This well documented "rockography" immediately establishes the power of this rock group with descriptions of the hundreds of fans who were injured or arrested during the frenzy of their performance in Germany in 1965. Just a minor criticism here—all numbers throughout the book are spelled out; they are never shown as digits so the effect of e.g., "the four hundred ninety thousand" fans is somewhat diminished. Readers are then led through the early lives of each of the performers. Miller is always careful to explain historical and cultural events that modern readers might not understand; e.g, the need for rationing during World War II, the meaning of communism and America's reaction to it, and the emotional effects of President Kennedy's assassination. Each band member's story is very informative. Although she only carefully scratches the surface, Miller includes descriptions of the poverty and desperation these English boys endured during the war, the abuse Brian Jones suffered from his alcoholic parents, the drug use that led to the arrest of band members, and the apparent suicide of their first manager. But equal time is given to the years of very diligent study that was typical for most of the band members. Their developing passion for music includes some excellent information about the birth of "the blues" from the "field hollers" of plantation slaves and how rock ?n roll developed from the blues. Brief mentions of Muddy Waters, the Beatles and the Who are included. Photographs document all major personalities and events mentioned in the book. The Appendix includes a 3-page timeline, a list of The Rolling Stones major releases and concert tours, a short but useful glossary, and 20 pages of chapter notes. There is also a list of suggested books and internet addresses for further reading, as well as a fairly extensive index. Reviewer: Leigh Geiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Miller profiles each member of the band and chronicles the difficult times all five endured as children in Britain during World War II. Special attention is given to their early school days and their successes and failures. The author points up how they all became passionate fans of American blues music sung by Muddy Waters and others. The fact that they are the longest-sustained band, from their formation in l963 right up to today, more than 40 years later, can be attributed to several factors. They responded to the rebellious times of the 1960s with their music, lyrics, and stage antics. A refreshing final chapter describes the outside interests of each band member—Keith Richards as a movie actor, Mike Jagger as a movie producer, Charlie Watts as a jazz musician, and Ronnie Wood as a gallery artist. Brian Jones died, probably by suicide, after a lifetime of fighting psychological problems. Readers will welcome the attractive graphics and photographs throughout the book. Extensive chapter notes and back matter serve as valuable tools when researching the "Greatest Rock Band."—Peggy Fleming, formerly at Churchville-Chili High School, Churchville, NY