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In 1963, Andrew Loog Oldham was an ultra-hip and precocious hustler of genius on the London scene, with a keen eye for the next look and a willingness to gamble on it. He was all of nineteen when Brian Epstein too him on to be the Beatles' London press agent, and already regarded as someone who could make things happen. But it was when he went to hear a relatively unknown blues combo perform that Oldham found his true calling. "I met the Rollin' Stones," he recalls simply, "and said hello to the rest of my life."
Stoned is a memoir of a London exploding out of post-War ambition and innocence. British war babies had absorbed American music-Elvis, Buddy Holly, Little Richard-the American movie, and James Dean, and from them synthesized a sound and look of their own. The time was ripe for brash entrepreneurs like Oldham, and they seized it. Oldham knew at a glance that the Stones were the future. He took on more than a band; he took on an irresistible force that, with his vision, would become the Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band of All Time.
In addition to indelible portraits of Mick Jagger and crew, Stoned regales the reader with candid memories of John Lennon ("Being with Lennon was a verbal exposition of the Russian Roulette sequence in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter), Bob Dylan ("He wasn't an act, even if he was. He had the magic and words of life already"), and Marianne Faithfull-whom Oldham also created. Joined by contemporaries such as Pete Townshend, Vidal Sassoon, Diana Vreeland, Nik Cohn, and others who counted, Oldham gives us a privileged, brilliantly clear-eyed, and unmistakably authentic view back to where, for generations of music fans, things first started rolling. [via]