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Music

Mick Jagger's long lost "masterpiece" memoir

@josephtaysom

A memoir by Mick Jagger is an item every music lover would take great pleasure in devouring. While fans have been calling for the reveal all book for years, it almost became a reality before publishers had other ideas, and The Rolling Stones lead singer later disavowed the project.

It was 1981 when Jagger decided to undertake the project and lift the lid on what life is truly like in the most notorious band in the world. After writing 75,000 words, the publishers pulled a dramatic U-turn before it was due to be released.

Assumedly, the reason why they thought the memoir was unfit for public consumption was the possible legal trouble that his anecdotes could land them in, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the version of Jagger that he presented was far too tame from the image that springs to mind of the singer, and it didn’t fit their agenda.

One of the few people who has read the book is publisher John Blake, who in 2014 was handed “a pristine typescript Mick had written”. Overawed at what he read, Blake then contacted The Stones’ manager, Joyce Smyth, who told him Jagger had “no memory” of writing the book and had no wishes for it to be released.

According to Blake, the life that Jagger portrayed wasn’t a rockstar in the fast lane, but “a horse-riding country squire”. He also described the book as “a little masterpiece”. Detailing further, Blake added that “a publisher rejected the manuscript because it was light on sex and drugs. In the early 1980s shock and awe was a vital part of any successful autobiography”.

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Seemingly, Jagger created a memoir that defied the genre’s norms and didn’t exaggerate his antics but downplayed them. Instead, he opened up the curtain behind what his existence was actually like rather than creating a cartoonish reality. Blake further described it as a “perfectly preserved time capsule written when the Stones had produced all their great music but still burnt with the passion and fire of youth and idealism”.

Jagger almost agreed to release the project on the strict condition that it also featured a foreword which explains that he’s now a different person to the one who wrote it. However, when Blake “tried to force a decision, the steel gates changed shut” and releasing the book has never been discussed since.

Thankfully, in 2017, Blake received permission to share two stories from the autobiography. He revealed Jagger bought his Stargroves mansion while high on acid, and also the singer once punched a misbehaving horse on the rural property.

It’s unlikely that the frontman will have a change of heart and decide to release it in his lifetime, but stranger things have happened. Seemingly, the project showcases a different side to his personality from our assumptions about him, and he wants to keep the mystery alive by maintaining a level of privacy.