32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Book,
This review is from: The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones (Paperback)
Talk about a masterpiece; this is one! Stanley Booth was a struggling rock journalist who managed, through persistent effort and good timing, to land a regular slot on the 1969 "Let It Bleed" tour of the Rolling Stones across these United States. What was supposed to be a simple, intelligent chronicle of a rock band's work became a chilling time capsule of the end of an era, and possibly, of a dream as well, when the band's disastrous appearance at the Altamont concert rang down the curtain on the Sixties hippie dream of world peace and brotherhood. This is not just a book detailing the Stones' many misadventures with the law, with drugs, with reckless groupies and sycophants and promoters, as you might expect; nor it is simply a grisly blow-by-blow of the tragic events of that December night in the northern California wilderness, when a vicious pack of Hells' Angels stabbed a young concertgoer to death, literally a few feet from where Mick Jagger sang "Gimme Shelter" and "Sympathy for the Devil" as Keith Richards and the other Stones churned out those classic songs behind him. You will find those contents in here, but they are only a fraction of the treasures this book contains. (Booth freely admits that his womanizing during this tour cost him his marriage, and he is as unsparing in his critiques of the Stones, whom he truly loves, as he is towards his own failings.) You can almost see, hear, feel the chaos, the majesty, the confusion, and the power of the events he's describing; each character comes wonderfully to life, through his use of interwoven, somewhat kaleidoscopic scene changes, flashbacks and flash-forwards, stream of consciousness and grimly bare-boned narrative. Brilliant, hilarious, loathsome, mesmerizing, harrowing, glorious...many such adjectives could apply to the events and personalities depicted in this epic book of rock excess and human misadventure. I'd like to write another review, just so I could give it five more reviews - it's that good!