August 4, 2015
The Life And Times Of
Andrew Loog Oldham
Of The Rolling Stones
Oldham, Andrew Loog: Stoned, 2001, Vintage
Oldham, Andrew Loog: 2Stoned, 2003, Vintage
Oldham, Andrew Log: Stone Free, 2012, Escargot Books
Oldham, Andrew Loog: Rolling Stoned, 2013, Because Entertainment
Who Is Andrew Loog Oldham
For those who know this introduction will be superfluous, but for those who don’t know this essay will be an introduction to a man who through his exploitation of the Rolling Stones was an important influence on that memorable Sixties decade. Perhaps moreso than is commonly thought.
Out on the consuming edge of the record industry in those days the name Andrew Loog Oldham seemed to be displayed as prominently on the record covers as The Rolling Stones themselves. In the early days Andrew Loog Oldham might be known before Mick or Keith and certainly the other members of the band. Yet Oldham wasn’t in the band so who was he? And then records were issued bearing the name The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra. Where did he get that name Loog anyway? And just as suddenly the name Andrew Loog Oldham disappeared but the Stones remained. Who was this guy anyway?
In those days when information could be gathered, if at all, at the proverbial snail’s pace, things have changed today when I can make a few clicks and see Andrew moving and hear him speaking; actually see his fabulous style of dressing as he described it. In addition he has written two thousand pages describing himself more or less in full. Now we can know who Andrew Loog Oldham is and what his relationship to the Rolling Stones was.
Andrew’s, we’ll take a familiar approach throughout, great tragedy is that his fated life opportunity showed up too early. He was only nineteen in 1963 when the opportunity that few ever get a chance to grasp showed up on his front doorstep, so to speak. That was the appearance of the London music group The Rolling Stones. In order to come into his inheritance as he was under twenty-one and couldn’t legally act in his own name, Andrew had to find a surrogate to act in his stead. Chance provided an old reprobate by the name of Eric Easton. Eric was a plodder who had served as an organist at the resort town of Blackpool while representing two or three nondescript acts of which one was the redoubtable Mrs. Miller. While not a household name at the present time Mrs. Miller whose act consisted of being an amusingly terrible singer, had her moment in the spotlight both in England and the US. She did have records released and they did sell no matter how modestly.
Easton was slow on the uptake not realizing the cultural shift that was taking place with the arrival of the Beatles and would have been incapable of managing the Stones without Andrew’s grasp of the changing cultural situation of the Sixties. However he was not too slow to understand money in the bank of which he made off with a fortune or two much to the chagrin of both Andrew and the Rolling Stones.
Andrew’s four volumes are records of his vicissitudes being a young Lancelot reaching for the Grail. Andrew was green, he was. In ordinary times he would have been cleaned and discarded never to be heard of again but these were the Sixties and not normal times. Even in failure the times conspired to make Andrew comfortable by luxury standards, perhaps even rich, but not filthy rich. The marvelous Sixties did that for so many people most of them undeserving. By undeserving I mean takers with nothing to offer.
Well, this isn’t a tale about justice but one of the Sixties in which the whole concept of justice disappeared like the vapor from a nuclear plant. As an extra special gift of the times to Andrew he is today still alive and kicking having passed the seventh decade barrier at 71 years of age. The good didn’t necessarily die young just the unlucky. Andy is lucky.
He can be seen introducing his third book, Stone Free, at his Face Book site for those interested. Always the fashion plate he is a dapper impression of his hero Phil Spector, pointy nose and all. His hair is becomingly combed back on the sides making for a very presentable 71 year old young at heart gentleman. He wears a mint green light jacket and shirt, something of a cross between a butch femme and an effete hommy, but altogether passable. He projects a pleasant aura indicating little brain damage from his very legendary drug use. A look at him shows how Alex, the chief Droog of A Clockwork Orange may have looked as he made the passage from rough youth to a more dignified mature, the word ‘old’ does not apply to one like Andrew, or I might vainly say, myself.
Andrew Finds That Life Has It Hazards
I don’t really envy the English kids that came along after my birth year of 1938. The war years were tough enough but then the long years of national poverty after 1945 must have been grating. I can’t imagine a life without candy that the lads and lasses had to endure for nine long years. In my paradise in the US candy bars in those days at a nickel were monstrous. I couldn’t eat a whole one at one sitting. Stuffed at less than a half. Andrew must have known hardship and suffered horribly.
The war babies, mostly from ’42 and ’43 can have no memory of the war but the long ten years of rationed everything gave a cast to their psyches. When the war babies grew up and became rockers they laid out long tables of delicacies and then ignored them letting them go to waste. The pain was forgotten but lived on in the subconscious. Andrew was conceived in ’43 and popped out in ’44. Tragic for Andy, he should have born in ’42 and been 21 in ’63.
His was a special case. In a country in which the majority of men were US soldiers, normality had flown out the door in ’43; his mother not unnaturally took up with one. It was a tough time. Andrew’s father, Andrew Loog, was a soldier from Texas. He had a wife and son back there. As a younger man I applied my moral training to people in Andrew Loog’s situation and condemned them but now hopefully wiser and certainly older I understand. As a soldier in an active war Andrew Loog could die at any time so why not a little happiness? Perhaps he cringed at violating his peacetime morals. In any event as a member of a bomber crew he didn’t even make it across the Channel just after impregnating Andrew’s mother with his future self. Big Andy hoped he’d dodge the bullets but as it didn’t happen at least it resolved what would have been a difficult emotional situation.
Big Andy hadn’t married Little Andy’s mother so that made little Andy the bastard son of a bigamous father. Having been in the orphanage myself being a bastard means nothing to me. But society is unkind to bastards and orphans. Having read all four of Little Andy’s reminiscences more than once it seems clear that his bastardy left its mark on Andy. He had stormy relationship with his mother, perhaps beating her frequently while in his late teens. She said he did but he says he can’t remember doing it while it would have been wholly outside his character, however, he definitely admits booting her out of a moving car while she was pregnant. Those temper tantrums he had!
Possibly Andrew blames his mother for bringing him into the world as a bastard. He shouldn’t, better a bastard than not at all. Now, Andy discusses this from different angles constantly in his memoirs so my purpose here is to try to put his mind at ease.
The war had a devastating effect on social life especially in England which was merely a staging area for US forces in those years. Churchill was merely a stooge of Roosevelt’s. Just as in WWI a million or English men died or were incapacitated meaning that just that many women were condemned to spinsterhood or whatever. Oh, I know that the dyke Gloria Steinem said a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle but Steinem was an unnatural woman. Andrew’s mother wasn’t.
As she gave Andy his father’s full name, that is Andrew Loog, I’m guessing that given the times and circumstances she really loved the guy so she named what surely must have been her darling Andrew, Loog, tacking on her name Oldham. Maybe I’m sentimental, but coming from the orphanage, I find that touching.
Now, Celia Oldham, for that was her name, was a Jewish girl. Andrew Loog I’m guessing from his name was probably of Dutch ancestry. Probably a Protestant but possibly a Sephardic Jew. Andy may know but I don’t.
So, here Celia Oldham is post-war with the little tyke, Andy, and no husband or father for his child. There is a massive shortage of men after the GIs clear out so while Celia is attractive the mating pool is small. Celia did the next best thing and probably with Andy in mind did it well; she became the mistress of a wealthy man while including Andy in the equation. Not only was he wealthy he was a decent man who maintained her and Andy as a second family. No kidding. He kept them in relative style while putting Andy through the public schools. (Public is private in England.)
What more could a single mother with no prospects do? Perhaps Andrew’s schoolmates were typical louts and ragged him continuously for being a bastard. I know that in the orphanage during and after was hell on wheels but that was the hand that was dealt and I had to play it; four deuces, trey high. Could have been worse. I’m not saying my psychology wasn’t affected and as Andy tells it his sure as hell was.
My point is that life being what it is he should be grateful for a loving mother who made the very best of a bad situation.
Lost In The Ozone Without A Parachute
As noted Celia Oldham was Jewish and while Andrew says that the religion didn’t play a big part in their lives nevertheless the mother is the culture bearer. The culture she passed on to Andrew must have been Jewish.
Judaism is an identitarian faith. To be Jewish is to separate oneself from the ‘gentiles’, from all others, the rest of mankind. As the US Zionist Samuel Untermyer was to proclaim on nationwide radio in opposition to Hitler’s claim that the Germans were the master race: We, the Jews, are the aristocrats of the earth. In other words, Drop this master race crap because you ain’t it.
Thus in a country nominally English, as Andrew describes his youth it was lived in an entirely Jewish community. As he describes it he associated with no one who wasn’t Jewish. Like the Jewish Bob Dylan he is always surrounded by Jews. As he set out to find his way in life he chose the record business as his métier. I think Andrew wanted to be where it was happening and as his antennae flickered about sensing for that taste of honey he perceived that his future lay in records. The entire music business if not the entertainment business was in the control of his fellow Jews.
Andy took his sense of reality from movies. There are a couple influential films he refers to frequently. One is the American film The Sweet Smell Of Success which however is about two Jews, the one based on the newspaper columnist Walter Winchell and the other his sidekick and the other is the British film Espresso Bongo. Naturally I obtained both movies and have checked them out. Also naturally at this age and distance I do not see them through nineteen year old eyes.
In Sweet Smell Andrew concentrates on the character Sidney Falco played by Tony Curtis. Andy identifies with Falco as a hustler in US terms and a Wide Boy in English terms. Thus Andrew identifies himself as a Wide Boy. Falco was an unsavory character, a stooge of his boss J.J. Hunsecker played by the repulsive Burt Lancaster. Curtis played the role well. One laments Andrew’s fascination with the character.
Espresso Bongo is a pretty decent rock film. It takes place I believe at the actual legendary 2i coffee house in which English rock was centered. The film puts you back in the day. The star is Andy’s all time hero Laurence Harvey who also turns in a stellar role. Harvey has that downtrodden hang dog look that carried David Janssen through the US The Fugitive TV series so well. As I lived in a constant depression until I was forty I knew the look and it suited me well. I identified with both Janssen and Harvey. Harvey was one of my favorite actors too. Depression and Laurence Harvey go together
In Espresso Bongo Harvey plays a role of a hapless manager of a singer who gets away from him much as Andrew himself would let the Stones slip away from him.
All the managers were Jewish and all exploited their ‘boys.’ Perhaps the most famous of these, what the English amusingly call manipulators, was Larry Parnes. As England emerged from rationing in the fifties and the rebuilding of the infrastructure destroyed by the bombing of WWII created a sort of false prosperity those young people who survived the bombing and rationing were coming of age. The war had caused a generational break. Young England began creating an England in their own image. They rejected the pre-war England of their elders. It was a world they never made. Of course neither had their elders.
Parnes sensing the direction began creating an image of recording stars to gratify youthful yearnings, especially of young girls. He found god looking boys giving them great stage names such Georgie Fame, Billy Fury, Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Vince Eager and my favorite, Lance Fortune. There can be but little question that he exploited, not to say cheated, his ‘boys.’ Parnes was both Jewish and homosexual, a killer combination that dominated the industry.
For instance this about Vince Eager from the Widipedia entry for Larry Parnes
Vince Eager began to wonder why he had never received any record royalties. ‘You’re not entitled to any.’ Larry Parnes told him. ‘But it says in my contract that I am.’ Eager protested. ‘It also says I have power of attorney over you, and I’ve decided you’re not getting any.’ Parnes replied.
Parnes was of course both Jewish and homosexual. As he had many of these performers on salary he was cleaning up. Of course he had merely plucked them off the streets and set them up designing their acts, teaching them stage presence, choosing repertoires etc., they may have been little more than employees. However they did have ‘contracts’ although as the above quote indicates they were more than one sided making the contractees little more than slaves
The whole record scene was exploitative and homosexual. When London’s leading criminals horned in on the record scene, the Kray brothers, Reg and Ron they were Jewish and homosexual while their older brother Charlie who was straight with no police record managed the business end of the record racket.
As Andrew was coming up through the years this was the situation he perceived. While he couldn’t have broken into the Parnes style star system once the Beatles hit and the emphasis switched to groups an opening appeared. Parnes who had his star system going disdained the group thing leaving that open so that the Beatles manager Brian Epstein slid through the opening developing his group and star roster dislodging Parnes.
The market had expanded exponentially since the fifties when Parnes developed his system. Andrew, then, aquiver with the possibilities had his eye out for the new Beatles. He was told about the group working in Richmond called The Rollin’ Stones. He went, he saw, he signed.
A Clockwork Orange
As Andrew freely acknowledges by his late teens he was experiencing mental problems so I am merely discussing what he has disclosed. He says he was suffering from manic depression. Probably so, but he must also have blended in a little schizophrenia. The stresses of his childhood were taking possession of his mind. I know whereof I speak. This combined with his disastrous choices of role models that would be joined in 1962 by his reading of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange issued that year made him something of a phenom. Burgess, there’s another sicko.
A Clockwork Orange Boy, there was a Satanic book if there ever was one. The book took a certain mentality by storm, organized it and gave it expression. Its history is intimately connected with Jagger and Richards.
As influential in its limited sphere as the book was, Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 movie was perhaps the most destructive Satanic movie ever produced. It set the tone for the years that followed. The movie just tore a certain type of mind apart; Alexes by the dozen, nay, hundreds, thousands moved roved out every night after it was shown, snatching girls off the street. Clockwork was seconded by the movie The Collector that appeared about the same time. The book of Clockwork was less powerful but would still influence Andrew and through him Jagger and Richards. The other Stones led separate lives not involved with Mick, Keith and Andrew’s antics.
So Andrew’s brain is in a complete turmoil as he tries to find his way through the maze of life. Influenced by the real Larry Parnes and the fictional Johnny Jackson for a modus operandus he went in search of an act to manage and found his way to The Rolling Stones. Having discovered his mother lode, having a clear vision of what to do he was stymied by being only nineteen in shark infested waters without a cage.
Short of twenty-one he had to team up with a shark. As he was renting an office from an inoffensive appearing shark, Eric Easton, he convinced Eric to essentially through himself represent the Stones. Eric may have been a pretty sincere stodge but he was no fool when it came to his self-interest. He may have been close to a bottom feeder but that didn’t mean he hadn’t learned most of the tricks of the Great Whites. The ins and outs of contracts presented no problems to him while dizzy Andy and the naïve Mick and Keith probably hadn’t considered the existence of contracts. Give them a pen and dotted line under their name and they would sign. But, really, it was never a fair fight.
As Pretty Boy Floyd the Outlaw is alleged by Woody Guthrie to have said: Some will rob you with a six gun; some will use a fountain pen. Oh boy! Those contracts. The advantages are all on the side of the contractors; contractees beware. As Larry Parnes said: I’ve also got your Power Of Attorney and I say you don’t get anything. Revoking a Power Of Attorney is simple but how many amateurs think of it.
But legally contracts don’t really matter unless money is involved. There wouldn’t be a lot of money for a few years but when there was Andrew and the Stones not unsurprisingly got the bum’s rush.
Andrew’s brain was a regular pinwheel especially as in addition to his youth and mental condition he imbibed drugs freely. If your brain’s not already a mess drugs will certainly paint it black.
Even though Andrew chose poor role models he got the drift of what had to be done to make stars of random stones. Very few performers, they only become artists after success, know how to get from point A to point B and beyond. That’s where the manager, if he’s any good, comes in; he recognizes the possibilities of the raw talent and nurses them through the actual birth process. Believe me: this is worth a lot.
It is somewhat like Larry Parnes. He sensed what the teen public wanted and rather than wait for it to come to him, he created it from the rawest material and then took more than the lion’s share or the benefits. But then, he also inadvertently gave his ‘boys’ lives. There were actual careers awaiting them after Parnes had scraped off the cream.
The question then is were the Stones too talented to fail? I don’t think so. Not without Andrew to shape them and point the direction anyway. Andrew couldn’t sing or play but he could turn dross into gold not too much differently than what Larry Parnes had done with his ‘boys.’ The Stones were the evidence.
The key to the Stones’ success was when they learned to write songs. Would they have learned to write songs if Andrew hadn’t literally forced them into it? I would answer with a clear cut negative. The Stones playing nothing but crappy old Chicago blues and would have sank without a trace. In that sense Brian Jones insistence on playing ‘pure’ R&B would have led to dismal failure. But then, maybe that is what Brian wanted.
Let me point out here that in the US all this crappy old blues stuff was unlistened to but by a very small minority. Nor would the stuff ever have gained popularity without the English influence. Even today very few listen to that junk. ‘I woke up this morning, lordy, lordy…’
While Mick, Keith and Brian were boggling their minds concentrating on the ‘music’ Andrew realized that teen age girls (the Parnes influence again) weren’t going to get too enthused about grizzled old Negroes complaining about how their mama wouldn’t drop down. Does anyone think sprightly young teenagers looking for a good time are going to wallow in anybody else’s misery? Not likely.
So Andrew directed his ‘boys’ toward a more pop sound alienating the ever insistent ‘purist’ Brain from Mick and Keith. Bill and Charlie were pretty much just boys in the band.
Thus faced with the overwhelming competition of the Beatles, the lovable Mop Tops, Andrew made the fatal choice of turning Mick and Keith into his criminal Droogs, taking the low road and leaving the high road to the Beatles. Alex in A Clockwork Orange called the members of his gang Droogs. In a sense Andrew tried to make the Stones Andrew and the Droogs.
All very well but as Andrew got a little money his brain went from a pinwheel on a stick to real fireworks where pinwheels shoot flames. His brain was really in a whirl. He was passing out at parties. He became self-absorbed. He became interested in other projects that took his time, setting the Stones more or less adrift. His protégé Mick was no fool while being a quick learner. Why, Mick said to himself after becoming successful should I pay all these dufuses for what I can do myself. He couldn’t of course do it himself but it seemed like it at the time. He slammed the door in Andrew’s face.
Where’s Strength And Wisdom When You Need It?
The four years Andrew was with the Stones could have been a couple three or four lifetimes for the changes Andrew was forced through. Success is rightly called the bitch goddess. You’ll never know until you’ve said hello. The time from when he and Eric Easton signed the Stones to the time Andrew sold the Stones out to that Devil In Disguise Allen Klein nearly destroyed Andy. Allen Klein wasn’t in that much of a disguise either.
The trajectory of Andy’s career was so rapid it was hard to follow. It wasn’t so much that he bit off more than he could chew as that he tried to chew without biting it off. First things first, Andrew.
Obsessed with A Clockwork Orange he moved in with Mick and Keith where he gave them lessons in Droogism. Both were apt pupils. This is difficult to follow but his brain captured and sensing what seems to have been the book’s importance Andrew approached Burgess to buy the movie rights. Burgess told him the rights had already been sold but he wouldn’t tell Andy to whom.
It turns out that the rights had been sold to David Bailey the fashion photographer who had made Mick his ‘mate’ and possibly bought the rights jointly with Mick. If so, one wonders where Mick got the money. Sometime in 1963 the pair split with their rights to New York City to interest Andy Warhol in a film project. This also is rather remarkable because Andy was not yet that prominent while he hadn’t made any kind of stir with his puerile movies as yet. Somehow the rights passed to Warhol and finally to whoever acquired them to make Kubrick’s movie.
Warhol did make a film based on the book although the connection seems tenuous while not being worth watching. More importantly Alex and his Droogs had a profound effect on members of Warhol’s group. The group left Warhol’s atelier, the Factory, at night on their predations a la Alex and his Droogs. I believe Bob Dylan is referring to them in this lyric from his 1965 song Desolation Row:
Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew
Come out and roundup everyone that knows more than they do
Then they bring them to the [F]actory were the heart attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders…
For some reason both Oldham and Bailey thought Mick was the perfect Alex while the Stones could be the Droogs. It didn’t work out but Mick and Warhol bonded like superglue. They would be very close friends until Andy died in 1987 when Mick flew to Pittsburgh for the funeral. Not only did the Stones practice Black and Blue at Warhol’s Montauk compound but Andy did two or three covers for them most notably Sticky Fingers. As a result of Mick and Warhol’s friendship the Stones always had the key to Greenwich Village.
So Andrew lost out on his bid for A Clockwork Orange. But then his brain racing a mile a minute and wanting to be a record magnate he founded Immediate Records. Not one for details Immediate stretched him pretty thin. I know we’re talking ancient history here, or at least ancient technology, so the reader will have to let go of the present to imagine the impact of Immediate Records on the cognoscenti of the time. I modestly include myself in that number.
Andrew was on the far edge of flamboyant; his ideal Larry Harvey who he met about this time thought him arch camp so Andy in his eye makeup and fey manners must have cut a startling figure. A lot of people thought he was queer and not just ambiguous. The Immediate label was an astounding pink, almost fluorescent seemingly confirming homosexual tendencies. It got your attention but in those days you almost had to apologize for buying a record with such a label. His covers were all good, in a class with the best and perhaps…. He signed and produced a lot of very good groups. The label’s production values may have prevented him from having any smashes, at least I don’t remember any.
I’m sure few will remember the Nice or even have heard of them but the first Nice was a pretty good record while the members went on to greater things. The sound wasn’t as immediate as it could have been. I worked it in my store but couldn’t get anywhere with it.
In those days British imports were all the rage on the West Coast while US records were despised. When I first went to England in the early seventies I was astounded to find the fans waiting for American pressings because they were thought better. Oh, I said, how strange. What makes them better? In so many words they said production values. In still other words they thought they had more immediacy. So Andy’s Immediate records lacked immediacy. I thought they were great anyway and they were always the first of the new releases I auditioned.
But, the devil is in the details, and Andrew wasn’t much on details so he went broke although he did hang in there until 1970. Not a bad record for an independent. He doesn’t tell us what happened to the masters but they must have been worth something.
By that time Andy was not only deep into drugs he was legendary. In Stoned and 2Stoned he has some great descriptions of being out of it if you like that sort of thing. His first two books were based on the oral biography method of Jean Stein’s biography of Edie Sedgwick called Edie. In that book acquaintances were interviewed and then cut and pasted to form a continuous narrative. Knocked out by ‘Edie’ Andrew did the same with the exception that he commented on the interviewees’ comments.
Rolling Stoned begins in a straight autobiographical style then begins to wander and meander. Andrew is always a good read but unless you want to read three different four hundred page books covering the same ground with variations I would recommend his most recent, Rolling Stoned, or perhaps 2Stoned. Still, I don’t mind…
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.
July 6, 2015
The Man Who Bailed Out The Beatles
Made The Rolling Stones
And Transformed Rock And Roll
Goodman, Fred: Allen Klein, The Man Who Bailed…etc., 2015, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Loewenstein, Prince Rupert: A Prince Among Stones, 2013, Bloomsbury
Oldham, Andrew Loog: Stoned, 2000, 2001 Vintage Edition
Oldham, Andrew Loog: 2Stoned, 2002, 2003 Vintage Edition
Oldham, Andrew Loog: Stone Free, 2012, Escargot Books
I anticipated what I hoped would be a revealing account of the infamous Allen Klein. I have been sorely disappointed by this hagiography. Bailed out the Beatles, made the Stones and transformed rock and roll? Whew! Where’s his statue so I can reverence it. Since Allen died in 2009, his son, Jody, has shaken up his father’s empire. Jody has dipped into the archives to let out the two Stones’ movies Charley Is My Darling and Rock and Roll Circus to his credit. They can now be seen and appreciated. He probably has done much else that I am not aware of but would undoubtedly approve.
Fred Goodman’s white wash of Allen is disappointing. Jody did call Fred and offer him the job so this must be a work of hire. Perhaps Jody wanted a hagiography of sorts which is what he got or perhaps Fred was so daunted by the job he swallowed his teeth. Having accepted the assignment Jody led Fred out to the warehouse and showed him several pallets of documents. That would make me shiver too.
When Rupert Loewenstein accepted Jagger and the Stones as clients after the Stones rejected Allen he spent two or three years studying all their contracts and documents which were voluminous although not several pallets. And he did it without pay.
Something tells me that Fred never touched those pallets. If he didn’t study the documents one thing is certain: he read the three books of the Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham carefully. It was Oldham who sold the Stones to Klein. Apparently none of these people understood the nature of intellectual properties because, if we are to believe, none of them realized that the developing rock catalogs would be worth anything down the road. Even Oldham who is billed as prescient let the Stones’ masters that belonged to him as the producer go to Klein for less than a peanut.
The president of Decca Records, Edward Lewis, sensing the Oldham was having difficulties offered to buy the masters for 800K, K as in thousands, much less than even a million that would be a low ball. Oldham didn’t want to sell to Decca but needing money offered to them to Klein for 750K. The biggest bastard in the valley snapped them up. They have since proved to be worth tens and tens of millions of dollars over the years. Of course, Andrew would have had to wait and his blood was running too hot for that.
A few years later when he realized the masters might be worth a billion or more he has spent his life begging Allen for a larger settlement.
Andrew Oldham’s three books are Stoned, 2Stoned and Stone Free. They make good reading although 2Stoned is a rehash and expanded version of Stoned. There is a French condensation of both books into one but the translation is laughable as Andrew was much too colloquial for French. Fun to have though if you get a thrill out of mere possession. I’m not exactly guilty but I don’t object. It’s there on my shelf.
While Fred gives an overly long synopsis of Andrew’s life, probably because he needed a little filler and certainly didn’t have what It took to tackle those pallets, Andrew tells his own life better. Fred seems to have based his researches on Andrew’s brief life of Allen as contained in Stone Free. Stone Free might be sub-titled Brief Lives of the Notable Rockers. A great collection and grand background. Fred follows Klein’s Life closely.
Fred’s book was obviously written after Rupert’s: A Prince Among Stones. Published in 2013 but Fred shows no evidence of having read it and he didn’t use it. To read Fred’s account Allen was a greater prince than Rupert even though the facts as we know them read differently.
Allen who was Jewish, was born in 1931 in the city of Newark, New Jersey, a city that has produced several notable Jews including the novelist Philip Roth. Allen’s mother died when he was only a few months old so he never knew her. He briefly lived with his maternal Jewish grandmother but his paternal grandmother objected because his mother’s parents weren’t Jewish enough. His father unable to care for Allen and his sisters placed them in an orphanage. This fact explains much about Allen’s adult attitudes. I was in an orphanage but a municipal orphanage rather than a religious one. Jewish orphanages seem to have been rather cushy places. The groupie Catherine James lived in one that appears to have been a ‘country club.’ Allen’s Newark orphanage (often called Children’s Homes) had only thirty inmates and let me tell you that removes a lot of stress.
Mine had a hundred twenty or thirty most of which were bigger bastards then Allen could have been. The Catholic orphanage down the street that we visited as a group every so often was as close to hell on earth that any kid would want to get. Still orphans are pariahs in the community so I’m sure Allen’s small place left an indelible impression on him.
When he grew up and entered the record business, notable for the quality of its bastards, Allen billed himself as the biggest bastard in the valley. He was undoubtedly at war with everyone including himself.
Once in the record business he saw the easy marks and they were English. The American record people were uncommonly intense bastards while the British were mannerly bastards so someone like Allen, the biggest bastard, pretty much reversed the British Invasion traveling to England and scooping up some impressive bands and artists. I mean, Mickie Most! He was already a legend to anyone who read the record covers.
He cut his teeth on Sam Cooke as the first artist he bilked- that is robbed. Somehow he managed to steal Cooke’s face, that is his whole musical career and hence life, lock, stock and barrel. Sam Cooke died under mysterious circumstances. As might be expected Fred clears Allen of any suspicions accepting the story that a hooker he was with did the deed. Well, maybe, she caught with his pants around his ankles unable to maneuver properly; on the other hand Andrew Oldham who is fairly reliable at calling spades spades says that Cooke was badly beaten and the hooker couldn’t have done that. That doesn’t implicate Allen necessarily, him being in the record business. Sam certainly knew a few bastards, may have been one himself, who could make Allen look like a crass beginner.
Nevertheless Allen got all the goodies bar none and for perpetuity. After having viewed Cooke’s body he was satisfied the hooker did it. Those intellectual properties just keep on paying and paying. Poor Sam. Allen probably could have stopped there but the biggest bastard wanted the biggest bands- the Stones and the Beatles and he did realize that orphan’s dream.
Allen had the typical manager’s attitude toward his clients’ money, pp. 57-58
Theatrical producer, Lawrence Myers, a British business manager and an accountant by training, met Klein several months before Cooke’s death and credited Allen with altering the course of his own career. “Allen taught me something without which I wouldn’t have the lifestyle I do today,” said Myers. “Don’t take twenty percent of an artist’s income- give them eighty percent of yours. The difference between Allen and I is that I actually told them what was going to happen. And Allen certainly didn’t. They found out sometime later.”
Obviously being a ‘business manager’ was a license to steal. If Allen gave all his artists 80% of 20% son Jody has inherited well. As a ‘business manager’ all checks were collected by Allen and once in his pocket were the devil to get out. However after all was said and done, after taxes, fees, expenses and commissions there wasn’t that much left over to be divided five ways. Even if the manager was honest, and few are, he, as an individual was taking a minimum of one fifth. In the case or Colonel Parker and Tony Defries nearly all. There wasn’t that much left over to be divided five ways.
Consider: The tax rate in England for ordinary income was 90%. That means that after all expenses were deducted, perhaps fifty percent or more out of a million, a half million at best might be left over. Ninety percent of half million is four hundred fifty thousand dollars leaving fifty thousand dollars to be split five ways. That is at most ten thousand dollars each. While the Stones minds were confused because they were earning millions and getting peanuts. Didn’t compute in their minds.
So while from 1963 to 1968 if the group earned ten million dollars and that’s a lot of money they were only entitled to a mere good living in after tax dollars. Not flush at all. At the time I don’t think the Stones realized that.
Without knowing the exact amount of money Klein was handling perhaps the Stones were making unreasonable demands for cash. For Klein it was a stroke of good luck when the drug addled Andrew sold him the Stones masters from 1963-71 for what to him was pocket change. Those masters are the basis of what Klein made from the Stones. And it was a legitimate purchase. They have no complaints against Klein on that score as Andrew owned the rights and could sell them to who he chose.
Nevertheless Klein did not deal openly with Jagger and the group so Jagger, by far the businessman of the group, began to look for help elsewhere. A Hippie about town he knew named Chrissie Gibbs had a passing acquaintance with the investment banker Rupert Loewenstein, introduced him to Jagger, then he inexplicably agreed to represent an uncouth rock group of whom he says he had never heard. This is even more remarkable in that the Stones had been arrested and convicted on drug charges in 1967 the year before the staid and respectable Rupert took them on. It was on the front pages with pictures.
Reminded of William Rees-Moggs editorial in the London Times that Rupert had read, he writes in his memoirs that, oh yes, he did remember that but endorsed the conviction entirely. He still agreed to represent them. What do you think of that?
Analyzing a mountain of paperwork Rupert probably came to the conclusion that the Stones’ past was a lost cause and only the future earnings counted. The only hope for big money lay in performing. As the way touring was conducted at the time was less than cost effective Rupert had to reinvent it. He had to eliminate as much of the thieving and inefficiency as possible. This is actually pretty strange.
Why he felt equal to this with absolutely no guarantees is beyond me; according to his memoirs at this time the Stones were not only broke but in debt to the Inland Revenue for more than they could ever hope to pay as matters stood. Well, OK, Rupert was super prescient. You have no idea how criminal the record business is or was at the time. Think about leopards. The business is a shadow of itself today since the internet recreated the single while destroying the LP market.
Rupert was lucky in that Jagger was essentially a performance artist who would make Yoko Oko turn several shades of green. But that is part of the Stones’ story.
Rupert and Klein got into a twenty year legal battle that as the saying goes made the lawyers rich.
However as the Stones left Klein’s stable Allen’s dream of managing the Beatles, at least three of them, came true. Allen got John, Ringo and George while Lee Eastman got McCartney.
Once Klein got the money it was very difficult to get it out of him although he took a sort of paternal interest in the artists. Of course if you are robbing them it is only proper to give then an allowance now and then. Fred goes out of his way to demonstrate, or at least claim, Klein’s honesty, white washing him entirely although as one evidence of dishonesty Klein actually went to jail for a couple of months for failure to report income.
In the record business in order to get their records exposure, companies have to allow for so many demonstration albums- promos or demos as they were called. I owned a small chain of stores back in the day so I would be given sets of albums of a new release for in store play. The promo men had boxes of copies for all the radio stations and other uses. As should be obvious there is a certain play in there to sell demos.
George Harrison, a client of Klein’s put together the charity play, The Concert For Bangladesh. That was a charity release, box set of three records, for relief of the starving of Bangladesh. Any of them starving at the time of the concert were dead by the any money reached Bangladesh. Klein’s deal was that he pressed the records and packaged them, obviously he had the masters, sending the completed copies to the companies for distribution. He then pressed, according to Andrew in Stone Free, literally truckloads of copies that he disposed of as promos. Now these were sixty foot semis were talking about.
The things that happened in the record business is incredible. When the Kiss solo albums were released Neil Bogart of Casablanca seriously overestimated the demand pressing up two million copies of each in advance. Supposedly two truckloads, 200,000 copies, where hi-jacked on I-5 on their way North. As unbelievable as it may sound it was suggested that I was the responsible party. I’m sure those copies were insured.
It was not a crime for Allen to sell the records but, unfortunately, he failed to report the income and that is an IRS offense. Bad, bad.
Andrew offers this take on the situation, Stone Free p. 360:
Allen’s karma finally caught up with him in 1979 when he was convicted on charges of US Federal tax evasion. Klein had sold literally truckloads of albums that were accounted for on the books as “promos” (albums distributed free of charge for radio stations and press for which the label is not obligated to pay artist royalties. His actual felony was pocketing the income from those sales without reporting it to the Internal Revenue service. But Let’s tote up who Klein screwed in the affair, his country, which was entitled to tax him; the Beatles, both collectively and individually…UNICEF…and thousands of starving childre
Perhaps this was a sensitive issue for Jody because Fred carefully steps around the issue claiming a penny ante sharing between himself and his hapless promotion man. The jail sentence says something else.
Actually it got Klein into more hot water than two months for a tax dodging charge. By the time of Bangladesh Klein was one of the most hated men in records by fans. His reputation was just terrible. Calling him a mere crook wouldn’t begin to cover what the fans thought.
A.J. Weberman got wind of the scam. For those who don’t know, Alan J. Weberman was the first ‘garbologist.’ He was so interested in what Bob Dylan was doing he used to collect his garbage from the cans set out on the sidewalks of New York and sort through it carefully. He was trying to prove Dylan was a heroin addict among other things. So, he was a self-styled policeman of the industry.
Having got wind of the sale of the promos, he not only arranged picketing of Klein’s office but actually invaded it. By the time he got through, Klein’s battered reputation was beyond repair. Fred avoids all that even though a great story.
Allen also failed to back Harrison in his lawsuit over his supposed plagiarizing the song He’s So Fine with his song My Sweet Lord.
Andrew Oldham handles that story well in his biography of Allen in Stone Free p. 361:
A falling out with Lennon followed (John would vent many of his feelings towards Klein in his song “Steel and Glass”). but the ultimate betrayal came when Allen sued his own former client, Harrison for copyright infringement. To Allen, this was probably as simple as getting the attention of an artist he felt was off the reservation- a counter-insurgency- if you will. Like so many songs before it, George’s “My Sweet Lord” was patently based on the spiritual “Oh Happy Day”, a song long in the public domain and hence not subject to copyright. Unfortunately, another song derived from “Oh Happy Day”, the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine’ was protected, prompting the publisher, Bright Tunes, to launch proceedings against Harrison.
Klein, naturally, was enraged, and happily assisted Harrison in preparing his defense. But as his relationship with the former Beatles crumbled, Klein looked for ways of bringing George back in line. He took himself out and purchased Bright Tunes for himself- and kept the lawsuit alive. A degree of justice prevailed as the Judge slammed Klein for switching sides…
That’s a perfect example of the record business. If Harrison had employed the same solution, buying Bright Tunes, Klein would have howled foul. Artists are supposed to function with a different morality. That’s the record business.
The thing is there are no original songs, every song is derived from another or several. I don’t know why the Courts accept the suits. There is no way the Judges can make an informed decision unless they happen to be musicologists.
As Fred obviously read Andrew as above and had other information or could get it from his employer Jody, there is no reason to shield Allen’s terrible reputation. The guy was totally unscrupulous. Probably better than his counterpart Morris Levy of Roulette or Tony Defries who managed David Bowie or the king of con men himself, Colonel Parker who robbed the King himself- Elvis.
To conclude: I can only recommend the book to the dedicated Stones or Beatles enthusiast. There is no depth or breadth to the book. Allen’s roster of clients, most of whom are still living do not seen to have been interviewed by Fred. He doesn’t even seem to have talked to Andrew who knew and was intimate with Allen the longest. Heck, Fred didn’t even bother to interview his own employer, Jody Klein.
I mean Jody must have had something to say about his father. Even the pictures ae somewhat limited. Fred could have gotten a picture of the orphanage that created the ‘biggest bastard in the valley.’ Allen’s whole career can be placed in the context of his life in the orphanage. Four years old to nine, whew!- the most formative years of a boy’s life.
I was in from eight to ten and that was bad enough. You learn a lot about bastards in the orphanage so when Allen Klein bills himself as the biggest bastard in the valley he is saying a little more than something.
September 12, 2014
The Rock And Roll Circus Movie
Of The Rolling Stones
In December 1968 Mick Jagger decided to make a film, or rather, he shot the film having decided earlier. Perhaps he was inspired by The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour of the previous year. These years from 1966 to 1968-69 were a tumultuous time for Jagger and his sidekick Keith Richards. Not least significant was that Mick had taken up with the songstress Marianne Faithfull. Then in 1967 there was perhaps the most famous drug bust in history at Keith’s Redlands house.
The boys had been pushing the drug envelope hard more or less inviting a crackdown and it came in 1967 involving Mick, Keith and Marianne with devastating results for all three characters in the drama.
As the authorities wished to make an example of the baddest boys of rock and roll Mick and Keith received prison sentences of which however they only served two or three days. Nevertheless their psyches had been criminalized, changed their views on their role in society.
While the arrest and jail time were merited in society’s eyes, Mick and Keith who were among the legions marching to Altruria on the wings of pot convinced that their elders had irrevocably messed the world up while they were going to set it right under the influence of marijuana, LSD, amphetamines and whatever else was handy, saw the bust and conviction as unjustified interference in their dreams of perfection.
The revolution was on as far as they were concerned hence they began a string of songs along the lines of Street Fighting Man and Sympathy For The Devil, unintended consequences of the bust.
Oh yeah, Mick and Marianne, Keith and his main squeeze Anita Pallenberg had become involved in Satanism which was going around like the flu. Not necessarily dilettantish either like, say, I just read a great book by Satan, but the real kind as fostered by the Great Beast 666 Aleister Crowley himself as interpreted by his epigoni Kenneth Anger and Anton LaVey, not to mention the Process Church Of The Final Judgment. Mick and Marianne disavow any serious interest in Satanism but the Rock and Roll Circus contradicts that.
Combined with these irritants in their lives Mick had just starred in a Satanic movie, Performance, and Marianne had had the misfortune of a miscarriage. To say that they weren’t suffering at the time they made their movie would be a understatement.
In this hazy mental state, compounded by too many drugs, Mick cobbled together his Circus.
What is the meaning of the title Circus? Ostensibly it meant literally a circus, after all it had a fire eater and trapeze artists. However it could also be a double entendre. Just as the title of their 1967 album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, parodied the Queens request on passports so the word Circus also parodied the name the British intelligence agency gave to their gig. The title can be construed as a challenge to the establishment. It would seem clear then that Mick was still seething inside because of Redlands.
His film is negligible as a movie but a good concert film. The symbolism is non stop as the guest audience in dressed in some sort of Munchkin costumes. The cast was bizarre to say the least. While little more than a musical oddity Jethro Tull led by Ian Anderson in his disgusting dirty old man persona opens the show while he was followed by the Who caught in pre-Tommy persona. Never one of my favorite bands, others thought they were a good performance while we are treated to a young Pete Townshend doing a series of his trademark windmills.
The couple circus acts are entertaining enough; the fire eater is pretty spectacular.
John Lennon performing separately from the Beatles was probably the musical highlight of the show for me. While obviously in the throes of a serious depression personally, as a performer once on stage Lennon is charisma spilling out all over the place. The depression does show up in the name he chose for his ad hoc group- The Dirty Mac. The name characterizes the general depression and malaise of the whole show. Lennon’s group brought together some stellar lights of the time. Besides himself he had Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience on drums, Eric Clapton on lead guitar and Keith on rhythm. They are joined a by fiddler, I presume Ivry Gitlis, and the irrepressible Yoko Ono.
Yoko was in her Bagism phase. While the movie is loosely shot during Lennon’s gig, if you watch the lower right corner of the film you can see a black object sort of pulsing. That’s the bag Yoko is in. I suppose as she was a performance artist the bag was Yoko’s joke- that’s the bag I’m in, get it?
After a noisy rendition of Yer Blues Yoko wiggles out of the bag bouncing up with her arms outstretched as in Here I am, aren’t I wonderful? Well, she certainly shocked Ivry when she began to squeal. Yoko is very tiny so Ivry kind of looks down at Yoko with raised eyebrows, looks over at John, backs up a couple steps, stops playing momentarily and has this incredulous am I believing what I’m seeing and hearing look on his face. One might say Yoko stole the show. Really, I had to start laughing.
The real show stopper comes next when the camera shifts to Marianne Faithfull. She was decorously posed in a stunning black designer gown. At her most beautiful with a fine folky voice that entrancingly recalled her As Tears Go By but strong and more focused. I missed the words but caught the mood of this enchanting chanteuse. Marianne definitely trumped Yoko as a showstopper.
Taj Mahal was a special case. Believe it or not Taj is still out there challenging the Interminable Tourist Dylan himself. Taj works, or did, about 170 days a year, every year. While he is not well known he began as a duo with Ry Cooder called the Rising Sons then added a string of records on his own. The guitarist is Jesse Ed Davis, a failed guitar god, who had a couple solo Lps of his own. Taj’s first two records are superb blues Lps, two of my favorites of the period. The third LP, a two record set is also quite good but begins his political period that obviated his musical career. He goes rapidly down hill after that.
For some reason he chose a rather lame piece from his repertoire. If he was making an appeal for a girl or girls to join him backstage his salacious version of Hey, Little School Girl might have served him better.
The Stones rounded out the show at the end. While the Who were supposed to have buried the Stones I didn’t find it so. The tension had been well maintained throughout the show with the comic interlude of Yoko and the Stones maintained it through to the end with a climax of sorts.
It was obvious that Mick, Keith and Marianne were in a world of hurt….and Brian Jones. That tragedy would play out over the next year when Brian drowned and Marianne almost drowned in her own tears and Mick spawned a real live Satan at Altamont.
The movie ended in hurt and Satanism- homage to the Devil.
Mick and Marianne had gone to see Jimi Hendrix a few months earlier. After performing Hendrix had sat at Marianne and Mick’s table where he put the make on Marianne telling her to dump the White dude and go with him. Marianne hesitated a moment too long giving Mick offense so that he commemorated the evening in his song, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Suddenly I realized the meaning of the line, you and your friend Jimi as Mick shouted it to someone off stage to the right. OK, not my problem.
So Jagger was still wearing his hair as he did in the movie Performance. That soul corrupting film was obviously still influencing him. As Marianne said, it changed his personality.
The show closed with Sympathy For The Devil. There was a little stage extension on which Mick prostrated himself as though doing obeisance as the song played. It looked like he was groveling, then he looked up making a couple goofy grimaces at the camera beginning to pull off his shirt. Not necessary, Mick, not necessary. Then with the shirt off he straightened to a kneeling position to reveal Satanic tattoos a la Kenneth Anger.
Anger had a large LUCIFER tattooed across his chest. Here Mick seemed to be imitating him apparently trying to tell us that the Great Satan had arrived. I hope they were transfers. Interesting, especially as the movie Rosemary’s Baby appeared in 1968 in which Rosemary gives birth to the Son of Satan. Even more interestingly in the 1990’s book sequel Son Of Rosemary Satan’s little lad was named Andy. After Andy Warhol, I presume.
I suppose then that Mick conceived the film as a coming out party for himself as The Great Beast. Apparently he took his Satanism very seriously. It make one wonder, was Altamont a projection of the Great Satan?
October 4, 2013
The Faerie Queene Of The Sixties
Would anybody like to try the changes I’m going through?
Life at best is difficult. Change after difficult change presents itself. Of necessity life is lived on the fly. One must always deal with fixtures and forces one cannot comprehend on first confrontation. In a way then we can hardly be responsible for the decisions we make unless we have enough experience to interpret that with which we are confronted correctly. At any point a controlling psychological fixation through misinterpretation may cause to act against our best interests. All further experience then will be interpreted through and disturbed by one or more fixations in our subconscious of which we probably are not aware.
Sexually Marianne was probably confused by the sexual scenes she observed at her father’s Braziers Institute contrasted with her subsequent teaching of abstinence at St. Joseph’s Convent School. The confusions conflicted her sexual attitudes in later life, attitudes she was unaware of and never resolved.
Once she left her father’s governance passing into that of her mother’s she lived not in poverty but in relative hardship; luxuries if experienced at all were few and far between yet she did received an upper class education and outlook at St. Joseph’s.
Her mother was apparently strongly Bohemian having been involved with the stage pre-WWII. She encouraged Marianne in the Bohemian direction which Marianne found congenial, sought and never abandoned. The girl was interested in the stage while becoming a Joan Baez style folk singer after leaving convent school in Reading at seventeen.
While not beautiful in any classic sense she was yet attractive with a great figure making her a desirable sexual object. The sixties was the decade of wide open sex making all women mere sexual objects. Her first reaction was to seek a stable married life choosing John Dunbar as an appropriate husband. Dunbar was Bohemian in outlook while apparently headed for an academic career.
At this point fate intervened. At a party with Dunbar she met the record producer Andrew Loog Oldham who perceived her persona as a marketable commodity in the pop music world. As an added bonus Marianne could actually sing, having performed as a folk singer.
She was still an impressionable girl of just seventeen just after the Pill had been introduced with little ability to successfully traverse the changes she would be called upon to go through. These would be formidable and rapid calling for huge energy reserves on a day to day basis. Not an enviable situation.
While most musicians go through a relatively long learning process and struggle to succeed Marianne struck gold the first time out without even trying. Her first minimal three minute effort, if it was an effort, established her as the pop princess or queen of the generation. Her innocent convent school persona was perfect in a vulgar world. But it was a persona at odds with the one Marianne would seek and embrace- she became the devil with a blue dress on.
While the music or, really, record business seems very attractive from a distance it is literally vile from the inside. Everything connected with it is dishonest, the record companies, musicians, lackeys, the whole number. Nobody remains unstained.
It is truly a man’s world, even a gay man’s world, in which the men have no respect for womankind. Women are expected to merely service the sexual desires of the male performers. They have no use beyond that. Thus one has the phenomenally debauched groupie scene that amazed the world during the sixties. After that there was no longer anything amazing.
Having witnessed sex acts at Braziers of numerous descriptions the pop music world satisfied this side of Marianne’s psyche. At the same time a desire for a chaste life pushed her in the direction of marriage with Dunbar which desire she consummated, however Dunbar proved to be not the ideal choice.
While Marianne thought she would be leading a sedate intellectual academic life with him as a professor he turned out to be as much or more a Bohemian as she was. Quite frankly he failed her.
Having acquired a wife he did not act responsibly toward her. He was blindsided by her recording success and perhaps belittled by her financial success. In effect he was supported by his wife which is always a difficult situation. The changes he faced were in themselves formidable and he didn’t have the character to meet them. Still, a man doesn’t fill his house with dopers and heroin addicts. Marianne can hardly be faulted for resenting it after getting up in the morning to find a house full of conked out junkies in rooms littered with used needles. The transition from Braziers to St. Joseph’s to high degeneration must have been changes hard to adapt to. Sent her head spinning.
The change from the straitened circumstances of her childhood and youth still actually in progress to one of affluence in which she could indulge her wildest fancies in buying clothes and more clothes. Her lack of maturity hurt her badly. In this case her hero William Blake’s notion that the road of excess leads to wisdom was not quite true, it led to penury.
Not clearly seen by many at the time the pop world split into two streams, the British pop stream of the fifties soon to be extinct and the Rock world of pop princes and princesses of the future. The Beatles straddled both worlds while curiously Marianne may have been the first to emerge as a star of the Rock world soon to be followed by the Rolling Stones.
As such even though having only one hit single to her name she was on a par with the Beatles and the Stones while being superior to the lesser groups following in the train of the Beatles and Stones. Thus in the salon formed around the pop art dealer Robert Fraser she held a place of primacy that she never realized. Her tragedy was that she was too young and inexperienced to grasp her opportunity making a series of inept decisions while being seen only as so much poontang by the Rockers and of transitory fame by a series of inept managers.
Thus, unable to find someone capable of carefully building her career she did become transitory, or her career going into hiatus, she did lose her place while gravitating to the dominance of Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones. Gradually her royalties diminished so that she was financially dependent on Jagger while still married to John Dunbar. Deep in a milieu of drug users she found their allure irresistible.
However conscious she was that she had been and still was to some extent a celebrity she thought to regain that identity. Feeling unable to compete with Jagger as a recording star she chose to follow her mother’s wishes and take up acting. In her enthusiasm to and need to show Jagger that she was somebody too, that she was his equal, as a performing artist she aroused Jagger’s interest in also being a movie star. He, being a more marketable commodity soon gave evidence of eclipsing her as an actor rather than staying in recording as she assumed he would.
Her own space having been preempted she developed an affinity for Brian Jones of the Stones who was essentially in her situation in his relation to the group. He too was being forced out thereby losing his identity.
When Brian died she then in sympathy decided to follow him overdosing with pills that would have killed her had not Jagger been alert enough to rush her to the hospital. As much as anything her suicide attempt was meant to get away from Jagger’s dominance. That move now being thwarted she had no choice but to walk out which she did in 1970. Thus began the rest of her life.
The Rock and Art scene was a drug scene. Bob Fraser’s salon centered around Rock musicians was also a drug center. Fraser introduced members of his salon to all drugs including heroin. Marianne had a favored position in Fraser’s salon early learning of heroin to which Fraser himself was addicted. By the time she walked out on Jagger in 1970 she had been addicted for some time. Heroin was to remain her central fixation throughout her life.
Jagger disapproved of her addiction so she was forced to conceal it from him. When her royalties decreased she no longer had her own money becoming dependent on Jagger. Not wishing to plead for large sums of money from Jagger in order to obtain her heroin she prostituted herself to Keith Richard’s factotum Spanish Tony Sanchez.
Sanchez was an aspiring criminal who came to Richards through Groovy Bob Fraser. Sanchez had met Fraser in a bar after which the friendship blossomed. Fraser had contracted gambling debts to the notorious Kray Brothers, the criminal kingpins of London. The Krays were threatening Fraser with grievous bodily harm if they didn’t get their money. According to Sanchez in his autos Up And Down With The Rollings Stones and I was Keith Richard’s Drug Dealer he volunteered to negotiate the debt with the Krays which he did.
At that time, following their US Mafia model, the Krays were attempting to lift the Beatles from Brian Epstein who also had large gambling debts to them so there is no reason to disbelieve Sanchez. Following the episode with Fraser Sanchez was employed by Richards as drug/procurer-factotum at the fabulous salary of two hundred fifty pounds a week. This leads me to believe that the Krays were using Sanchez to infiltrate the Stones possibly with the intent of taking them over.
Sanchez was always resented by Richards and the Stones but he managed to stick with them until the mid seventies when Richards was able to shake him. In his vanity Sanchez considered himself an essential member of the Stones’ entourage, if not an actual member of the Stones.
Marianne’s misfortune was that everyone wanted to sleep with her, a further misfortune was that she obliged. Thus she and Tony had a sexual liaison for several years. This raises the question then whether Tony was also pimping for her. Certainly as his criminal associates knew he was sleeping with her they would want to also. Not being a fool Tony may have named a price and received it. Whether he or she could have successfully resisted is open to question. The US Mafia certainly used their female artists to gratify their desires.
In the mid sixties additionally, once again, through Fraser Marianne had become part of the Satanic crowd. Through Fraser she was introduced to the arch US Satanist, Kenneth Anger. Through them she was introduced to the writing of Great Satanist of the twentieth century, Aleister Crowley and also the writing of the nineteenth century French arch Satanist, Eliphas Levi, not Jewish despite the name. And then the modern Satanist classic the Russian Bulgakov’s The Master And Margarita published in 1968.
Also in this period she became involved with the Satanist Process Church Of The Final Judgment. Marianne downplays her involvement with Satanism but it was much more serious than she is willing to admit.
Playing against this background Marianne renewed an acquaintance with the Irishman Lord Patrick Rossmore. He was 43 to her 24. I merely mention this, it makes me no never mind what the ages are so long as the couple is comfortable with each other. In this case they weren’t comfortable. The two, in a sort of a farce became engaged but never married parting as they met in a friendly sort of way within several months.
While Mick was aggressively dominating, Marianne seems to have chosen Lord Rossmore because shy and retiring as he was she could dominate him. According to Hodkinson the couple rarely saw each other, he being in Ireland while Marianne remained in London closer to her dope supply.
True to her interpretation of William S. Burroughs degenerate novel, Naked Lunch, she led a totally debased and degraded life as a street junkie or, at least, her version of it. Remember it was her movie of Marianne and she was pretending to be a sociologist. She cultivated the friendship of total degenerates such as the artists Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud. She also became friends with the total junkie, writer Alexander Trocchi. Also at this time becoming fast friends with another lowlife, Henrietta Moraes who she says was a close friend until she died. Marianne was able to sink to lower levels than any of these people and gloried in it.
It was during this period of 1970-71 that she says she sat on the wall in Soho staring into the bomb crater. In his first biography Hodkinson scoffed at this. According to him this wall was a waiting station lined with junkies alert for their supply.
By 1971 the Stones had become tax exiles in the South of France so that Spanish Tony was with Keith no longer able to supply Marianne with her drugs, thus, we suppose, the wall. As Marianne had no regular income during this period, although adequate royalty checks still arrived irregularly, there does arise the question of how she paid for her dope. As a junkie Marianne had no qualms about running up tabs she couldn’t pay and apparently didn’t. At one point she boasts she left New York owing several dealers 20K each while flippantly adding she had no intention of ever paying. Whether she succeeded or not is not known.
Marianne vehemently denies that she resorted to prostitution although there is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence she did. A careful reading of her second auto, Memories, Dreams And Reflections, gives some hints. At one point she retorts to an admirer that she is not a two-bit prostitute, that it would take 200 pounds to be with her. Perhaps a joke but the price sounds right, her retort has the ring of authenticity.
In the same auto she claims first hand acquaintance with all the working girls of the area. There is only one way such first hand knowledge could be obtained. There is or was a video on the internet in which a camera had been placed within a building between two half open doors. Marianne dressed in some pretty snappy expensive looking working girl gear walks in front of the camera, notices it, shows alarm, then quickly turns a corner then flattening herself against the wall to peer back at the camera. It seems evident that she was going to or returning from a job.
She seems to have worked from 1970-71 through at least 1974 through her association with Madeleine D’Arcy. In 1971- during the recording of Exile On Main Street when Tony Sanchez accompanied Keith to the South of France Tony met Madeleine with whom he fell deeply in love and had a relationship with her in France.
Upon returning to England he apparently resumed some sort of relationship with Marianne as well as Madeleine. Marianne in her turn began a lesbian relationship with Madeleine, perhaps to spite Tony, who she despised personally, or so she says. Tony was angry at the relationship.
It then appears that Marianne and Madeleine functioned as high price prostitutes or perhaps call girls between ‘72 to ‘74. In ‘74 Madeleine as Marianne recalls had gone back to turning fifteen pound tricks in Brighton. ’Going back’ implies that formerly she received higher payouts, perhaps 200+ as Marianne received.
As she hadn’t heard from Madeleine for a little while she called at her apartment. When no one answered she called a couple bravos to break down the door. One was a Maltese pimp and drug dealer. At that time in London the Maltese are said to have controlled crime in the West End. That Marianne could call on them to supply help implies a certain degree of familiarity with the underworld. The other person’s identity Marianne doesn’t indicate so there is the possibility it could have been Tony. When no one answered the door the two men broke it down.
Entering the apartment Madeleine was found dead on her bed. She had apparently been beaten to death although not molested as she was artfully laid out in a beautiful full gown. Thus whoever killed her loved her. This points to Tony although the crime was never solved.
So, if Marianne says she never turned to prostitution perhaps not, but there is sufficient evidence to indicate she did. The whole period from 1970-1974 is very hazy in her memoirs.
While she was supposedly incognito on the streets of Soho, as if Marianne could ever be incognito, lost to view of the music world, Michael Leander, who had been her producer suddenly got the idea to make an LP with her so he beat the bushes, scoured the walls so to speak, like any good detective, tracking her down in Soho supposedly sitting on her wall staring into the bomb pit. He induced her back into the studio where they recorded the LP Rich Kid Blues, a return to Marianne’s folk roots.
For some reason the record was shelved not being released until decades later. After this she took up with Oliver Musker who she was associated with for the two years from ’72 to ’74.
The Myth Of Marianne
For all her emotional problems Marianne was a bright girl. She read. Among her readings were those of the psychologist C.G. Jung. Among Jung’s ideas was that of the personal myth. By that he means everyone must have a personal myth to survive, to make sense of what one is doing or what is happening to you. This was more or less the same notion of Andy Warhol’s that if you don’t like the way your life is going pretend it’s a movie. That’s a sort of displacement so what’s happening is just a script that was written for you. Your own personal myth. Lots of people were living in their own movie.
It seems probable, in observing Marianne’s life, that she came across Jung’s observation and set about creating her myth. For proper understanding I quote Jung: p. 197 of the Red Book as quoted in the introduction by Sonu Shamdesani:
I was driven to ask myself in all seriousness: “what is the myth you are living?” I found no answer to the question and had to admit that I was not living with a myth, but rather in an uncertain cloud of theoretical possibilities which I was beginning to regard with increasing distrust…
So in the most natural way, I took on myself to know “my” myth– so I told myself– how could I, when treating my patients, make due allowance for the personal factor, for my personal equation, which is yet so necessary for a knowledge of the other person, if I was unconscious of it.”
During the period of 1970 ‘72 Marianne had fallen on the hardest times, the lack of a model for her life. It seems obvious that the wall bit is perhaps a metaphor for her mental state while sunk into her heroin addiction which perhaps had led to other unsavory activities.
If she really thought she was incognito amongst the street people and shopkeepers who she tells us were wonderful to her, what would have been just another junkie earning money by any means necessary, she is either misremembering or was oblivious to the truth. Marianne was a nationally recognized figure on TV and records who had won the hearts of the people. If anything, one can only think that they wondered how she could have fallen so low but in a manner they still revered the image she had been. On the other hand she says guys drove by and yelled ‘you dirty slag’ out the window. Marianne was in denial.
Without a myth of herself that was all she could do. I don’t know when after her fall from grace in 1967 she had read Jung to conceive of creating her myth but the period after 1970 has certainly been mythologized. Remember she titled her second auto Memories Dream And Reflections which just happens to be the title of Jung’s own auto without the And.
As it was necessary for Marianne to form a new persona after the Redlands bust it appears that the persona began taking shape during this period of extreme depression from ‘70 to ‘72. When she met Musker and perhaps even Leander recorded Rich Kid Blues with her, she began to form the myth and regain an identity and perhaps sanity.
Musker led to Ben Brierly which was a key recovery period and then later she grabbed hold of the supreme works of despair and depression, the works of Brecht and Weil. God, that’s hurting.
All her associates in the mid seventies were Creatures From The Black Lagoon. Black Lagoon was one of the great psychological sci-fi parodies of the fifties. Freud’s vision of the unconscious dominated the period so in Lagoon some ‘scientists’, always portrayed as evil themselves, discover a black lagoon in the Brazilian jungles. The circular pool, of course, represents Freud’s vision of the unconscious in which demons and monsters lurk so the Creature, stirred up by the scientists, perhaps it may be read as psycho-analysts, emerges in all his horror dripping with weeds from the black lagoon. Coulda been me I thought as I sat watching.
So, Burroughs, Gysin, Ginsburg, Corso, Bacon, Lucien Freud,, Moraes, all the people a reasonable person would run from. No matter how attractive they may appear on the printed page they were much less so in person. I’ve met a few of them and, shall we say, I knew I would never fit in.
Marianne did fit in. She was beginning to reconcile her Braziers Park sexual education with her high Catholic teaching. Andy Warhol said if your life is not going as you like it, pretend it’s a movie. Marianne was in the unique position where she could live her myth in movies, on the stage and on phonograph records as well as in real life. In her mind she could make it work but real life upsets things once in a while. Plus Marianne in her reading read William Blake whose line ‘the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom’ was the mantra of the whole junkie crowd as well as Marianne’s. Who would be seduced by bull shit like that? Beaudelaire, Rambeau and the French Symbolists also provided such like justification for the path she was on. Thus Marianne was able to justify her myth by such philosophy.
Marianne could thus justify sexual excesses, perhaps even prostitution, as drinking the cup to the dregs on the path to wisdom. At the same time she was able to split her personality in a Braziers/St. Joseph’ contrast so that she could remain ‘pure’ while sympathizing with the plight of all those unfortunate prostitutes she knew so well. That actually was a sort of Rich Kid Blues so Leander was perhaps more prescient than Marianne thought.
Marianne who had many acting offers during these years and at least one serious role with Roman Polanski all of which she blew ostensibly because of her heroin addiction but also possibly because as she felt so degraded she didn’t think she deserved success because of Redlands. At any rate she was the darling of the counter culture and remains so down and out or not.
Oliver Musker an old Etonian met her through Christopher Gibbs who paled with Bob Fraser at a party in 1972 so she wasn’t so incognito that she wasn’t attending parties. Still her addiction was obvious enough that Musker wanted to save her. Therefore he took control and put her in rehab. But what’s rehab to an addict? Perhaps a time out. Of course Marianne says Musker saved her life. Well, romance, romance, romance.
Musker was an apparent stable interlude in Marianne’s self-destructive course. He kept her on a more or less even keel for these two years. No less destitute than she had ever been Marianne accepted a role filmed in India titled Ghost Story. Not quite the hardship Marianne attests, indeed, very glamorous to anyone in her fan base and elsewhere.
She and Musker traveled to India and from there to Hong Kong. So she was leading a life many could envy. Not too much is available about Musker but he apparently found India congenial as a business opportunity. He currently runs a furniture factory out of Delhi.
But he was an overbearing, dominant sort enforcing his will with violence. He knocked out Marianne’s upper two front teeth. When he tried to manage Marianne’s career he became too much for her and they parted company. Or, perhaps, Musker was just a crutch to get her over a very rough patch. By 1974 perhaps she thought she no longer needed him.
And then as part of the road of excess leading to the palace of wisdom Musker was a type of male and as part of her identity she was to experiment with different types. That would lead to her future second husband Ben Brierly. The music scene about to transit the very destructive Punk era so, perhaps Marianne saw it as chance to revive her recording career.
As I see it Marianne went into shock after Redlands. The shame of the Mars bar bit was too much for her psyche to handle. The court’s denial of the chance to defend herself and possibly explain was an egregious insult that she could find no way to handle. This kind of shock takes time to digest and find some way to regain one’s composure. Thus Marianne’s life from that point to her suicide attempt in 1969 can be explained in that context.
Her rejection of Mick can largely be explained as the aftermath of Redlands.
Marianne had been used as sex object once she entered the record industry. It was a role she didn’t reject apparently being a hot mama. But as one matures one finds ways to use as well as be used. Thus after 1969 Marianne turned predator using her sexual desirability to turn predator herself.
She stayed with Lord Rossmore after leaving Mick while she used Musker to regain some balance although kicking heroin is just a mirage junkies pursue. One grows weary of their stories of becoming ‘clean.’ At best after Musker she discovered her limits although she really tested them.
While I don’t think it’s true, Marianne felt that Mick was a superior musician to herself. Marianne let the notion destroy her self-confidence. Jagger is no singer, has no voice, is a mediocre lyricist, can’t dance but is a great showman with a burning desire to corrupt society.
Marianne’s problem was that she couldn’t find the proper agent or musical guide. Issuing four albums in 1965 was a crass error for which she was apparently responsible. She took no time to enter the spirit of the songs while many of the backing arrangements are revolting. Nevertheless she was Marianne.
Having felt herself overshadowed by Mick she now picked the poor shlub Ben to musically dominate and overshadow in revenge on Mick. As she left Musker she was emerging from the horrible reaction to Redlands while finding a musical persona to allow her to go on living the pop life she had learned to appreciate.
In keeping with her newly found myth combined with the Blake/Symbolist fantasy of plumbing the depths in search of the pearl of great price she embraced Brierly’s punk life style living in squalor in desperate squats. During this period she was forming the persona that would emerge with her 1979 release of Broken English. That record reestablished her musical credentials while providing her with a substantial cash windfall. She might as well have worked for nothing as she took a 90K check and promptly blew it on clothes and drugs. In some ways Marianne was a real slow learner.
She was able to disburse her cash faster than Edie Sedgwick threw away her 80K inheritance. Edie had no hopes for another windfall although Marianne did.
Broken English was a boundary line between the middle Marianne and what came after.
Chapter IX will follow but I have other projects first.
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 as 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 others 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 Corps. 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 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 ours 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 many Blues based songs. Autry’s song The Yellow Rose Of Texas is of course about a Negro woman, high yellow.
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 thought 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.