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‘The Spells of Kenneth Anger’: An interview on Film and Magick with the Magus of American Cinema

Bilingual? No problems if you’re not, the important sections here are Kenneth Anger’s, where the Magus of American Cinema tells his story from Fireworks to Lucifer Rising, via Bobby Beausoleil, Mick Jagger and Aleister Crowley, in this rare interview with French television from 2003.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones hanging out at Brian Jones’ apartment 1967

The Rolling Stones hanging out at Brian Jones’ Courtfield Road apartment for an Italian news item, in January 1967. Jones tickles the ivories, Jagger smokes, and Richard lies in bed strumming his guitar. The Stones were about to release Between the Buttons, their 5th U.K. and 7th U.S. studio album, and the last produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. As was the practice back then, the U.S. version differed from the U.K. release with tracks replaced with the singles “Ruby Tuesday”, and “Let’s Spend the Night Together”. The album was a glorious pop masterpiece, and contains the first hint of psychedelia (“Yesterday’s Papers”), which The Stones would focus on with the next album Their Satanic Majesties Request, and Keith Richard’s first lead vocal on “Something Happened to Me Yesterday”.

Though this clip has been over-dubbed, it doesn’t take away from its cultural importance, as it captures The Stones in a relaxed mood at the start of what would be one of their more difficult and controversial years. Within the year, Jagger and Richard were arrested, tried and sent to prison for drug possession. Jones suffered a similar fate, though escaped jail. Where their experience strengthened the bond between Jagger and Richard, it left the fragile Jones broken. Interesting then, to see from this clip, that Jones was the main focus and appeared to be the group’s leader, what a difference 12 months would make.

With thanks to Simon Wells!

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Mr. and Mrs. Clark without Percy: The Fashions of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell

Ossie Clark was a master cutter, who could run his hands over a figure and cut a dress to fit perfectly. He liked his dresses to lie next to the skin, nothing in between, capturing the wearer’s form, beauty and shape. Clark’s inspiration was dance, his idol was Nijinsky, and the movement, flow, and freedom of dance inspired his clothes to enhance the female form. At the height of his success, in the early 1970s, his clothes were worn by some of the world’s most beautiful women - Ali MacGraw, Patti Boyd, Gala Mitchell, Twiggy and Elizabeth Taylor. His leather jackets were worn by Keith Richard, while he designed a jump suit for Mick Jagger to wear during The Stones Exile in Main Street Tour. His favorite model, the beautiful Gala Mitchell said in 1971:

“Usually I lack confidence, but when I wear Ossie’s designs I know I’m beautiful and sexy. His clothes are like a play. I act to suit the mood of the dress. Fashion now is very sophisticated - as always Ossie had that feeling first.”

The magic of Clark’s fashion was the cut, the shape, the heart-tugging style, and the beautiful prints designed by wife Celia Birtwell. Together, Ossie and Celia brought a fabulous, ethereal beauty to fashion in the late 1960s, early 1970s, which has often been copied, but rarely equalled.

Here’s a small selection of Ossie and Celia’s fashions from German TV, circa 1969. Painting above David Hockney’s Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy (1971).

More of the Clark’s beautiful fashions, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Gimme Shelter’ outtake: The Grateful Dead, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts

In this footage shot by the Maysles brothers on December 6, 1969 for the film Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead wait for a helicopter on a pier in San Francisco to take them to the Altamont Speedway.

Jagger, in not so sympathetic devil-mode, foppishly preens and sashays like rock royalty, much to Jerry Garcia’s amusement, while attempting to force an unyielding Charlie Watts to bestow a kiss upon a groupie’s forehead. As Jagger continues to egg Watts on, Charlie responds with the classy retort “Love is much more of a deeper thing than that.. it is not flippant, to be thrown away on celluloid.”

Later that day, the whip would come down.

This footage never appeared in the final cut of Gimme Shelter. It did eventually turn up on DVD as part of the Get Yer Ya Ya Yas Out boxset.

Michael Azerrad has written an insightful piece on The Gimme Shelter outtakes on his blog.

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The Rolling Stones, live at the Marquee Club, 1971
10:27 am


Mick Jagger
The Rolling Stones

Well, it’s certainly an improvement over some of the other outfits he wore that decade…

Although there is much debate about when the Rolling Stones “peaked” or what their last decent album was—I still loved Goat’s Head Soup, thought It’s Only Rock & Roll was okay and felt the same about Black & Blue. I drew the line at Some Girls. You may feel differently—having said that, music aside, what about Mick’s clothes from about 1970 onward?

His fashions started going downhill a lot earlier than the music did.

For a guy who dressed so damned cool in the 60s, by the time this short live show was shot at London’s famed Marquee Club in 1971, Jagger’s much-vaunted fashion sense had clearly turned to shite. The guy who looked so spooky and satanic in the Uncle Sam top hat and cape get-up during the 1969 tour was now wearing a glittery mid-drift “top” with a sideways-cocked, multi-colored silk baseball cap???

Imagine what the rest of them thought when they realized they had to go onstage with this git dressed like this… It’s a great set, Mick Jagger just looks like a bit of a dork here.

Live With Me, Dead Flowers, I Got The Blues, Let It Rock, Midnight Rambler, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Bitch, Brown Sugar.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup on OGWT, 1973
12:06 pm


Mick Jagger
Rolling Stones

You don’t see lots of Rolling Stones TV performances from the Goats Head Soup album, but here are the boys doing “Silver Train” and “Dancing With Mr. D” on The Old Grey Whistle Test, along with quite a long Mick Jagger interview.

Originally telecast on October 2, 1973.

After the jump: A TV commercial for Goats Head Soup, complete with Wolfman Jack voice-over.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Simon Wells: ‘The Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust’

The recent News of the World ‘phone hacking scandal wasn’t the first time the red top used illicit means to obtain stories. Back in the swinging sixties, the paper regularly bartered with the police for information to use in its pages. 

One of the News of the World’s tip-offs to the cops led to the most infamous drugs trial of the twentieth century, where Mick Jagger, Keith Richard of The Rolling Stones, and art dealer Robert Fraser were imprisoned in an apparent attempt to destroy the band’s corrupting influence over the nation’s youth.

For the first time, the true story behind the arrests and trial is revealed by Simon Wells in his excellent book Butterfly on a Wheel: The Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust. Wells’ previous work includes books on The Beatles and The Stones, British Cinema and most recently, a powerful and disturbing biography of Charles Manson. In an exclusive interview with Dangerous Minds, Wells explained his interest in The Stones drugs bust:

‘As a student of the 1960s it was perhaps inevitable that I would collide with the whole Redlands’ issue at some point. Probably like anyone with a passing interest in the Stones, I first knew about it mainly from legend - the “Mars Bar”, the fur rug, the “Butterfly On A Wheel” quote etc. However, like most of the events connected to the 1960s I was aware that there had to be a back story, and not what had been passed down into myth. This story proved to be no exception, and hopefully the facts are as sensational (if not more) than what has passed into mythology. Additionally, as a Sussexboy - I was familiar with the physical landscape of the story- so that was also attractive to me as well.’

Just after eight o’clock, on the evening of February 12 1967, the West Sussex police arrived at Keith Richards’ home, Redlands. Inside, Keith and his guests - including Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, the gallery owner Robert Fraser, and “Acid King” David Schneiderman - shared in the quiet warmth of a day taking LSD. Relaxed, they listened to music, oblivious to the police gathering outside. The first intimation something was about to happen came when a face appeared, pressed against the window.

It must be a fan. Who else could it be? But Keith noticed it was a “little old lady”. Strange kind of fan. If we ignore her. She’ll go away.

Then it came, a loud, urgent banging on the front door. Robert Fraser quipped, “Don’t answer. It must be tradesmen. Gentlemen ring up first.” Marianne Faithfull whispered, “If we don’t make any noise, if we’re all really quiet, they’ll go away.” But they didn’t.

When Richards opened the door, he was confronted by 18 police officers led by Police Chief Inspector Gordon Dinely, who presented Richards with a warrant to “search the premises and the persons in them, under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1965.”

This then was the start to the infamous trial of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Robert Fraser.
More on Simon Wells ‘The Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Mick Jagger: His first appearance on TV at 15

Mick Jagger makes his TV debut with some sensible shoes.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Michael Fish: Apocalyptic fashion from 1969

Fashion designer Michael Fish created some of the most memorable outfits of the 1960s and 1970s, most famously the “men’s dress” as worn by Mick Jagger and David Bowie. His designs were also graced the films Modesty Blaise and Performance.

Here is Mr Fish as he introduces a brief taster of his 1969 collection, from German TV’s Aktuell.

With thanks to Maria Salavessa Hormigo Guimil

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Backstage footage of the Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum, VA, 1981

Video filmed backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, from the Hampton Coliseum, Virginia, in 1981.

Alway wanted to know about the backstage antics???
Here’s your chance to be with the Stones before they go on stage.
I guess the routine of touring has gotten to the point of ...well this!
Warming the crowd before they go on is George Thorogood & the Destroyers, on stage in the background.

Your Backstage pass says “ALL ACCESS”.
Please follow through this door and onto your left!

Taken from the December 18 performance, this was broadcast as The World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll Party on pay-per-view and in closed circuit cinemas - the first use of pay-per-view for a music event.

It’s interesting footage, inasmuch as it belies the backstage tales of excess most associated with the “World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll” band.

With thanks to Vince Giracello

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Mick Jagger turns 68 today
06:16 pm


Mick Jagger

A very happy birthday to Sir Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger, who was born 68 years ago today, July 26, 1943.

God bless ‘im! What a freak of nature he truly is.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Marsha Hunt: Brown Sugar

Although a famous Vogue cover shot by Patrick Lichfield of Marsha Hunt, naked, with a huge Afro, as a London cast member of Hair is an indisputably and quintessentially iconic image of the 1960s, Hunt remains under the radar of most music fans. For one (quite good) reason, there are exactly zero CDs of her music on the market currently and there is nothing on iTunes either. This is too bad, because she made some worthwhile music during her career. However, some pretty great clips of her live on European TV have been popping up on YouTube and many of her better known singles have made it to some audio blogs, as well, so there’s plenty for me to illustrate here what still makes Hunt the object of cult fascination. Eventually, I have no doubt, she’ll be rediscovered by music nerds.

Hunt, an insanely gorgeous, highly intellectual 19-year-old model, originally from Philly, who went to Berkeley (and marched with Jerry Rubin!), moved to swinging London in 1966. She married Mike Ratledge of the Soft Machine so she could stay in the country (and is still married to him to this day, although they have not been together for decades) and sang back-up vocals for blues great Alexis Korner. She became a cast member of Hair, having but two lines as “Dionne” in the West End production.

Below, a clip of Marsha Hunt performing her cover version of Dr. John’s Walk on Gilded Splinters:

Next up, my favorite Marsha Hunt track (Oh No! Not) The Beast Day. To my ears this sounds way, way, way ahead if its time, reminding me (a lot) of Demon Days by the Gorillaz or mid-career Talking Heads. Turn this up LOUD, you’ll be really glad you did:

More Marsha Hunt after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Romy Haag: David Bowie’s transsexual muse

Glamorous Romy Haag is one of the most famous transsexuals in Europe and a cabaret performer of some renown. She is also well-known as a former lover and muse of David Bowie during his Berlin years (and indeed was the apparent reason for his move to the city in 1976). Her influence on his work is clearly evident in his “Boys Keep Swinging” video, where Bowie appears in triplicate as a chorus of drag queens.

Haag was born in 1951 and early in her life, the issue of gender reassignment was discussed. She developed breasts naturally. Haag left her home at the age of 13, working as a clown, then a trapeze artist with the Circus Strassburger before becoming a female impersonator in Paris. At this time, Haag began living as a woman.

In 1974, she opened what would become Germany’s most popular nightclub during the disco-era at the age of 23, “Chez Romy Haag.” Celebrity guests included Bowie and Iggy Pop, who were regulars, Bryan Ferry, Freddie Mercury and Lou Reed. Mick Jagger was another patron and had a brief affair with Haag.

Haag began her musical career in 1977. In 1983, when she was in her 30s she had a sex change and in 1999, published an autobiography with the great title, A Woman And Then Some. She’s still an honored performer and going strong at the age of 60. Follow Romy Haag on Twitter.

Below, Romy Haag discusses her relationship with David Bowie.

Romy Haag in 1978 performing her disco single “Superparadise” on the Musikladen TV show. Compare this to “Boys Keep Swinging.” He was basically just copping her act!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Awesome People Hanging Out Together

The site Awesome People Hanging Out Together has rather fine photographs of celebrities from times gone-by just hanging out together.

Here you’ll find William Burroughs having dinner with Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger; Grace Slick and Janis Joplin playing-up for the camera; and the usual suspects backstage at concerts. There are also a couple of fun video clips, including a chat-show meeting between Alfred Hitchcock and James Brown. It’s a bit like Us or Hello! Magazine with a degree in Pop Culture, and you can see more here.

Grace Slick, Janis Joplin
Jack Nicholson, Lauren Bacall, Warren Beatty

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Cal Schenkel’s candid snapshots of Zappa, Beefheart and Jagger in 1968

Frank Zappa and various GTOs
Say what you will about Facebook but the fact that I can befriend life long heroes such as Zappa/Beefheart LP sleeve designer / visual muse Cal Schenkel and get a glimpse of his middle-of-it-all perspective is a wonderful by-product of selling out my privacy to gawd-knows who, really. Cal was gracious and generous enough to allow me to share these marvelous snapshots he took in 1968 at Zappa’s Laurel Canyon compound, known as The Log Cabin which once stood at the corner of Canyons Laurel and Lookout. The basement jam session here was also well documented in John French’s recent book as well as Bill Harkleroad’s Lunar Notes, which I quote here in order to give a small sense of what we’re looking at:

It turns out Frank was trying to put together this Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus thing, which The Stones later put together without him. I don’t know how many Rolling Stones were there at the time, but Mick Jagger certainly was, as were The Who and Marianne Faithfull. She was so ripped she was drooling - but what a babe - I was star struck! It was funny because Jagger really didn’t mean a whole lot to me at that point. I’d played all their tunes in various bands. To me he really wasn’t a signer - he was a “star”. But when I actually met him, all I can remember thinking is, “How could you be a star? You’re too little!” ....I ended up in this jam session in a circle of people about six or seven feet apart and we’re playing Be-Bop-a-Lu-La”! Done was to my immediate left wearing his big madhatter hat and to his immediate left was Mick Jagger and right around the circle all these people were playing, Frank included. So I’m jamming with these guys almost too nervous to be able to move or breathe. I started to ease up after I noticed that Jagger seemed to be equally intimidated. Then we went into Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ & Tumblin’” and a couple of blues things and that was it. It was such a strange experience - somehow just out of nowhere I’m down in Hollywood meeting Frank Zappa and this whole entourage of famous people like Jagger, Marianne Faithful [sic] and Pete Townshend. What an audition! There I was 19 years old and I’m very taken with these big important people.

Don Van Vliet and Mick Jagger
Marianne Faithfull
FZ and Miss Christine
More photos and a link to Cal’s online shop after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
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