Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Stanley Booth nailed it. A very enjoyable read.
on 2 February 2013
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.