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The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  1,477 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Stanley Booth, a member of the Rolling Stones' inner circle, met the band just a few months before Brian Jones drowned in a swimming pool in 1968. He lived with them throughout their 1969 American tour, staying up all night together listening to blues, talking about music, ingesting drugs, and consorting with groupies. His thrilling account culminates with their final conc ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1984)
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Brian
Feb 21, 2009 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliantly constructed, explosive, masterful imagery...the best book on rock and roll I have ever read, and I have read far too many books on rock and roll. Covering the Stones at their peak, the chapters alternate and tell two stories in one: the odd chapters build up to Altamont, and the even chapters build up to the death of Brian Jones. The book didn't come out until 1984, and by that point, the culture had so irrevocably changed (and the rebellious relevance of the Rolling Stones)that this ...more
Ethan Russell
Oct 25, 2012 Ethan Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is not, nor will there ever be, another book on The Rolling Stones that you can read five or even ten times and be rewarded, every time. I know whereof I speak.

Ethan Russell

posted: 10/25/2012
Ben Winch
Jul 20, 2012 Ben Winch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Reading about the Stones makes me feel like the hero of the French comedy Brice de Nice, a 30-something surfer who hangs around his waveless bay on the Mediterranean watching Point Break and waiting for the perfect swell. Watching whoever is the latest craze on MTV doesn't help either; the man-made swells that power those 'stars' are less awe-inspiring than sad, conjuring visions of a time when things were different, picking away at the wound. What the Stones did was to ride an uncontrollable wa ...more
Tim Niland
Mar 26, 2015 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Author Stanley Booth had an opportunity that a writer would never have has before or since, a chance to be part of the Rolling Stones as they toured the United States successfully in 1969 and then crashed and burned at the infamous Altamont Festival. Booth chronicles everything from the ever present drugs to groupies, managers and hangers on. He does stall the narrative on a few occasions to talk about his own problems of getting his book deal and advance, but for the most part stays on topic. H ...more
Robert Morrow
Mar 01, 2013 Robert Morrow rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author dominates the book so much you learn very little about the Rolling Stones that you couldn't read in a gossip column. His version of the history of The Stones focuses more on drugs and women than the music, a choice that may sell the book to the public but is hardly a fair assessment of The Stones' contribution to musical history. We hear Mr. Booth whine about his contract, bitch about his life situation and about how many joints he lit, but very little about the subjects of the story. ...more
Dante
Jul 23, 2012 Dante rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Music fans (esp. Stones fans)
I had the good fortune of finding this paperback in the Used Books for Sale section of the Evanston Public Library, shortly after getting my first-ever root canal at my dentist, whose office is across the street from the library. I paid a whopping 25¢ (maybe 50¢ - not much, in any case...) for it, and in terms of cost/benefit analysis, it might be the best book I've ever paid for. No less an authority than Peter Guralnick -- who wrote the definitive (two-part) biography of Elvis Presley (Last Tr ...more
Aberjhani
Jan 05, 2012 Aberjhani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On Stanley Booth: Rolling with the Stones on Waves of the Times


This is less a formal review of Stanley Booth’s now-classic book, The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones, than it is a statement of appreciation for the same. In fact, I can state at this time that my biggest criticism of the title, or at least of the edition I own, is that it lacks an index. Having become the modern essential reference text on the Rolling Stones that it is, a reader can only hope that someone plans to publish an
...more
Joe fortune
Feb 01, 2008 Joe fortune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of debauchary, writers, obsessed fans
Recommended to Joe by: a good friend
Stanley Booth's writing is fascinatingly poetic, yet well researched, journalistic.
This is the type of journalism that people like Hunter S. Thompson subscribed to, but most professors used to frown upon. I refer to the kind where the author becomes part of the subject and really can't say he's objective.
You might not need to be a fan of the band to enjoy it, but if you are then there's nothing better. The portions about Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Gram Parsons(not a Stone) are great.
I
...more
Mark Warren
Booth's stories about being on the road with Stones in the 60's and especially during the 69 tour were great. This book however was very frustrating at times. The author opens each chapter with a selection (usually long) from an historical piece of literature that doesn't seem to have any relevance to the Stones or their tour. Additionally the author jumps back and forth from chapter to chapter between the 69 tour and previous tours without giving any indication of the year which made it confusi ...more
Steve
Jan 18, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Rolling Stones are very press savvy and have been for most of their career. Jagger especially, has always been good at managing his public persona and giving the media titillation rather than depth. Even co-joined twin Keef often remarks in interviews that Mick is a very guarded and calculating guy, even to those close to him. Keith himself is another master of the machine and has helped build his reputation as much on his well-documented brushes with the law and pushing the boundaries of se ...more
Tony Funches
Apr 03, 2015 Tony Funches rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not ONLY Excellent, but also qualifies as an Anthropological Chronicle ... albeit a tad WARPED, which is NOTHING compared to the '72 STP Bacchanalia we all endured & participated in ... myself, Stanley & Ethan; a writer, a photographer & myself as a "Minister Without Portfolio" ...
ANY "Fan" of Modern Music has to add this book to their library. I have.
Connie Curtis
Way, way too long! He talked about the same things over and over again. How much drugs, sex, and rock and roll do you need to repeat to get the message across? Not a whole lot of new info, really, but hardcore Stones fans might like it.
Jack Wolfe
Apr 19, 2016 Jack Wolfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never have I read anything that makes rock and roll sound so SHITTY. "Please Kill Me" has the squalor of "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones," but at least it has a sense of achievement-- you read it and think, "Well, I guess the drugs were worth it, cuz we got 'Marquee Moon'." What do we get out of the violence and debauchery and death that haunt every page of Booth's book? Hard to say. The joy I feel listening to "Between the Buttons" is nowhere to be found here. Instead, we have paragr ...more
Michael Shilling
Jun 01, 2007 Michael Shilling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the poetry of bad behavior
You don't have to give a shit about the Stones to enjoy this book, which is about the Stones the same way that Moby-Dick is about a fish.
Donna Rosser
Interesting story behind the tour leading up to Altamont. Many times the story was much more about the author than the band.
Jeff
In the mid-'60s Stanley Booth wrote apparently on spec a sensitively descriptive, narrative piece on Furry Lewis, the one-legged Memphis bluesman, a piece that was not published until Playboy brought it out in 1970 -- but it seems by then to have been enough to secure Booth an agent, a 1968 assignment to go to London and cover the Rolling Stones, and ultimately, a book-contract to tour with the Stones in the aftermath of the death of their bandmate, Brian Jones, and the free July 5, 1969 Hyde Pa ...more
Tim
May 27, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music

If I had to name a ten-year period of music that is not only my personal favorite, but that I believe has had the greatest impact on modern Western music, it would without question be 1965-1975. The beginning of that time period seems to have marked a quickening of the momentum of the 60's, which was reflected in the music. The Beatles engaged in more complex musical creativity with "Rubber Soul" in 1965, as did Bob Dylan with his rock trilogy of "Bringing It all Back Home", "Highway 61 Revisit
...more
Simon Reid
Apr 21, 2013 Simon Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vaguely commissioned to write a book about the Stones, Stanley Booth joined them on their late 1969 US tour, which culminated in the infamous free Altamont Speedway concert. The resulting work alternates chapter-by-chapter between two timelines, one a very good history of the Stones' rise to fame in the 60s, the other the more detailed and first-hand '69 tour diary.

With the benefit of hindsight, Booth is aware of all of that (perhaps overstated) Altamont 'end of an era' baggage, and smartly uses
...more
Paul Wilner
Dec 10, 2007 Paul Wilner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chilling account of Altamont, etc. from one who was there, and everywhere.
Among its (many) other virtues, the book is in part an ode to the legacy of Brian Jones, the tragic protagonist whose travails caused Booth to cross paths with the Stones in the first place; suitably, it ends at his gravesite. In between, it pays deserved tribute to the intrepid spirit of Keith Richards, the late Gram Parsons and too many more to tell.
It is up there with the masterpieces of nonfiction of its period - Mail
...more
Alan
Aug 10, 2012 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very possibly the strongest rock bio I've read. But it's not truly a member of the genre. Instead, Booth's book is a very personal account of a brief period with The Rolling Stones - the period in which they were simultaneously hitting their peak and facing a tragic, defining note in their career.

Booth's personal account serves to calibrate the experience in your mind. By understanding him, you have a frame of reference to know The Rolling Stones and their context better than would have been pos
...more
Nigel Thomas
May 19, 2016 Nigel Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in the '60s and the Stones as they approach their peak. Then watch the Gimme Shelter film which is almost the film of the book
During the period up until '69 which is where Booth takes us, the Stones had an aura of danger -wether real or manufactured - which Booth expertly captures as they approach the apocalypse nowness that was Altamont . The lead up to this free concert is paralleled with both their rise throughout the sixties and the fall of one of
...more
Peter Landau
Nov 27, 2013 Peter Landau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stanley Booth has the good (mis?) fortune of following the Rolling Stones on their American tour of 1969, which ended in Altamont. He captures the tedium of hotel rooms and entourages and jet planes and drugs and liquor and groupies with the momentary release of live music -- good, bad and often riotous. He contrasts that with a history of the Rolling Stones birth to the end of Brian Jones' life, and in-between his personal travelogue writing the book and growing up. We know where this is going ...more
Douglas Mackenzie
Fascinating biopic of the Stones rise, climaxing with the Hells Angels fuelled disastrous concert at Altamont in '69. 4.5 stars.

an exhilirating ride through the stones highs and lows in their most exciting period.
the stones strut through the 60's like cowboys through the wild west, on an exhilarating tour of concerts, mobbed by fans, girls and drugs on tap. along the way they have some truly sad moments.. the death of Brian Jones always in the wings.
Altamont didnt beat the stones however.. on
...more
Greta
Mar 15, 2008 Greta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I liked this book, but feel that it is over rated. This may be due my expectations which hoped for more insights into the stones themselves. This book read more like a concert reporter to me, and I expected more.The author's use of heavy and intellectually artistic quotes from music and literature to start off chapters annoyed me. I felt that they were meaningful moments that attempted to flesh out and even mask some surface and boring material in the chapters. Take these interesting quotes out. ...more
Joab Jackson
May 29, 2016 Joab Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A frightened-sounding Mick Jagger imploring the crowd at Altamont to "keep it together" could, be quite literally, the moment the 1960s ended. This moment probably isn't significant to you unless you (still) are a card-carrying member of the Rock n' Roll Nation. If you are though, this is a fascinating and well-observed account, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes chilling.
Solar
Mar 15, 2015 Solar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Тази книга притежава оригинална структура, която и придава смисъл, много повече от просто биографичния такъв. Запознаваме се и с автора Стенли Бут, който е битник и приятел на групата. В книгата му историята на Ролинг Стоунс се преплита с неговата и така получаваме няколко истории, които страхотно рисуват вярата и после загубата й през 60-те
Jan C
Nov 29, 2015 Jan C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did thoroughly enjoy listening to this book. It says that it originally came out in 1984. I don't recall hearing anything about it then. I had already seen the Altamont movie by that time.

Basically this is life on the road with the Rolling Stones in the late '60s. They were always deemed rougher than the Beatles, although some of them do seem to come from better families. I've always found it hard to believe that Jagger went to London School of Economics.

My problem with this book is the way i
...more
Nicholas Veeser
Nov 30, 2014 Nicholas Veeser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got really into the Stones for a minute there. Better late than never. This was my first rock biography, but it was a interesting read. A little slow at times, but then I guess that's why they did't release it for 20 years.
Stoiph
Aug 10, 2010 Stoiph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i gotta return this to jeremy


"We knew in our cribs something was wrong. Now some of us by acting together were beginning to defy the forces that made war and to get away with it."

This ruled. Not a typical bio in that it was more about Stanley Booth's experience with the band and commented on things going on in his own life, too. He didn't step outside of it. So many awesome passages detailing his personal thoughts (and realizations) on the music just while watching them play that i had to re-rea
...more
Al Maki
Jan 03, 2016 Al Maki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-story
If you want to make sense of the '60s then the Stones are a good lens to look through. They were there at the beginning, they understood the source of the music and unlike so many others they didn't drop by the wayside. Of the books about the Stones this one is more useful than most. I suspect all of them are unreliable but this one has some virtues. He spent time with them so the stories are first hand; Booth is able to write for himself and so it has not been filtered through a co-author. He e ...more
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Please see the following web page for an excellent article on the life & career of Stanley Booth: http://swampland.com/articles/view/ti...
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