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BOOK – MICK – The Wild Life & Mad Genius Of Mick Jagger – by Christopher Anderson

| 1 November 2012 | Reply

The Robson Press through NewSouth Books
Released: August 2012
Rrp: AUD$34.99  NZ$44.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Christopher Anderson starts his treatise on the life and times of rock n’ roll’s greatest living frontman with the tale of the day Jagger was made a knight of the realm by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.  Painting him from the outset as a vainglorious man with an ego the size of Christmas, chapter one seemingly sets a tone for the book of sensationalism – focussing more of the girls than the music, the arrogance than the family man.

It’s not wide of the mark, but Anderson, a veteran not only of similar volumes on stars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson, but also many a book on the Royal Family and their accompanying scandals, knows both his subject and his audience, and writes cleverly and engagingly enough to keep the salaciousness titillating and not gratuitous, whilst ensuring that most of the important facts are all included.

Omitted, amongst other things, are details such as filming the video clip for One Hit (To The Body), at the height of Jagger’s feud with guitarist Keith Richards, in which their dislike manifests on screen as they jostle and push each other around.

MICK turns out to be an easy, fast read thanks to the author’s skilful prose – there’s no bombarding of facts and figures:  this isn’t meant to be a transpotter’s reference tome!

Tracking Jagger’s life from childhood through forming the R & B band that would change the face of rock n’ roll AND the world, the constant stream of women and drugs (and, occasionally, men, it would seem), the picture is painted of a rampant egotist and control freak with a razor sharp business mind and a brilliant self-promoter.  A man who perhaps feeds off the company and adoration of others, for whom solitude is a nightmare.

The women are a focal point of course – including many famous names, and details of his elaborate seductions may seem shocking to some, especially when he beds eighteen year old Mackenzie Phillips (daughter of Mama’s & The Papa’s John Phillips, he had already had an affair with her step mother) in 1978, sweeping her up in his arms and saying “I’ve been waiting for this since you were ten.”

It’s also very telling when he impresses his long suffering partner Jerry Hall by seeing a sex therapist to address his cheating – until he seduced the therapist as well.  “I think he is like a sex vampire”, the women later assessed, “being with all these different people makes him feel young and gives him all this energy.”

There’s a happy ending to all these shenanigans – Anderson is pretty sure Mick is happily monogamous with current partner of several years, L’Wren Scott, and with The Rolling Stones 50th anniversary celebrations this year Jagger has much to focus his energies on and much to feel content about.

Sensationalist MICK may seem at first, but it rings true – if anyone in the past fifty years has lived a life of non stop sensationalism and debauchery, it’s Sir Mick Jagger!

Category: Book Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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