Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood
Edited by Dora Loewenstein & Philip Dodd
Consulting Editor Charlie Watts
In August 2005 the Rolling Stones kicked off a new world tour, opening at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. Their capacity and passion for playing music remains undimmed, and the demand for tickets undiminished. The Stones continue to be one of the essential threads in the fabric of rock’n’roll.
In According To The Rolling Stones, the band themselves reveal the story behind their legend, getting right to the heart of what makes the group tick. It's the band's-eye view of their history, punctuated by pithy, personal, unexpected comments on their musical roots, their recordings, memorable performances and the ups and downs of their relationships as bandmates, illustrated with fresh images, many drawn from their own personal archives. History and memory are notoriously grey areas, but it’s hard to argue with the guys who were actually there.
To create the book, interviews with each of the Stones were conducted on the Forty Licks tour by Philip Dodd, accompanied by Rob Bowman and Tim Rice. Over a period of four months, the conversation flowed from San Francisco and LA to Melbourne and Tokyo. The result: what Uncutmagazine called ‘the closest we are going to get to the inside story of the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world’.
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Hardback, 360 pages
Published 11 August 2003
ISBN 0 29784 332
Published 2 September 2004
ISBN 0 75381 844 2
“Show me someone who has never got their rocks off to the throbbing rhythm of the Rolling Stones and I’ll show you a miserable old git who belongs in the Dark Ages. The Stones were raw, rude, raunchy, rebellious and had mums reaching for the smelling salts. Here’s a treat for fans, a book which gets right to the heart of what makes the Stones tick as musicians, songwriters, performers and chums.”
According to the Rolling Stones
Clearly inspired by ‘The Beatles Anthology’, According To The Rolling Stones tells the forty-year history of the band almost exclusively from the perspective of its four current members: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood. From a design standpoint, this book is far cleaner and more readable than the busy Anthology, and it strikes a more serious tone.
The reader is never permitted to forget that these men are musicians first, cultural icons second. In interviews conducted during the past year, the Stones recover the passion for the blues, R&B and rock & roll that first brought them together. Anyone who believes, for example, that Jagger thinks exclusively about twenty-year-old models will be stunned by his smart dissection of the drumming on Fifties records by Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. The sources of Jagger’s style as a harmonic player are discussed, and Watts routinely references the jazz musicians, some quite obscure, who form his pantheon.
The controversial aspects of the band’s career receive responsible, if officially sanctioned, attention. Richards agonizes for pages about the group’s decision to kick out pianist Ian Stewart (he became the Stones’ road manager), and Jagger coolly observes, “It was obvious that Ian Stewart didn’t fit the picture”. Jagger disappears during the lengthy section in which Richards, Watts and Wood recollect the Jagger-Richards feud of the Eighties. The most poignant moment comes when Richards says, “I love Mick dearly…. But sometimes you think… ‘Where’s the reciprocation?’ Maybe I fucked it in those ten years when I was on the dope and there is no reciprocation.”
By the time the Nineties roll around, everyone has made up – or shut up – and the band members’ dutiful praising of each other grows tedious. ButAccording To The Rolling Stones is a pleasurable read and, because of its many terrific photographs, fun to look at, as well – a deft blend of substance and style worthy of its subject.
Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone, 30 October 2003