Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger

3.0 7
by Philip Norman
     
 

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A supreme achiever to whom his colossal achievements seem to mean nothing . . .

A supreme extrovert who prefers discretion . . .

A supreme egotist who dislikes talking about himself . . .

Philip Norman has long towered above other rock biographers with his definitive studies of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Buddy Holly, and John

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Overview

A supreme achiever to whom his colossal achievements seem to mean nothing . . .

A supreme extrovert who prefers discretion . . .

A supreme egotist who dislikes talking about himself . . .

Philip Norman has long towered above other rock biographers with his definitive studies of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Buddy Holly, and John Lennon—legends whom the world thought it knew, but who came to life as never before through the meticulousness of Norman's research, the sweep of his cultural knowledge, and the brilliance of his writing.

Now Norman turns to a rock icon who is the most notorious yet enigmatic of them all. Throughout five decades of fronting the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger has been seen as the ultimate arrogant, narcissistic superstar, whose sexual appetite and cavalier treatment of women rival Casanova's and whose supposed reckless drug use touched off the most famous scandal in rock history. Now a grandfather nearing seventy and a British knight of the realm, he still creates excitement at the mere mention of his name; still remains the model for every young rock singer who ever takes the stage.

Norman shows Jagger to be a character far more complex than the cold archseducer of myth: human, vulnerable, often impressive, sometimes endearing. Here at last is the real story of how the Stones' brilliant first manager, Andrew Oldham, transformed a shy economics student named Mike Jagger into a modern Antichrist...of Jagger's vicious show trial and imprisonment on minuscule drug charges in 1967...his remarkable feat at the Stones' Hyde Park concert in making a quarter of a million people keep quiet and listen to poetry...his unpublicized heroic role at the Altamont festival that brought the sunny sixties to a horrific end...the cavalcade of beautiful women from Chrissie Shrimpton to Jerry Hall, whom he has bedded but not always dominated...the enduring but ever-fraught partnership with his "Glimmer Twin," Keith Richards.

While playful about some aspects of Sir Mick, Norman gives him long overdue credit as a songwriter, whose "Sympathy for the Devil" is one of the few truly epic pop singles, and as a harmonica player fit to rank among the great blues masters who inspired the Stones before money became their raison d'etre.

Mick Jagger, above all, explores the keen and calculating intelligence that has kept the Stones on their plinth as "the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band" for half a century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Drawing on research he conducted for his first Stones book, as well as on numerous interviews with Jagger's friends, former girlfriends, and musicians, music critic Norman's often plodding and exhaustively detailed though admiring biography recounts Jagger's life from his middle-class youth and first encounters with the blues and early rock to his first meetings with a young Keith Richards.From there, we read of Jagger's many tumultuous relationships with women, his lackluster attempts at acting, and his raging desire to control his and the band's image. Sympathetic to Jagger, Norman digs beneath the bad-boy posturing that Stones manager Andrew Oldham stage-managed—and that Jagger embraced—very early in his career. Along the way, the author reveals an individual shaped by a conservative upbringing and maturing into a loving and beloved father, a history and literature buff, a wine connoisseur, and a stickler for etiquette. Unfortunately, in the end this is a dull set of fan notes, largely composed of much-rehashed Stones lore, especially since there are no new interviews with Jagger himself. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Evidently, Jagger has proclaimed that he will never write a memoir, so we'll have to depend on once-removed reporting from folks like Norman, author of the best-selling John Lennon: The Life. Norman interviewed many Jagger intimates, including some who have never spoken on the record, and promises to offer a larger, more complex picture of the star. This book will be buzzing throughout 2012, the Stones' 50th-anniversary year. With a 150,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
The second, livelier and all-around better of two major unauthorized Jagger biographies (after Christopher Andersen's Mick) out in time for the Rolling Stones' 50th year. A British novelist, music journalist and biographer, Norman (John Lennon: The Life, 2008, etc.) has made a minicareer telling the stories of the two biggest bands in rock history, the Beatles and the Stones, in several big books. (In his introduction to this mostly sympathetic life, Norman writes, plausibly, that these two bands "constitute one single, epic story.") Whereas Andersen portrayed Sir Mick as a soulless Narcissus or Faust, Norman succeeds at least partly in getting to the middle-class, suburban man behind the myth; he offers a sort of retort to Keith Richards' Life (as well as most other Jagger biographies) in shining a slightly better light on his subject. The author convincingly debunks legends like the kinky Mars bar tableau at the Redlands drug arrest in 1967 or Jagger's coldblooded dismissal of Hells Angel violence at the Altamont festival in 1969. Without shying from uncomplimentary facts about his subject's worst behaviors--mainly his treatment of the "lesser" Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts and his numerous infidelities--Norman consistently provides evidence of Jagger's better side: his bouts of generosity (particularly toward friends and lovers in need), the sensitivity that frequently drives him to tears, his mutual adoration of his children by several mothers. Tellingly, the 25 years since the Stones' silver anniversary in 1982 are compressed into the last 90 pages of the 600-page narrative--even Norman seems to lose interest in Jagger apart from the Stones. Not the definitive Jagger life, but an enjoyable, entertaining biography.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062200327
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
497,965
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Philip Norman is an award-winning novelist and biographer who, in 1969-70, was assigned to cover from the inside the breakup of Beatles' own business utopia, Apple Corps. He is the author of Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation, Rave On: The Biog-raphy of Buddy Holly, and many other books. He lives in London.

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Mick Jagger 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent beginning. Paints a clear picture of upbringing and the coming together of band. But then it goes into unfocused tangents, and quick scenarios that are neither touching nor interesting. Very dissapointing overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author dwells on the seedier side of his subjects as he did with Mick Jagger and with John Lennon. Want a better read? Try Bob Spits: better, more entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leaves no stone unturned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing insightful about this book....a bore....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i am sure it is a good book but 19.99 for a "nook book" delivered online no less. 50% off, right, jump in a lake.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This guy looks drunk and fuc#### retarted i would NOT recomend it