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The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones
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The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,032 ratings  ·  58 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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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
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
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
This is the most important book about The Rolling Stones ever published.

It covers a period of time when the band was still relevant and the 1960s were reeling to an end.
Stanley Booth is a truly great scribe and his profiles of personalities -those famous and those obscure- are incomparable.
Jonathan Mitchell
Generally considered *the* Stones book to buy if you're gonna confine yourself to just one, "True Adventures" is alternately fascinating and wretched. For every indispensable nugget that Stanley Booth offers (interviewing the parents of Brian Jones after Jones's untimely death; Ian Stewart's astute, painfully frank observation that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were forced to mold the Stones into a different band after founding member Jones's departure; a detailed account of the band's recordin ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Dante rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Brent Wilson
This book could have been so much better if the author had had his act together when he was traveling with the Stones. Of course that would have been impossible given the lifestyle and situation.

The result is a text far too focused on the author, and not enough on the Stones. I left with favorable impressions of most of them, but still wishing I knew them better. Shame.
Michael Shilling
Jun 01, 2007 Michael Shilling rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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

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
Simon Reid
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
Paul Wilner
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
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
Peter Landau
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
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
Nicholas Veeser
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.
Robert Morrow
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
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
Joe fortune
Feb 01, 2008 Joe fortune rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Al Maki
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
Portrays in bittersweet, Chandleresque style the death of the 60's, the tragedy of Brian Jones and the power of the Rolling Stones just hitting their peak. The sense of impending doom as it crawls towards Altamont is constant and chilling and the Coda provides the inevitable, but no less true for it, grumble about the current dissolution of music and how we once believed that it could make a difference.
Stanley Booth is a true artist, in the heroic sense, I thank him for writing it and I wish I'd
Winter Rose
A Great Ride With The Stones!
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
Tina Lender
Wish I could have finished it, because I think there may have been a good payoff, but the book was too excruciatingly boring to continue. I despise when authors or filmmakers spend chunks of time describing how difficult it was to get the funding/approval/whatever to make the bio or documentary. Don't make yourself the story. There was a good turn of phrase or two, here and there, but not enough to get through the long passages of what the author ate, whose car he rode in here or there, etc. etc ...more
Patrick Wensink
It's my favorite music bio ever and in the running for favorite nonfiction book. This was my second reading and it held up great. A four-headed beast of a rock book, detailing the Rolling Stones' history, how the band and it's lifestyle led to the demise of founder Brian Jones, the death of the 60s with the band's Altamont concert and the author ruining his marriage and picking up a heroin habit in the process.
If you know the film Cocksucker blues, this is a written version of it. But it is more. Booth's presence in the book is strong and while the idea of going throught Stones's history in every other chapter sometimes does not work very well, you get the feeling that this is not like any other tourbook. Well, the merciless details of the Altamont alone makes this stand out from others.
A sad farewell to the 60s, a journal of the Stones 1969 US Tour and the story of Brian Jones and his band, written by somone who was a true believer as well as an insider. Entertaining and very moving.
I recommend it to all the 'Flower Power Week at Bloomingdales' kids who have NO IDEA just how free and crazy that era was. Their parents won't ever tell them, that's for sure!
You don't have to be a huge fan of the Rolling Stones to find this a superbly well-written, incredible piece of music journalism -- and a great book, period.

The period covered (1969-1970, ending with Altamont) is indisputably fascinating -- so good fodder for a story -- but this wouldn't be fantastic if it weren't for Stanley Booth's sane telling of it.
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Please see the following web page for an excellent article on the life & career of Stanley Booth:
More about Stanley Booth...
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