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Stoned Paperback – December 15, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A sterling work of brutal youth and brash vulgarity... a heady mix of innocence and glamour, uppers and downers, flashiness and outrage, insouciance and deceit.” –Time Out

“A dazzling overview of early 60s London life, Stoned is vastly aided by the testimony of everyone from Pete Townshend to Jimmy Greaves.” –G Magazine

“A fascinating and original perspective on that heady moment when a buttoned-up Britain finally lost its innocence and…
youth culture – was born.” —Mail on Sunday

“The most flash personality British pop ever had, the most anarchic and obsessive and imaginative hustler of all.” —Nik Cohn

From the Inside Flap

"People say I made The Stones. I didn't. They were there already. They only wanted exploiting. They were all bad boys when I found them. I just brought out the worst in them." - Andrew Loog Oldham

Andrew Loog Oldham was nineteen years old when he discovered an unknown band called The Rolling Stones. His radical vision transformed them from a starving south London blues combo to the Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band That Ever Drew Breath. Ultra-hip, flash, brash and schooled in style by Mary Quant, he was a hustler of genius, addicted to scandal, notoriety and innovation. Brian Epstein hired him to break The Beatles, but it was his thrilling work with The Stones that turned him into a legend and introduced sex and hype to an austere, conservative industry. A ferociously brilliant, near-mythical svengali to many, a manipulative upper-class thug to others, he quickly established himself as the most mercurial and anarchic impresario of the decade.

Stoned is Andrew Loog Oldham's astonishing story told in his own words and those of his contemporaries captured in seventy original conversations. Mary Quant, Pete Townshend, Vidal Sassoon, Nik Cohn, George Melly, and Lionel Bart are among the colourful cast reassembled for his historic look at one of our era's most influential and elusive figures. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (December 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099284677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099284673
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Callaway on May 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
I rented this book from my local library after taking notice of the photo on the cover. I love reading biographies and reading about history (and learning how it shapes todays world), and this book seemed to promise both. The format of the book is in a sort of diary/interview format, with paragraphs from other people interjected into Andrew's story. I thought this would disrupt the flow of the book, but it really turned out to work great and it was a smooth, interesting read. It takes until the last fourth or so of the book before he discovers the Rolling Stones, but his life leading up to that point is really the main focus, and what a life. He shows us England when rock and roll started to take shape, he talks about the stars that just started out that are huge now, and he gives us a behind-the-scenes look of the work it took to make it big there, which he did all by the time he was 20 years old. There are some black and white photos through out the book, and it does end pretty abruptly(once it gets to the point that the stones make it big), so I imagine there's another book out there that picks up where this one left off. Other than that, if you're a fan of 60's culture, early rock 'n' roll, and rebelious youth, this is a book for you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph F. Panzica on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First person account of the career of one who everyone agrees thrived at making a shocking impression. . . . And he was an expert at that well before he found people like Mick and Keith who were only too willing and able to help him act out on a global scale (while pocketing wads and wads of hard earned cash.) Oldham also slyly interweaves brief narratives from intimates, accomplices, and fellow travelers to make the book an easy and enjoyable read. If you are a fan of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, you probably would value Andrew's slant of how those groups changed the music industry with the help of hustlers like the protagonist.

He's cleaned up from drugs and alcohol, but other than that he's still an irrepressible promoter/scene stealer who recently wrangled a deal to make a mini-series out of this book and it's companion volume. This book only takes him up to the Rolling Stones' at the brink of superstardom.

(I had to read this book after I spent the summer listening to his morning DJ gig in Little Steven's Underground Radio on Sirius/XM.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jersey Kid on April 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
If I say it's not the book I expected, then it's incumbent on me to state what I did expect. Alright; I thought this would be the story of Andrew Loog Oldham (ALO as he lists himself) and The Rolling Stones. Based on listening to the man's show on Little Steven's Underground Garage, I anticipated an enjoyable - though perhaps neither accurate nor truthful - story about ALO's marketing of the band. A bit gossipy and cynical; written in an "I, Me, Mine" style that oozed sangfroid.

Instead, I found myself reading an oral history of the late 50s and early 60s in London. While told in great part by ALO; not surprising, after all it is his biography, his narrative is accompanied and augmented and, more often than not, corroborated and amplified upon by many other of the personages without whom Swingin' London would not have been. Some of these recollections are unique to this book; others are lifted from books, articles, interviews. This leads to an amazingly rich and deep account of the development of the London scene by many legends in their own right such as Mary Quant, Robert Wace, Christopher Stamp, Lionel Bart and Pete Townshend, as well as the critics, managers and promoters.

The first half of the book is ALO's version of his life in a middle class though somewhat cash-strapped single parent household. From an early age he is attracted to and entranced by show business, especially the semi-synthetic world of film and music. In fact, his stories often contain references to movie direction and editing such as "as this reel came to an end...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By NJseabreeze on August 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To Say Andrew Loog Oldham is "one of a kind" is far too little praise for a man who help create the image and market the world's greatest rock n roll band (of which I have been a fan for 45 years years).ALO was brash, bold and truly original, making it up as he went along to incredible success at age 19 (no it's not a typo). He created the school of "fake it til you make it" and was wildly successful in doing so. His writing is fun, hip and I especially liked the way he weaves in varied music titles or song refrains in his sentences as well as his sartorial references. Seems he as much as anyone made London gound zero for the swingin' British music scene. If you are a music lover of the mid-60's and fan of the British invasion, you'll be entertained. I can still see his name on the burgundy record labels of the Stones' London records that I spun and spun so long ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Terralavoro on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
When this book came out I was so disappointed that it was released "over there" - England. Fortunately, it became available in the US and even through our library system. For those not educated with the man ALO_ he's the one who broke all the rules - made the Stones bad boys, suggested Ian Stewart "leave the band", Had Keith Richards drop the "s" (at least for a while),Got Jagger/Richard to start writing their own material ALO also co-owned ran Immediate Records, had a side project the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra and Chorus, discovered Marriane Faithful........ This book is told by many people connected with ALO during the period the book covers up till 1964 Autumn... What I like is reading about the talent, craziness mod mod world of ALO! This guy lived a great life in the fast lane and is amazingly still around to tell about it. Imagine being too wild for even the Rolling Stones! Although Brian Jones was "fired" asked to leave whatever - he wasnt showing up for recording sessions and when he did he passed out.
"Stoned" gives a good look at Swinging London during the early 60's -so its a "Must Have",
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