ‘local’ editions of the magazine published for Germany, France, Russia, Italy and even Japan. It is really extraordinary. I subscribe to the English edition and buy Italian, Parisian, German and the occasional Japanese copy from a news dealer in my own city. Globalism takes on a real meaning.
In reading Stone’s histories there is no mention of Jagger being absent from London in 1963 but Bailey scooped him up and took him to New York, presumably at his own expense or perhaps that of Vogue to shop for a movie maker for their book. Bailey who was very up on things may have thought that Andy Warhol would be interested; in fact Warhol did make a movie that purports to be based on Clockwork Orange but you couldn’t prove it by me. But, in 1963 Warhol was not yet that famous or his vacuous movies. Bailey must have had his nose to the ground with the sensitivity of a bloodhound. Where Mick got the money for his share of the rights and trip to what is now known as The Big Bagel isn’t clear.
In New York Mick met the Dark, if not Satanist, Andy Warhol with whom he banded as quickly and tightly as he had Bailey. Because of this the Stones would always be big in the Village.
Interestingly Mick’s girlfriend during this period was Bailey’s top model Jean Shrimpton’s sister, Chrissie Shrimpton.
Things fell out, Mick gravitated to the adultress, Marianne Faithfull. The two were arrested at the famous drug bust at Keith’s Redlands in 1967.
Apparently Mick et al. thought they were immune to the laws and mores of the time concerning drugs so that Mick took the arrest and subsequent conviction as a grievous insult. It confirmed and hardened his devotion to Satan while solidifying his revolutionary aims. He thought the ‘kids’ would be able to bring down the State.
Thus in 1967 they recorded and released the record album titled Their Satanic Majesties Request. Smarting horribly- for all practical purposes Marianne’s life was ruined. In combination with a succession of injurious events that would follow, Marianne’s psyche would never recover. She had been holding the burning match to see how close to her fingers it got before she was burned, she now knew.
Still in reaction to the arrest, following Satanic Majesties, Mick decided to make a film. This became the long lost Rock And Roll Circus. The movie only has historical significance as it was never released at the time. Rights were held by Allen Klein so after his death in 2009, under his son Jody’s direction ABKCO released it for the first time. Psychologically it places where Mick was in 1968.
The American Satanist Kenneth Anger had a huge shoulder to shoulder tattoo of the name L-U-C-I-F-E-R on his chest to show his dedication to the Commander In Chief. At the end of Rock And Roll Circus as the band plays Sympathy For The Devil we see Mick groveling on the stage as though to the Master. He wiggles out of his shirt rising to his knees to display a Lucifer tattoo on his bare chest. Whether real or a transfer isn’t clear. I hope the latter.
In 1968, at least, Jagger had dedicated himself to Satan. While Marianne has since repudiated Satanism claiming the fascination was a passing fancy it seems clearly to have been more than that.
That aside, to be borne in mind as we move along. Mick, who is no dummy, had been quickly learning the ropes of the record business since his introduction in 1963. As he wasn’t getting enough money to indulge his fantasies, finances became his chief concern.
The Stones were first managed and promoted by the nineteen year old Andrew Loog Oldham. Oldham was the right man to put the Stones on the road. Unfortunately for himself Andrew was at the flighty if not to say flaky stage of life so that he found it expedient to sign the Stones to the American desperado or operator, Allen Klein. Klein was the big talking type so endemic to the industry who promised the moon while actually being able to pry money from the labels not that much ever got back to the artists. While first being pleased with Klein’s services getting money out of him was a problem so that Jagger quickly became disaffected with him. In 1968 he began the search for a money man who would work in the Stones’ interests.
This was a critical period for Jagger and the band. Their first rush of creativity ended about 1966 as the songwriters went dry and the band quit touring. The transition from the sixties to the seventies actively took place between ’66 and ’67. In fact that was the Sixties, the rest of the decade was a long slow fade. The artists most identified with the sixties didn’t make the transition to the seventies and beyond. The Stones before ’68’s Beggar’s Banquet were a quintessential 60s’ band. Beggar’s Banquet eased them toward the seventies.
So at this transitional period that must have been cause for great anxiety the band had little to show for their sixties output other than a certain notoriety that was however global and second only to the Beatles.
In his search for a money man Jagger asked his friend Chrissie Gibbs for his help. Gibbs was a central figure in the Groovy Bob Fraser circle. Fraser’s place was a central gathering place for the crowd including the American Satanist Kenneth Anger and the Warhol crowd.
Fraser himself was an art dealer who associated himself with the upcoming Pop Art Movement. Thus he was the center of all that was hip and modern.
Gibbs knew of an investment banker by the name of Prince Rupert Loewenstein. Rupert was an actual hereditary Prince who prefaced his name with that title. According to Rupert’s memoirs, A Prince Among Stones, Rupert knew Gibbs in only the most casual manner, Gibbs was not exactly a member of the aristocracy as he is presented.
Rupert is a bit of an enigma. He says, in his memoir, that he had never heard of the Stones when Gibbs mentioned them. In the context of the times the Stones were rock musicians who are as a class not welcome in polite society and even some not so polite society, yet Rupert said to this very casual acquaintance that he would look into it. Then, as he tells it, he learned who or what the Rolling Stones were and that all three principals of the group had been arrested on drug charges a year earlier along with Robert Fraser the art dealer and a true member of the aristocracy although now declasse. Rupert even says that he agreed wholeheartedly with the judge.
Just as a point of reference, when I opened my record shop in 1967 the insurance agents would not even sell me insurance while the AAA agent cancelled my auto insurance. I could obtain no amenities and only grudgingly services. So, it is extremely strange that Rupert knowing the actual unsavory history of the Stones jeopardized his standing in respectable circles in the City and society to associate himself with them. And I mean associate, he actually toured with the band. If he didn’t know the kind of people he was with he certainly learned then.
Now, no one associated with rock and roll had any social standing especially the Stones as the bad boys of rock. Then all the creeps and drug dealers who being around the record scene especially attached themselves to the Stones and believe me that crowd was well beyond unsavory. Robert Greenfield’s book S.T.P. will give you some examples but the flavor of these people doesn’t come through in print.
As I read Rupert’s autobiography, he died a year or so ago, I find a distaste for Stones from beginning to end. Even the title of his memoir, A Prince Among Stones, is a put down of the Stones. Rupert obviously disdained the Stones. So, one asks why he would choose to represent them? And that’s only the beginning of the mystery.
Having accepted the assignment as they used to say on Mission Impossible he had to familiarize himself with bushels of documents and assorted records. Before he could even confront Klein he had to spend a year trying to understand the documentation. Klein was a tough cookie who didn’t play by any rules. You grappled with him. I’m not sure that the Stones to this day know what Rupert did for them.
Here’s the point: The Stones are said to have no money with which to pay him, we are told that they were stone broke. Didn’t mean that they didn’t have a great stash but, you know, they were broke. This was a serious time for the band. Get this: Rupert worked three years gratis with no guarantee of ever making a dime. That any of us should have luck of that kind. Further he learned that there was no way the Stones were going to get any money out of Klein without very expensive litigation. But, there were exceptions as we shall see. The Stones entire career from 1963 to the end of the contract in 1971 that Andrew had saddled them with belonged to Klein. Never fire your manager when he holds your life in his hands.
Any career they would have to make money would begin in 1971. The intellectual properties Jagger and Richards’ had created would provide them with an income apart from the band although the publishing was sold to Klein by Andrew. But the full intellectual properties would begin only with Exile On Main Street. And of course by then the big boom in record sales was underway. Even at the end of the sixties the record business was small potatoes. The stadium era was on the horizon.
From Rupert’s point of view the only real potential for money for him would come from the Stones’ touring. The Stones would do some non-stop touring beginning in 1971. The ’69 US tour was Rupert’s introductory tour during which he learned how inefficient and criminal touring was..
Until Rupert reorganized touring, the road had not been profitable for the Stones. No money at all. So Rupert began his management career on the off chance that the Stones would stay together, actually a fairly long shot, and he could mount some extravaganzas and monitor expense to make the road profitable. Little he knew that he was catching the really big one.
If you sit and think about this a little it will blow your mind the chances that Rupert was taking especially with a heroin addict of the status as Keith. I mean we’re talking the Master of Flake with Keith- no offense intended. The man blew millions that Rupert was setting up in recording contracts when Keith was arrested with a jug of heroin in Toronto. Keith was not in this alone, there were three other Stones plus Mick as well as Rupert who had bet his life on the Stones. Can you imagine how crushed Rupert was when he had to call all the bidders and advise them of Keith’s gaffe. Keith cost Rupert a couple million too.
This is amazing, the pre-’68 money had been so badly managed that the Stones owed more tax money that it appeared that the band could ever pay off; especially when every new dollar would be taxed at ninety percent. What were the Brits thinking? As I understand it the Stones have never paid the debt off, or tried. So Rupert compelled them to leave England for a more tax friendly climate. As we are repeatedly told they were broke one wonders how they expected to finance their life in France. Mick and Keith were OK because as Robert Greenfield tells us in his book Ain’t It Time We Said Goodbye: The Rolling Stones On The Road To Exile just before the Stones left England Klein sent Mick and Keith each a check for 800 and some odd thousand dollars. That is nearly a million each. I don’t know whether BMI paid royalties quarterly or half yearly but Mick and Keith should have gotten a check of comparable size quarterly, semi-annually or annually. For the next decade or two probably double that. No sympathy here.
Wyman and Watts both bought handsome residences on the Riviera so one wonders where that money came from while Exile was being recorded. They settled on the Riviera where they spent a fortune recording Exile On Main Street. Over half a million dollars. And while Exile sold well still only over seven hundred and some thousand copies on its first release; not enough copies to surpass recording costs so they received nothing for the LP initially. Still Rupert hung in there, drug stories or no.
As the only hope for the Stones to make money, apart from intellectual right for Mick and Keith, was touring and thereby justify Rupert’s decision to throw in his lot with them Rupert set about to make touring as profitable as possible. He was in for some surprises as he had to come into contact with the Underworld, Mafia to you and me. I don’t see how he or they ever thought that there would be the truly big money of the last tours especially in North America but luck and the times were with him and them.
The Stones, about whom hung an air of vulgarity, were never a top selling recording band, mediocre at best but Jagger was a top performance artist while Keith was and is revered as a guitarist and personality. The nature of the tour also evolved so that under the guidance of Rupert major companies such as Chrysler sponsored tours contributing up front money while toward the end promoters ponied up a couple hundred million to manage the tours. The expense of putting on the show was the Stones but the mechanics of lining up venues and retailing the tickets was off their hands.
If you can stay together the intellectual property or ‘brand’ can become extremely valuable providing a payoff as time goes on. The Stones may be unique in the size of the payoff but many performers have been on the road for decades and are still out there, viz. Bob Dylan.
Still given all the imponderables, one is astonished that a respectable investment banker would take such a huge risk on his future. Not only had the principals been arrested and convicted, actually sent to jail, on a drug charge but they were involved with the revolutionary movement, indeed, other revolutionaries considered them one of them. Jagger wrote revolutionary and agitprop songs. As the seventies were characterized by revolutionary upheavals throughout the Western world including European outfits like the Baader-Meinhoff Gang and the Italian Red Guards and the infamous Carlos as well as the criminal and destructive American group, The Weathermen it would have been desirable to have some inconspicuous means of communication. Historically a means has been itinerants who had a reason to travel about such as the entertainers like the Stones and Bob Dylan. Cultural exchanges in governmental usage.
I think it quite possible, although I have no hard evidence that when Rupert was investigating the Stones at Chrissie Gibbs request he may have contacted the security agencies of England who seeing an opportunity to put an operative above suspicion in the Stones organization recruited Rupert.
As an intelligence agent in the Stones’ organization Rupert could maintain contact through his Europe wide aristocratic friends while dealing through the Stones with the revolutionaries who, at the very least, hung around the Stones. I suspect that Mick and Keith were more than sympathetic to them.
Eric Burdon of The Animals as a solo artist was arrested by the German police on suspicion of aiding the revolutionaries. Eric pleads innocence of course but the rock crowd as a group was sympathetic to the revolutionaries while the lyrics themselves were frequently openly revolutionary. Police suspicion would not have been misplaced.
In Eugene Oregon where I had my record store at the time, revolutionary zanies functioned quite openly, at least as far as I was concerned, infesting the foothills of the Cascades where they had built bunkers to store weapons, ammunition and food against the Day which was thought imminent. As a record store owner they assumed that naturally I too was a revolutionary. The Black Panthers for instance extorted money from me. I was caught in the middle as the authorities assumed naturally that I was too. It was tricky as I was then walking a tightrope between two hostile sides.
Thus Rupert otherwise inexplicably declassed himself while undertaking to represent a bankrupt band that was hopelessly in debt to the Inland Revenue. A debt he knew could never be paid off and never has been. In fact his first act regarding the ones was to advise them to leave England for more tax friendly shores.
When Rupert moved the band from England they ceased being a specifically English band becoming a band without a country or a true global band. As a global band it is probable that Allen Klein even though Jewish was strictly of a US geographic mentality whereas Rupert being Europe based with friends in each country was better able to deal with different tax laws, mores, etc. As a businessman he was better prepared to set up the business organization that the Stones needed.
It must be borne in mind that when the band left England on the cusp of the big boom of the seventies they became a multi-million dollar corporations with rather intricate financial problems. Klein had the reputation of a buccaneer; he could squeeze the pips but he couldn’t command respect, Rupert could.
So, the success of the Stones after ’68 depended in a great part on the superb financial management of Rupert, as well as his ability to deal with a lunatic like Keith. Rupert had no sooner got the band established in France than Keith got them thrown out of the country for, let’s not put a gloss on it, criminal behavior. Keith was handling large amounts of heroin while providing, as it were a safe haven for the Marseilles criminal drug element. Finally Keith and Anita turned a young girl, possible with violence, which resulted in the Stones having to flee France. That made two countries they could no longer perform in, at least for a while, France and England.
I’m sure Rupert smacked his forehead, wrung his hands and asked the universe, what the hell is going on? Keith and Mick must have been born under good signs as Rupert stayed on.
Having established a basis for prosperity Rupert then set about dealing with the first key problem, Allen Klein. Although broke the Stones initiated an expensive , read multi-million lawsuit against the wily Klein. Americans operate on the principle that possession is nine tenths of the law so getting anything out of Klein would be a small miracle. Without numbers to go on any accurate notion of what happened is impossible but as both sides were into the lawsuit for millions over eighteen years it would seem the results when they finally signed off were profitable for each.
So, having serendipitously acquired a supremely competent money man in Prince Rupert Loewenstein the financial future of the Stones was secured. They would become perhaps the richest band in history.