Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue
By Marc Spitz
Gotham, Hardcover, 9781592406555, 320pp.
Publication Date: September 8, 2011
As the Rolling Stones' legendary front man Mick Jagger remains an enigma. He hasn't given an in-depth interview for a decade and a half and never commented on his friend and partner, Keith Richard's often critical biography. Drawing on firsthand recollections from rockers, filmmakers, writers, radicals, and other artists who have been transformed by Mick Jagger's work, acclaimed music journalist Marc Spitz has created a unique examination of the Jagger legacy, debunking long held myths and restoring his status as a complicated artist. Combining biography with cultural history, "Jagger" unfolds like a captivating documentary, a series of episodes tracing the icon's rise from his childhood in middle-class postwar London to his status as a jet-setting knight.
A culturally astute, often funny, and painstakingly researched read, "Jagger" offers a far richer portrait than biographies published previously. The book reveals much about his relationships (with Marianne Faithfull and ex-wives Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall); his complex, creative partnership with Keith Richards; his friends like John Lennon and David Bowie; and enemies like Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger. Spitz goes even deeper, exploring Jagger's many roles: an authentic soul man; powerful social commentator; sexual liberator; would-be movie star; and yes, sometimes, a shrewd businessman with an enthusiasm for much younger women. The myth of Mick is examined and rebooted for the twenty-first century.