'People say I made the Stones. I didn't. They were there already. They only wanted exploiting. They were all bad boys when I found them. I just brought out the worst in them.'
Andrew Loog Oldham was nineteen years old when he discovered and became the manager and producer of an unknown band called The Rolling Stones. His radical vision transformed them from a starving south London blues combo to the Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band That Ever Drew Breath, while the revolutionary strategies he used to get them there provoked both adulation and revulsion throughout British society and beyond.
An ultra-hip mod, flash, brash and schooled in style by Mary Quant, he was a hustler of genius, addicted to scandal, notoriety and innovation.
Oldham is and forever will be best known as the trendy hustler from mid-1960s swinging London who discovered the Rolling Stones and molded their bad-boy tendencies in his own image. After the Stones unceremoniously dumped him as manager during the Summer of Love, Oldham more or less disappeared from the rock 'n' roll map--producing a few artists here and there and living off his past success. But as shown by this delightful cut-and-paste romp (interviews with Oldham spliced together with comments from other hipsters such as designer Mary Quant, the Who's Pete Townshend and writer Nik Cohn--but, curiously, no interviews with any of the Stones), Oldham's memories are not only sharp, insightful and full of gossip, but also reflect that he has probably forgotten more about the music business in his fast-paced early life than most of his peers can claim to know. The Stones don't appear until halfway through the book, but the pre-1963 material is perhaps the most intriguing part of Oldham's memoir. As he moved from posh schools to '50s lowlife to early '60s social scenes, Oldham probably met every big name and con artist who ever populated London or the south of France--from Picasso (from whom he bummed money) to infamous producers Mickie Most and Phil Spector. The wealth of information, details and larger-than-life stories about the London music scene before the Beatles and the Stones that Oldham recounts provides a valuable record of a fertile and fascinating, albeit overlooked, cultural era. At 19, he may have known "nothing about the music biz," as Pete Townshend confirms, but as a "worldly-wise" purveyor of '60s excess who may have blown his mind way back when, Oldham proves today with this hotter-than-hot-for-hard-core-fans memoir that he has never lost his sense or sensibility. 60 b&w photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Very good indeed
A great read, well written and entertaining.
Lots of interesting stories and background of his life and the formation of the Rolling Stones and beyond.
The inclusion of comments written by subjects from the book (who aren't always complementary) is a nice change in an autobiography.