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Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The acclaimed, bestselling rock-and-roll biographer delivers the first complete, unexpurgated history of the world’s greatest band.

The saga of the Rolling Stones is the central epic in rock mythology. From their debut as the intermission band at London’s Marquee Club in 1962 through their latest record—setting Bridges to Babylon world tour, the Rolling Stones have defined
Paperback, 624 pages
Published September 3rd 2002 by Broadway (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 532)
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Kat Hellchester
well i got lots of new information, although i knew some of it from keith's autobiography. also i found some mistakes (read lies), but as miss pallenberg says, it's all mythology now. the problem is that davies wants to book to be readeble and he makes some things up (at least i guess because i doubt he knows what people are thinking about at the moment and other private stuff).
overall it's good to read this but i wouldn't take all so seriously.
Tom Gase
Stephen Davis is a hit-or-miss type writer for me where some of his books are very, very good and some are pretty terrible. Thankfully, this one was one of his best, probably his best besides Hammer of the Gods.
Old Gods Almost Dead is a biography on the Rolling Stones, one of the best, if not the best, bands of all time. Davis spends a lot of time on the Stones' earlier years especially from 1962 to 1975, which is what I wanted to know about. I wanted to know some little things about the Stones
The book was quite detailed up until the late 70's. Though, one of my pet peeves was the author's insistence (in the early portion of the book) of using lyrics to pepper some of the stories, e.g.: 'Marianne Faithful turned to Mick and smiled sweetly and said, 'don't worry.'' (Lyrics from 'She Smiled Sweetly). That irritated me to no end, because it seemed like the author was taking these flowery liberties. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved how Keith told Babyface off, 'After working w ...more
Stephen Davis's "Old Gods Almost Dead" is a terrific chronicle of the Stones' inception through their Bridges to Babylon tour in the late 1990s.

This book led me from a being casual Rolling Stones fan to appreciating their sizable catalog. The book explained the influence of Brian Jones in the group. Probably due to his early exit, I knew only of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as the leaders of the group. Piano player Ian Stewart's contribution is covered as well.

Band members often had some surp
Mar 16, 2012 Caio rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Caio by: all stones/rock'n'roll fans
Mr. Davis did a good job, rich in detail and confirmed no bit is made up sensasionalistic bullshit by using endless quotes from interviews with each of the Stones and the other people involved in each episode. Besides telling everything you could possibly want to know about the Stones' career up until the point the book was written, it includes a pretty good description of the dawn of British blues in the beginning. Incomparably better than Tony Shanchez's book, which is the only other book on t ...more
Professional music critics usually drain the life out of their subjects, but in this case Davis does a good job covering the entire career of the Rolling Stones. Many biographies on this subject tend to peter out after the death of Brian Jones and the Altamont concert, but Davis covers the last few decades very well. With the changes in musical tastes of the 1980's, Mick Jagger wanted a more "modern" sound, while Keith Richards wanted to stay close to the band's roots. It led to solo recordings ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Rock n Roll, man!
Recommended to Joe by: Brian Jones and Mick Taylor
The first two-thirds are very entertaining and informative, quite a few things I didn't know, and the middle parts should be familiar to anyone who has seen "Gimme Shelter" or "C***s***er Blues". However, the last third is a bit "People Magazine"-ish, marriages and money problems as well as bad music. Still, lots of great dish from Marianne and Anita and Stu. Not earth-shaking, but a good look at part of what makes the Stones tick, without too much "poor Brian" hand wringing or anti-drug sermons ...more
Another book about the nasty ass rolling Stones. Background on the music was what I was looking for, and it's there. Background on the debauchery is there in spades and diamonds.
Probably the most authoritative biography ever written on the Stones. It's a very interesting read, especially the parts involving Brian Jones, who co-founded the Stones in 1962 and later drowned under mysterious circumstances in 1969. I never realized the Stone's lyrics were so raunchy. I never read a book before that used the word "cunnilingus" so often.
I now know so much more than I ever dreamed I could about the Rolling Stones. Stephen Davis is an incredible researcher. I was not a fan of the song-by-song descriptions of every album released, but that's just probably because I don't own or remember most of these albums. But I certainly want to build our LP collection up with Stones now. Goodness.
Susan Barnaby
Dec 20, 2007 Susan Barnaby rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: schmeh
The first third of this book is great. Maybe even the first half. But like the band itself, it becomes only intermittently interesting after the Altamont tale is told. OK OK OK there were a couple of super-high notes in their career, yes yes. I agree. But the story thins out. Read it because you love the Stones and you've got some reading time.
Compared to other Rock figures like Jim Morrison Chuck Negron, Kurt Cobain and Nikki Sixx, The Rolling Stones are lame. The most "Rock and Roll" type thing they did was repeatedly sleep with each others wives. I mean, after the 20th time that happens you want to burn this book. Maybe they just couldn't remember their good stories.
Jonny Buck
Outstanding book, you learned about everyones background even Bryon Jones's. What type of music each member really liked to play, what they really thought about Mick Taylor and Ron Wood, and what they REALLY thought about Mr. Jones's death, to who slept with who while they were "married" to other people.
Glorianne Roccanova
reading 40 years when their celebrating their 50th...fucking bravo....I love the stones.....and everybook I read about them I learn something else.....I have even had to correct information....I liked this book cuz it was dishy...I love all the different point of views.....
Jim Cheng
A tad too pleased with its own rock 'n' rollishness. An entertaining read although it contains little that diehards don't already know. Or those who read Keith's "Life." The brief rundowns of tracks on various albums are useful and sometimes illuminating.
Apr 12, 2007 Terry rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any music fan
A comprehensive history of the Rolling Stones. Well written, and full of great anecdotes and Stones trivia.

While reading the book I listened to the Rolling Stones discography as if it were a soundtrack to the book. Great fun.
Oct 20, 2008 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stones fans
If you like the Stones or reading about the begining of the British invasion this book is riveting! These folks are just the most... I don't know what other word to use than blessed. Their lives are magic.
Obsessed on this book for the past two weeks. A fabulously entertaining, enlightening, and educational romp through four decades of rock history, avant garde culture, and pop drama. Loved it.
Perhaps the best rock and roll biography I have ever read. The book was detailed, informative, and written in a style that made the pages seem to fly by. A very enjoyable read.
The segues required in a book of this magnitude which are full of insight aren't enough. They happen too rarely. And so this ends up being a fairly surface level book.
Chad Parsons
Loved every minute of it. The book was a great mix of juicy stories, without being too crude. My love for this amazing band only grew stronger with this read.
Clayton Michaels
Probably the best book about the band as a whole that I've ever read, though Victor Bockris's book about Keith is still my favorite Stones book.
Read this for research. Kind of made me detest the stones (not their music, but the men themselves), but it was a damn good read.
It took forever for me to get through this one, but it was great!!
Kirk Bower
Best stones' bio I have read to date.
Jun 03, 2015 Jeff is currently reading it
good detail

slow read
Christie jordan
A little long but great!
Awesome book!!!!
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American music journalist and historian
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