Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 120-125,000 words
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One of the original “tycoons” of rock and roll’s 1960s golden age, Andrew Loog Oldham has taken to writing memoirs in his later life. His previous offerings are Stoned and 2Stoned. Oldham currently splits his time between his wife’s hometown of Bogota, Columbia and Vancouver, BC, Canada.
“At the age of 19, Andrew Loog Oldham discovered the Rolling Stones and became their first manager and producer. One of the Sixties’ original tycoons of teen, Oldham absorbed the art of the hustle firsthand from such mentors as Brian Epstein, Albert Grossman, Don Arden, and Phil Spector.”
They weren’t the only act he worked with, but Andrew Loog Oldham’s name will forever be associated with the Rolling Stones and, despite Stone Free not being about the band he “discovered” and helped usher onto the world stage, Stones fans will still find plenty of discussion about Mick and the boys here. However, these mentions are incidental and mostly told as examples illustrating the focus of Oldham’s reminiscing, which is about what he calls “the hustlers” of the music business.
The hustlers (or pimpresario, to use the term Oldham coined) are managers, promoters, label owners, and others who through their hustle drag their acts into the spotlight for fame and (at least for somebody) fortune. Hustle in this sense is both a positive (they’re driven and have single-minded focus on their goals) and negative, with a bit of P.T Barnum con in much of what they do. Stone Free isn’t a book for everyone, but for those interested in the personalities and history of the music business, especially that of the 60s (and I’m definitely in that target audience), this is a book that should hit your sweet spot.
Contains some adult language.
No significant issues
Rating: **** Four stars