Review

Mick Jagger

by Philip Norman

When Michael Philip Jagger made his entrance into the world in Dartford, England, in 1943, his parents, Joe and Eva Jagger, surely had no idea of the magnitude of fame, notoriety and wealth their little boy would one day possess. By the time the rest of us became acquainted with Mick, however, there were definite signs of things to come.

In MICK JAGGER, Philip Norman begins with a bit of background on Mick, then known as Mike, his childhood, his parents and brother, and his early friendship with fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards. We follow him to the London School of Economics where he likely gained the financial acumen that has allowed him to accumulate and manage the vast fortune he possesses today and to ensure the financial success of The Rolling Stones.

"Author Philip Norman helps us sort fact from fiction and tells us when the two merge to create the larger-than-life persona of Mick Jagger. We find details here that are omitted from other published works on Mick, and we eat them up with the eagerness of starving natives."

We soon catapult into the days preceding the runaway fame of The Rolling Stones and follow Mick through the ups and downs that have made up his life. The expulsion of Brian Jones from the band and the mystery of his subsequent death, the drug busts and raids, the competition with the Beatles, and Mick's exodus from England to France for tax purposes are fodder for our perusal in MICK JAGGER.

We also get the inside scoop on some of Mick's many relationship with women. Chrissie Shrimpton, Marianne Faithfull, Marsha Hunt, Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall have all figured significantly in his life, and here we learn more about the unique mechanics of each relationship. The gratuitous sex with an ever-changing cast of characters that is part of Mick's bad boy persona and a detriment to maintaining serious relationships are also investigated. 

Most fascinating of all are the frequent glimpses into what makes a man like Mick tick. The things that drive, motivate and excite him are all explored in a way that gives us a well-rounded picture of the intriguing man who is revered by some and reviled by others.

Of course, no biography would be complete without an examination of the deep and tumultuous relationship between "The Glimmer Twins," Mick and Keith. While the friendship has taken several hits throughout the years, the strange bond the two have had survived mostly intact and makes for interesting reading.

Last, but not least, the stories behind the songs, facts regarding controversial concerts like Hyde Park and Altamont, tales from Mick's big screen appearances, and details about his relationship with his manager from the early days, Andrew Loog Oldham, are included in this highly detailed portrait.

Author Philip Norman helps us sort fact from fiction and tells us when the two merge to create the larger-than-life persona of Mick Jagger. We find details here that are omitted from other published works on Mick, and we eat them up with the eagerness of starving natives. No matter how much we may protest, the truth is that we can't get enough of Mick Jagger, the man other men want to be and, God knows, millions of women want to be with.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on October 23, 2012

Mick Jagger
by Philip Norman