I'm a lifelong Rolling Stones fan and grew up with them as a firsthand experience. I've listened to every single, album and bootleg and read every book ever written about the band. This is the best book - by a mile - about the formation and early years of the Stones, written by someone who was there. Phelge also turns out to be a skilled writer, so you get the best of both worlds - facts and enjoyable reading. If you have even a passing interest in the Stones, you need this book.
Full disclosure - I wrote about the book when it came out (I bought my copy, though); you can read those thoughts here: http://drbristol.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/nankering-again-with-the-rolling-stones/
Brian Jones - may the good lord shine a light on you, warm like the evening sun.
Without doubt the most enjoyable book I've read about The Rolling Stones. Well written, funny, concise, honest, and warm-hearted account of the early days. Makes the reader really feel like he is there with the band along with the author. Thanks, Mr. Phelge, for taking the time to write this excellent book.
This is a fabulous book! It's so well written that at some times, I actually felt like I was living in that flat at Edith Grove with Mick and Keith and "Mr. Jimmy". Especially when Phelge relates some of the pranks that he and the early Stones pulled on their neighbors (and each other). This book is a great read for anyone who finds the Rolling Stones to be at all interesting, and would like to know more about them and how they came to be the way they are today. I couldn't put it down! I couldn't wait to find out what they would do next! BTW, this is pretty much an early history of the boys before they really became famous. So if you want to read about the free concert at Altamont Raceway in 1969 and stuff like that, this is not the book for that. If that's what you're hoping for, try "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones" by Stanley Booth, another fabulous book about Mick and the boys written about the period when they actually had become quite famous.
Stanley Boothe's book about the Stones 1969 American Tour has gotta be my favorite Stones book, a classic of rock n roll books. However, Nankering With the Stones is a BLAST to read! it is extremely well-written, every anecdote is great, the author LIVED with Keith, Brian, and Mick just before they became famous. This book captures the excitement of the Stones earliest gigs and is full of hilarious observations and antics!!! If you love the Stones, you will love this book. For readers interested in a biography from childhood to fame, this ain't it, but it's better than a bio, and is sort of a book equivalent of a TV show like the Real World, or much more appropo, Survivor! James Phelge, THANK YOU!!!
This is an autobiographical reminiscence by the man who lived in the same dingy rooms as Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones as they successfully clawed their way to the big time, and who then found himself drifting further from the center of the storm as it swirled wider and more fiercely. This is not just another fluffed-up, hanger-on-tells-his-five-stories Stones books: it's refreshingly free of the usual self-aggrandizement seeping out from these projects; it doesn't insult anyone's intelligence by trying to infuse the goings-on with metaphysical significance and pathos; and it's a devastatingly funny read to boot. A valuable and unsentimental portrait of the very last days of the Stones' existence as normal anonymous folk.
This book is precious and priceless! Older Stones fans (like me), especially those familiar with Sixties London and the districts where The Stones lived in 1963, will delight in the easily readable and so evidently true stories of The Stones' very early days when Mick, Keith and Brian were more than teenagers but not quite mature adults. Phelge has covered many of the bases and truly gives you a taste of the environment that nurtured The Stones. You arre literally in the room with them, watching The Stones struggle hard, indeed, almost desperately for a commercial break, and against incredible odds in a still conservative post-war England. The book is chock-full of marvellous observations, wonderful insights, hilariously humorous incidents, and pathos. It clearly reflects Phelge's superb capabilities as a raconteur (and one not given to exaggeration) who tracked the evolution of The Stones even as he lived with Mick, Keith and Brian 40 years ago in their squalid, disorganized flat where cleaning up for the lads simply meant throwing crockery, cutlery and utensils out of the kitchen window into the communal garden below. The book is filled with gems: Mick's yearning and wistfulness for a load of money as he lolls aimlessly in a freezing cold, food-free flat with his fellow Stones; chucking Ian Stewart out of the band because he did not look "with-it" enough for Andrew Loog Oldham, the first manager of The Stones along with Eric Easton; the unbelievably funny and ridiculous "Toilet Door Fiasco" with Keith and Phelge who drove their neighbors mad every day for months on end with their antics and purloining; the "Immaculate Dollies" with their [nice figures]; the "nankering" (face-making and squawking) and pranks that went with their looning around generally; the list is endless. In addition, Phelge paints excellent portraits of The Stones' character and temperament. One sees the competitiveness and tension between Brian on the one hand, and Mick-and-Keith on the other hand, all starting very early on in their association. (They would carry this around with them for years until they ditched Brian with the worst of feelings in 1969.) Younger Stones fans need to read this book in order to understand who The Stones were and where they came from, and how they started up the ladder that took them to stardom at the very top of the world where they have stayed since 1965. My younger office colleagues who like The Stones have absolutely no idea about any of this history and it is a shocking gap in their knowledge. Overall, an amazing, informative, excellent book. At least 5 stars! JS
This book is great. If you want a light read about the beginning year of the Rolling Stones....this is your book. I found myself laughing out loud over the antics of the author and his roommates: Keith, Brian and Mick. There are so many Stones books that are serious and heavy, this book is lighthearted and funny. They lived in poverty and terrorized the other tenants that lived in their building. It was refreshing to read.
I bought this because of the enthusiastic other Amazon reviews and my faith was well-rewarded. This is a well-paced chirpy personal memoir written by a "character" with a strong knack for anecdotes. Essentially, it is about "when i lived in a crappy flat for a year with the Rolling Stones when we were 20"!
You've seen the black and white footage from CS Blues of Keith chucking a tv out a window of a motel. Well .... this outlines all sorts of other hi-jinx but also gives some insight into the relationship dynamics of the complex Brian Jones too amidst the playfully retold eyewitness account anecdotes.