Author Phillip Norman, whose previous bestseller, John Lennon: The Life, was praised as a “haunting, mammoth, terrific piece of work” (New York Times Book Review) and whose classic Shout! is widely considered to be the definitive biography of the Beatles, now turns his attention to the iconic front man of the Rolling Stones, “the greatest rock ’n’ roll band in the world.” Norman’s Mick Jagger is an extraordinarily detailed and vibrantly written in-depth account of the life and half-century-long career of one of the most fascinating and complex superstars of rock music—the most comprehensive biography to date of the famously enigmatic musician. Keith Richards had his say in Life. Now it’s time to get to know intimately the other half of the duo responsible for such enduring hits as “Paint It Black,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Gimme Shelter,” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Mick Jagger is a must read for Stones fans, and everyone who can’t get enough of the serious memoirs and biographies of popular musicians, like Patti Smith’s Just Kids, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler, and the Warren Zevon story, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.
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.
Worst biography I have read in a long time
Too much "filler". No support or documentation for his assessment of the times; which again is unnecessary filler. Mostly third hand gossip passed off as fact. I am so bored reading this that I actually skip paragraphs unrelated to the biography he is supposedly relating. It is more of a gossip history of the Stones than a factual biography of Mick Jagger. How can I put this eloquently? Yuck!