Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue

Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue

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by Marc Spitz
     
 

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A biography and cultural examination of the Rolling Stones' frontman Mick Jagger's spectacular life and the cultural revolution he led.

As the Rolling Stones' legendary front man Mick Jagger remains an enigma. He hasn't given an in-depth interview for a decade and a half and never commented on his friend and partner, Keith Richard's often critical

Overview

A biography and cultural examination of the Rolling Stones' frontman Mick Jagger's spectacular life and the cultural revolution he led.

As the Rolling Stones' legendary front man Mick Jagger remains an enigma. He hasn't given an in-depth interview for a decade and a half and never commented on his friend and partner, Keith Richard's often critical biography. Drawing on firsthand recollections from rockers, filmmakers, writers, radicals, and other artists who have been transformed by Mick Jagger's work, acclaimed music journalist Marc Spitz has created a unique examination of the Jagger legacy, debunking long held myths and restoring his status as a complicated artist. Combining biography with cultural history, Jagger unfolds like a captivating documentary, a series of episodes tracing the icon's rise from his childhood in middle-class postwar London to his status as a jet-setting knight.

A culturally astute, often funny, and painstakingly researched read, Jagger offers a far richer portrait than biographies published previously. The book reveals much about his relationships (with Marianne Faithfull and ex-wives Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall); his complex, creative partnership with Keith Richards; his friends like John Lennon and David Bowie; and enemies like Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger. Spitz goes even deeper, exploring Jagger's many roles: an authentic soul man; powerful social commentator; sexual liberator; would-be movie star; and yes, sometimes, a shrewd businessman with an enthusiasm for much younger women. The myth of Mick is examined and rebooted for the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As Spitz (Bowie: A Biography) writes: "When we think of the Rolling Stones, we think of the heart and we think of the groin. We don't dwell on the brain." In this biography, Spitz shows how Jagger's shifting personas influenced public perception, while keeping the band culturally relevant. Spitz discusses the band's appearance on the T.A.M.I. Show (when they were forced to follow James Brown), Jagger's relationships with Marianne Faithfull, Bianca Jagger, and Jerry Hall, and the tragic Altamont, but examines these moments from a cultural rather than a historical context, illustrating how these public spectacles affected his reputation and personality. The gifted and insightful Spitz wisely chooses to eschew a linear, year-by-year chronicle of minutiae, instead assuming deep reader familiarity with Jagger, the Stones, and the band's key albums. This shorthand enables him to cover tremendous ground, while re-examining Jagger as a musician and a person. However, Jagger doesn't emerge as a particularly sympathetic character. In a choice between Mick and Keith, most readers would still rather be Keith. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Riding the wave of interest in the Rolling Stones after the well-deserved success of Keith Richards's Life, this biography focuses on the more flamboyant of the two Glimmer Twins. Spitz (Bowie; We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk) skips many biographical details and skims over long periods of Mick Jagger's 50 years in the public eye to explore a few key events in his career, including the then-young rocker's 1967 drug arrest, the 1969 Altamont concert killing, and his 1985 venture into solo recording. Spitz ties together these sporadic episodes by repeatedly turning to the long-standing artistic and personal tension between the trend-hopping Jagger and the staunchly traditionalist Richards. Spitz relies mainly on previous research and old interviews, adding fresh insight from Jagger colleagues and confidants such as Stones cofounder Dick Taylor. VERDICT This minor work succeeds as a superficial but entertaining exploration of certain aspects of Jagger's life and career and will have to suffice until a definitive biography or, better yet, an autobiography is published. Readers may get a little closer to understanding the notoriously reticent Jagger, but he remains a mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/11.]—Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Popmatters.com
“Stones fans and popular music readers can rest comfortably knowing that Jagger is not only an engaging biography, but also a compelling work of cultural criticism.”
Rob Sheffield
"Talk about sympathy for the devil: Marc Spitz turns Mick Jagger’s life into a savagely funny, monstrously hypnotic narrative. It’s a brilliant tale of sex, music, decadence, and celebrity, one that seems to suck in most of the past century, from Route 66 to Studio 54. Nobody’s ever told the story better—Jagger might be rock & roll’s most unknowable soul, but Spitz gives him back every bit of his Satanic majesty."
Stephen Davis
"Mick Jagger is our age's Byronic exemplar of action and experience. Mick and the Rolling Stones opened new worlds for us, and worlds beyond. Marc Spitz, Jagger's latest biographer, has done him justice and more, with new info, trenchant insights, and best of all- a sense of humor."
Patton Oswalt
"The first sentence of the 5th paragraph of this book is 'Here we go', and Spitz means it. This is a sustained, headlong, late-night crystalline rant/sermon/declaration that never lets up, never plays safe, and, when you're finished, finally lets you breathe. Goddamit. Now I have to go buy this dude's Bowie book."
Jesse Malin
"If Chuck Berry invented 'rock and roll' Mick Jagger invented 'rock star.' With the swagger and the soul, the brains and the balls, Spitz proves that Jagger is truly the man. An insightful and inspiring page burner, Jagger is a pleasure for even the most jaded jukebox junkie." 
Doug Brod
"With a reporter's doggedness, a fan's zeal, and a stand-up's eye for absurd detail, Marc Spitz makes the awfully compelling case that Mick Jagger's true talents have long gone underappreciated. Jagger provides ample proof of why Spitz is one of rock lit's funniest, funkiest, and finest voices."
From the Publisher
"Talk about sympathy for the devil: Marc Spitz turns Mick Jagger’s life into a savagely funny, monstrously hypnotic narrative. It’s a brilliant tale of sex, music, decadence, and celebrity, one that seems to suck in most of the past century, from Route 66 to Studio 54. Nobody’s ever told the story better—Jagger might be rock & roll’s most unknowable soul, but Spitz gives him back every bit of his Satanic majesty." — Rob Sheffield

"Mick Jagger is our age's Byronic exemplar of action and experience. Mick and the Rolling Stones opened new worlds for us, and worlds beyond. Marc Spitz, Jagger's latest biographer, has done him justice and more, with new info, trenchant insights, and best of all- a sense of humor." — Stephen Davis

"The first sentence of the 5th paragraph of this book is 'Here we go', and Spitz means it.   This is a sustained, headlong, late-night crystalline rant/sermon/declaration that never lets up, never plays safe, and, when you're finished, finally lets you breathe. Goddamit. Now I have to go buy this dude's Bowie book." — Patton Oswalt

"If Chuck Berry invented 'rock and roll' Mick Jagger invented 'rock star.' With the swagger and the soul, the brains and the balls, Spitz proves that Jagger is truly the man. An insightful and inspiring page burner, Jagger is a pleasure for even the most jaded jukebox junkie."  — Jesse Malin

"With a reporter's doggedness, a fan's zeal, and a stand-up's eye for absurd detail, Marc Spitz makes the awfully compelling case that Mick Jagger's true talents have long gone underappreciated. Jagger provides ample proof of why Spitz is one of rock lit's funniest, funkiest, and finest voices." — Doug Brod, Editor in Chief, SPIN

“[A] picaresque biography.” — Vogue

“An eager hagiography that takes aim at Mr. Richards while trumpeting Mr. Jagger’s overlooked fine qualities. Spitz knows enough about the Stones’ history to pick good shots and leave out the dull stuff.” — New York Times

“His history is every bit as compelling as the one portrayed by Richards in his recent autobiography” — The Boston Globe

“Stones fans and popular music readers can rest comfortably knowing that Jagger is not only an engaging biography, but also a compelling work of cultural criticism.” — Popmatters.com

“Competently enough written, this is a pleasant read that nicely puts all the old stories in some order, referencing discarded lovers, dalliances, and other time-honored themes.” — Booklist

Vogue
“[A] picaresque biography.”
New York Times
“An eager hagiography that takes aim at Mr. Richards while trumpeting Mr. Jagger’s overlooked fine qualities. Spitz knows enough about the Stones’ history to pick good shots and leave out the dull stuff.”
The Boston Globe
“His history is every bit as compelling as the one portrayed by Richards in his recent autobiography”
Booklist
“Competently enough written, this is a pleasant read that nicely puts all the old stories in some order, referencing discarded lovers, dalliances, and other time-honored themes.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592406555
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/08/2011
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Patton Oswalt
"The first sentence of the 5th paragraph of this book is 'Here we go', and Spitz means it. This is a sustained, headlong, late-night crystalline rant/sermon/declaration that never lets up, never plays safe, and, when you're finished, finally lets you breathe. Goddamit. Now I have to go buy this dude's Bowie book."
Jesse Malin
"If Chuck Berry invented 'rock and roll' Mick Jagger invented 'rock star.' With the swagger and the soul, the brains and the balls, Spitz proves that Jagger is truly the man. An insightful and inspiring page burner, Jagger is a pleasure for even the most jaded jukebox junkie." 
Rob Sheffield
"Talk about sympathy for the devil: Marc Spitz turns Mick Jagger’s life into a savagely funny, monstrously hypnotic narrative. It’s a brilliant tale of sex, music, decadence, and celebrity, one that seems to suck in most of the past century, from Route 66 to Studio 54. Nobody’s ever told the story better—Jagger might be rock & roll’s most unknowable soul, but Spitz gives him back every bit of his Satanic majesty."
Doug Brod
"With a reporter's doggedness, a fan's zeal, and a stand-up's eye for absurd detail, Marc Spitz makes the awfully compelling case that Mick Jagger's true talents have long gone underappreciated. Jagger provides ample proof of why Spitz is one of rock lit's funniest, funkiest, and finest voices."
Stephen Davis
"Mick Jagger is our age's Byronic exemplar of action and experience. Mick and the Rolling Stones opened new worlds for us, and worlds beyond. Marc Spitz, Jagger's latest biographer, has done him justice and more, with new info, trenchant insights, and best of all- a sense of humor."

Meet the Author

Marc Spitz is the author of five previous books, including the acclaimed Bowie: A Biography, selected by the New York Post as required reading and by ELLE magazine as a book club pick. Spitz is the music blogger for vanityfair.com and his writing has appeared in Spin, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Maxim. He lives in New York City.

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Jagger 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
When you conjure the image of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger you get two modern pop icons. However they both tend to get different responses. One, Keith Richards seems to be the cool older brother that all the girls swoon over. The man's man who oozes a certain electricity. The other Mick Jagger, who is talented does none of these. He seems like the obnoxious little brother that you want to beg off to go back into his room. Writer Marc Spitz takes you on a journey in Jagger to get a fuller picture of Jagger. He is a music blogger and pop culture observer. What you end up with is a behind the scene tale of the life of a rock star. Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue by Marc Spitz paints a fascinating portrait of an individual who has been able to keep up with the changing times.