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The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones (Canons) [Kindle Edition]

Stanley Booth , Greil Marcus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'Sounding like one instrument, a wild whirling bagpipe, the Stones chugged to a halt. But the crowd didn't stop, we could see Hells Angels spinning like madmen, swinging at people. By stage right a tall white boy with a black cloud of electric hair was dancing, shaking, infuriating the Angels by having too good a time.' The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones is not just the greatest book about the greatest rock 'n' roll band, it is one of the most important books about the 1960s capturing its zeitgeist - that uneasy mix of excess, violence and idealism - in a way no other book does. Stanley Booth was with the Rolling Stones on their 1969 U.S. tour, which culminated in the notorious free concert at Altamont. But this book is much more than a brilliant piece of journalism. It gives a history of the Rolling Stones from their early rhythm 'n' blues days in west London clubs to the end of the 1960s; and it interweaves with mastery the two tragic stories of the decline and death of Brian Jones and the terrifying Altamont concert itself, where the Hells Angels, supposedly providing security, ran amok and murdered a member of the audience. Although it took nearly fifteen years to write, the book that emerged has been rightly acclaimed as 'the one authentic masterpiece of rock 'n' writing'.

Product Description


"Stanley Booth's book is the only one I can read and say, 'Yeah, that's how it was'." (Keith Richards)

"The one authentic masterpiece of rock 'n' roll writing."

"If you've never bought a book about rock and roll, no matter - this is the one you've been waiting for." (Playboy)

"The best book so far about the Sixties."

"By far the best book on its subject (including Richards's own well received effort), Booth's book is also easily the most convincing account of life inside the monster created by the rock revolution of the 1960s." (Guardian 2012-04-07)

"Stanley Booth's affection for the band did not keep him from writing about the seamy underside of the Stones' world in the Sixties . . . It is the only book about the Stones that I would recommend both to the general reader and to the most devoted fan. Both will find an epiphany on almost every page." (New York Review Times Book Review)

"Shattering . . . Booth has found his voice and momentum with a pitch and passion I've never seen equalled in pop journalism. . . His book outdistances anything the Stones have wrought since Let It Bleed." (Los Angeles Herald Examiner)

"' . . . remains one of the most gripping accounts ever written about the band . . . so awash with tumult and drama it at times has much in common with reportage from the front lines of the war in Vietnam, like Michael Herr's Dispatches. Booth alternates chapters on the Stones' history, based on extensive band interviews, some never bettered, with visceral episodes from the relentless chaos, excitement and abundant debauchery of the journey the Stones took on their way to its grim conclusion at Altamnont . . . '" (Uncut 2012-05-01)

"Booth's strong, sound prose brings to life the out-of-control process through which an age intoxicated by its own passions found a hard-driving music to live hard by. In all the annals of the '60s, there is nothing on paper that so evokes those days and nights." (Salon)

"Astonishing . . . part oral history and part midnight diary in a world where midnight goes on forever." (Los Angeles Reader)

"One of the truly great rock books" (Hot Press)

"An epic, behind-the-scenes record of life with the greatest rock band in the world, capturing both the carnivalesque excess and the mundane grind of the rock tour" (Observer)

"The most brutally compelling book about rock'n'roll and its casualties ever written" (Guardian)

"A marvellous book, Booth is a fine writer, and has a strong style that perfectly complements his engaging subject. Canongate have also included an introduction from Greil Marcus, a fine writer in his own right, which just adds to the value of this fine book. Highly recommended to anyone who now only loves music, but an engaging story well told" (Destructive Music)

Book Description

'The one authentic masterpiece of rock 'n' roll writing' Peter Guralnick

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2721 KB
  • Print Length: 577 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0857863517
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main - Canons Imprint Re-issue edition (5 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857863525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857863522
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #210,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a shot away 26 Feb. 2013
I'd read Stanley Booth's gripping first-person account of the infamous Altamont festival in The Faber Book of Pop, and remembered that it was an extract from this book when I came across it in HMV's sale. Altamont came just after the Stones' tour of the USA in November 1969, and Booth here tells the story of what it was like to be part of that extraordinary experience. The tour was the band's first visit to the US in three years, and was one of the first to target large-scale arenas. In addition, it marked the debut - leaving aside the band's Hyde Park concert a few months previously - of Mick Taylor, who'd been brought in as a replacement for Brian Jones, just prior to Jones's death two days before the Hyde Park gig. The shows in New York were released for posterity as 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!' (thought by some to be the best live album ever), while the film Gimme Shelter documents part of the tour and Altamont itself. And, as if all that wasn't of enough significance, the Stones (along with Booth) also visited Muscle Shoals studios just after the tour had ended to record (what turned out to be) two of their greatest songs: "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses", which were eventually released in 1971 on Sticky Fingers. Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Absorbing 4 May 2012
Follows the Stones on the fated 1969 US tour that culminated in the infamous concert at Altamont. I knew I was in good hands as soon as I read the following early passage, describing the reporters at a pre-tour Stones press conference:

"They all appeared to be in their early twenties... dressed in the current style, achieved by spending large sums of money to look poor and bedraggled, like a new race of middle-class gypsies. They ate like gypsies, snatching up cakes and fruit and drinks."

Captures not only The Stones at the peak of their world dominance, but also the peak and decline of an era. Wonderful reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 7 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book about the Stones in their heyday. The narrative flips between the early days of the band and the tour that culminated in the ill-fated Altamont show. The story is told by Stanley Booth, who at the time of the tour was a young writer on the road with the band. If you are a fan of the band - and particularly of their early seventies recordings (who isn't?) - then I thoroughly recommend this book to you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stanley Booth nailed it. A very enjoyable read. 2 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved Stanley Booth's book because it captured, through the Stones, my own remembrance of the band when I was growing up.

I have to admit I've never been a much of a fan of their music, but they are very important from a cultural perspective in the 60's: the newsreels bear that out (Pathe News in the UK), so I have read a few books about them. Whereas The Beatles were seen as lovable, the Stones were the devil incarnate and always in the news for the wrong reasons. So, there's something of a nostalgia trip going on.

I first remember them in 1964 when I was twelve and how different they looked. But it was the outrage of my parents generation and older that struck me the most. The mother of a friend of mine was almost foaming at the mouth in anger about them and how they should be locked up. She was not alone.

I liked the way Booth wove his story culminating in the Altamont disaster at the end of 1969, but introducing a history of the band's progression from the early 60's with more emphasis on Brian Jones than the usual offerings. I also liked the fact that he introduced Shirley Arnold's musings (as a fan) into the story.

Annie's review is very good. However, the idolisation / stereotyping of black musicians is understandable when looked at in the context of where blacks were in the 60's. They were mostly a distinct underclass and many of them in the Deep South were still struggling to get the vote. It was the `British Invasion' of the 60's that created an understanding of the Blues for many American kids who were oblivious to some great musicians who had provided the ideas that helped create rock music. As Keith Richards once said "I stole every lick I ever learned from Chuck Berry". Add to that BB King, Muddy Waters et al and the reader may better understand where Booth was coming from in bigging them up.

A very enjoyable read and my favourite book on the Stones.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures a time, with verve 10 Jan. 2013
By Annie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Let us start by saying I was a very young child during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but like many people from my generation, was always enamoured by the sounds of the 1960s, particularly The Rolling Stones. I first read this in the 1980s and it was read, lent to friends and then re-read until it fell apart.

What I like? It feels like you are reading a letter from the frontier of youth culture during a particular heady time in the Twentieth Century. It has not been doctored to suit 21st Century sensibilities and all the stronger for it. For example, the reader gets to fully understand to what extent bands like The Rolling Stones were seen to be saviours and spokespeople for a new movement and a new way of life. Also, you will notice the idolisation of black artists / musicians, which at times, to a 21st Century reader, verges on stereotype.

It is beautifully written. You are THERE - no really! From the descriptions of living with the Stones (going out for dinner etc) to standing at the side of the stage watching them perform, to noticing someone at the airport - Stanley Booth captures it all.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys excellent, honest writing and has an interest in this period of history. If you are a Rolling Stones fan it is required reading, if you are not, you will still enjoy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable and very interesting but a bit frustrating when the Hollies are said to be from Liverpool (a bit of an anorak). Read more
Published 4 months ago by GSM
2.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what it says on the tin
Very slow read, mostly due to a lot of irrelevant content about the author's own life and not being related to the Stones at all most of the time. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Arthur
1.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography?
I'm finding it extremely difficult to get through this book. To me it seems like Stanley Booth's autobiography with a few anecdotes about The Rolling Stones thrown in to spice it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paul Cosgrove
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read
You get a real feeling of being part of that '69 tour. The description of Altamont is excellent. A must read for anyone wanting to know what the Stones were really like in their... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andrew Fletcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Not great
Too hard to read. I've seen Stanley Booth in documentaries and I can imagine him saying the words as i'm reading them. So's been a boring story.
Published 22 months ago by Ev_Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars A must
One of THE best Stones books. Written from the inside of the legendary 1969 ('Get Yer Ya-Ya' s Out') tour - with access that would be unimaginable today. Read more
Published on 13 Feb. 2013 by Buck Dharma
5.0 out of 5 stars The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones
Bought as a present. He really like the book, he had never heard of it before. Arrived on date predicted.
Published on 21 Jan. 2013 by Mrs. C. Connolly
3.0 out of 5 stars overpraised
I must admit to being surprised at the degree of praise being lavished on this book including that it is the greatest book ever written on rock and roll and the best book ever... Read more
Published on 15 Jan. 2013 by Hugh Crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars A true rolling stones compendium
This book, and Keith Richards' own biography cover everything about the Stones you need to know and more. It was completely engrossing.
Published on 8 Aug. 2012 by markba
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