Jul 6, 2014
If you’re going to write a book about the Rolling Stones at this point in their history, you damn well better have something unique to say. Because if you search “The Rolling Stones” on Amazon.com under “Books,” it brings back – I’m not kidding – 17,812 results. There are many duplicates, of course, and a lot of books that only mention the Stones, but still!
ROBERT GREENFIELD podcast excerpt: "The Rolling Stones get to this awful discotheque in Brighton (UK) called The Big Apple for a concert. We go downstairs to go into the dressing room. It's very much 'we' -- I'm traveling with the band, I'm very much one of them, in my mind at least -- and the dressing room is locked. You would think that this is not a major issue. But when Keith Richards is involved -- and he's got his young child, his son, with him, and Marlon is coughing -- it immediately became a Dickensian drama of major proportions! Keith is spouting off about 'The nerve of these people! How dare they! The Stones don't stand around!' They send somebody to find the promoter, get the keys. Nothing is happening. The next thing I know, Keith and I are working on the door. He's got a knife -- Keith almost always has a knife -- and we take the hinges off the door, throw on the ground, and the band walks in. Two minutes later, the promoter walks in. This is rock 'n' roll vandalism -- nobody knows what happened! 'The door was lying there when we arrived!'"
Oh, and in my humble opinion, after Keith Richards wrote his own memoir, Life, I believed you could pretty much set aside almost everything that came before it. Not only was Keith’s voice compelling and authoritative, it was an absolutely fascinating read from a voice you never thought you’d hear. All of which brings us to former Rolling Stone magazine associate editor in London, Robert Greenfield. He wrote two previous books about the world’s most dangerous band, 1974’s well-received S.T.P.: A Journey through America with The Rolling Stones and 2006’s not-as-well reviewed Exile on Main St.: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones. So Greenfield – and rock fans – could have gone either way with his latest up-close-and-personal report, Ain’t It Time We Said Goodbye: The Rolling Stones on the Road to Exile. I am happy to report that the author has added several new colors to what we know of the band coming in the aftermath of Life. Goodbye is a cheeky behind-the-scenes report on what the band imagined to be its last tour of England before relocating to tax exile in France. Greenfield tells the story in two voices – the 25-year-old, sole journalist on the road with the band, as well as the 67-year-old eligible for Social Security that he is now. If you love the Stones, you’ll find this tale irresistible.
More Mr. Media interviews with Rolling Stone writers and photographers: Anthony DeCurtis Ken Regan Kevin Avery (Paul Nelson) Ben Fong-Torres Parke Puterbaugh Nick Tosches David Wild Roger Black Rob Tannenbaum