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A Rolling Stone’s trippy ‘Last Supper’: That time Brian Jones thought he was a goat and ate himself

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In 1968 the artist Brion Gysin invited Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones to record a group of traditional Jbala Sufi trance musicians—better known as the Master Musicians—perform at the village of Jajouka in northern Morocco.

Gysin had long been familiar with the Master Musicians having been introduced to them and “Joujouka” music by writer Paul Bowles in 1950. Gysin thought the music of “the people of Pan” would be of some interest to Jones. Jones agreed. He traveled with Gysin to Jajouka, accompanied by his then girlfriend Suki Potier, recording engineer George Chkiantz, and painter/folklorist Mohamed Hamri.

Morocco was a favorite holiday destination for the Rolling Stones as it offered easy access to marijuana. Keith Richards later described the experience as a fantasy where they were “transported” and…

You could be Sinbad the Sailor, One Thousand and One Nights.

Jones used a Uher recorder to capture the songs performed by the Master Musicians. These recordings included songs for Jajouka’s “most important religious holiday festival, Aid el Kbir” when a young boy is dressed as Bou Jeloud the Goat God in the “skin of a freshly slaughtered goat.” The boy then runs around the village as the music becomes increasingly frenzied. Gysin claimed this was a ritual to protect the villagers’ health. He said the festival harked back to an ancient pre-Roman festival Lupercalia, held in mid-February as a cleansing and fertility ritual to ward off evil spirits.
 
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As Gysin later told Stanley Booth (and a very drunk William Burroughs) in a rambling tale in 1970—as recounted Booth’s book The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones—Jones and his companions were guests at traditional meal in the village, when Jones had an epiphanic vision—or more likely he tripped out—and believed himself to be a goat.

‘I would really like to talk about Joujouka and what that music is and what Brian got on tape and how it ever happened that he got there. How does he [Jones] appear in your book?’

‘Brian? As—well—sort of—as a little goat god, I suppose.’

‘I have a funny tale which I’ll tell you about just that. A very funny thing happened up there. The setting was extremely theatrical in that we were sitting under a porch of a house made of wattles and mud. Very comfortable place, cushions were laid around like a little theatre, like the box of an old-fashioned theatre, and a performance was going on in the courtyard. And at one moment—dinner obviously had to be somewhere in the offing, like about an hour away, everybody was beginning to think about food—and we had these acetylene lamps, giving a great very theatrical glow to the whole scene, rather like limelight used to be, a greenish sort of tone.’

[Okay Brion we get the picture it was very very very very very very theatrical…now get on with the story….]

‘And the most beautiful goat that anybody had ever seen—pure white!—was suddenly led right across the scene, between Brian and Suki and Hamri and me [...] so quickly that for a moment hardly anybody realized at all what was happening, until Brian leapt to his feet, and he said, “That’s me!” and was pulled down and sort of subsided, and the music went on, and it went on for a few minutes like that, and moments lengthened into an hour, or two hours, which can sometimes be three hours or four hours or five hours—-’

‘Long as it takes to kill a goat,’ Burroughs said.

‘—and we were absolutely ravenous, when Brian realized he was eating the same white goat.’

‘How did he take that?’

‘He said, “It’s like Communion.”’

‘“This is my body,’” I [Booth] said. ‘But Jesus didn’t eat himself, he fed the others.’

‘If he’d been sensible, he’d have eaten Judas,’ Burroughs said. ‘I’m gonna eat Graham Greene next time I see him. Gulp!’

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.10.2016
09:49 am
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Pre-Velvet Underground Nico with a young Jimmy Page and Brian Jones
12.15.2014
03:32 pm
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Before she became the Teutonic ice queen chanteuse of the Velvet Underground, Nico, via her then boyfriend Rolling Stone Brian Jones, was introduced to Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and signed to his Immediate Records label, where a young Jimmy Page was employed as house producer, session musician and A&R scout. (Page’s brief career as a session musician saw him adding his distinctive guitar sounds to recordings by The Who, The Kinks, PJ Proby, Lulu, Jackie DeShannon, Van Morrison and Them, Burt Bacharach, French singer Johnny Hallyday, Marianne Faithfull, Vashti Bunyan, Donovan and many others. It’s amusing to think of Jimmy Page being a part of Petula Clark’s “Downtown” single, but there he was. There are several CD compilations of Page’s early session work, probably the best is Hip Young Guitar Slinger.)

Page produced and played on Nico’s 1965 single for Immediate, a cover of Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’ ” which was backed by “The Last Mile,” a song composed by Page and Oldham. Jimmy Page plays a six-string in the song, while Brian Jones plays a twelve-string guitar.

A promotional film for “I’m Not Sayin’” was shot at the site of London’s West India Docks (now Canary Wharf) by Peter Whitehead.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.15.2014
03:32 pm
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Brian is my darling: Interviews with Brian Jones

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Here’s something from the Dangerous Minds’ archives. The original article contained a link to Charlie Is My Darling in its entirety. Unfortunately, it was removed from the web. I did manage to find this compilation of clips featuring Brian Jones excerpted from the movie. I thought you might appreciate them on the anniversary of his untimely death.

Produced by the The Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham and directed by Peter Whitehead Charlie Is My Darling documents the band’s 1965 two city tour of Ireland. A somewhat haphazard affair, the film is none-the-less a fascinating glimpse into the life of The Stones on the road, backstage, performing and getting drunk. It also includes some footage of fans rioting at London’s Royal Albert Hall which was later inserted at Oldham’s behest to make the movie more commercial.

Whitehead directed one of the seminal films about the swinging sixties, Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London, and the exhilarating documentary of the infamous beat poet gathering at Royal Albert Hall, Wholly Communion. After seeing Wholly Communion, Oldham picked Whitehead to direct a freewheeling film that would compete with the success of the Beatle movies. The result was something a bit darker and rougher than anything produced by the Beatles at the time.

Charlie Is My Darling was given its premiere at the Mannheim Film Festival in 1966 when Joseph von Sternberg was Director of the Festival. He said - “When all the other films at this festival are long forgotten, this film will still be watched - as a unique document of its times.”

Filmed over three days in Dublin and Belfast, the film captures the boys in all their pristine and unspoilt pagan energy and satanic glory - soon after the release of their first big single in America - the record which established them there - “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

The passionate stage performances are finally wrecked by fans getting on the stage - the boys have to flee for their lives over railway lines when they arrive in Belfast. Scenes in the dressing room are highlighted by Keith playing acoustic Blues guitar - showing what a master he was on the guitar, and how serious he had always been about Blues music. Interviews with Charlie and Bill are very revealing - but most poignant of all is the interview with Brian Jones in which he discusses his threatened future as a Rolling Stone. Speaking only of ‘time’ and ‘insecurity of his future as a Rolling Stone’, he seemed already unconsciously aware of his fate. Did he not deliberately bring it upon himself?

The film ends with the legendary scenes of Keith and Mick drunk in the hotel ballroom - Keith playing the piano (extremely well!) and Mick doing an accurate and subversive impersonation of Elvis.”

The rights to Charlie Is My Darling and its soundtrack became entangled in legal problems when Allen Klein took over management of The Stones. Klein had a rep for being difficult (which is putting it kindly) when it came to controlling the band’s assets. So the original cut of the film was never released on video. A DVD version was released in England with a soundtrack of generic instrumental pop as background music and is basically unwatchable.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.03.2012
07:37 pm
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The Rolling Stones hanging out at Brian Jones’ apartment 1967

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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
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03.05.2012
11:23 am
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Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?: That time the Rolling Stones got busted for drugs

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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 backstory, 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 Sussex boy - 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 of the infamous trial of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Robert Fraser.

It may seem we all know a small piece of this story, but in fact as Butterfly on a Wheel: The Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust shows, we’ve never seen the whole picture until now:

‘It was such a well-known story, I was amazed no one had written a book about it before. It’s one of the most incredible stories of the 20th-century and I couldn’t believe that it had been ignored - given that every other angle of the Stones in the 1960s had been thoroughly explored. Obviously, as I worked my way through the story I became aware of just how the mythology of the tale had been constructed over the years. For a decade awash with drugs, it was somewhat predictable that the events that night had been blown up to such a stratospheric level.’

Wells has written a 5 star book, which explains the full background story, bringing new information to the events surrounding the bust, with particular emphasis on the nefarious activities of the News of the World and a dodgy copper, Detective Sergeant Norman “Nobby” Pilcher.

‘I suppose it was predictable during the star-studded 1960s that London’s otherwise anonymous police force would create their own celebrity copper. In this case it was Detective Sergeant Norman Clement Pilcher,’ says Wells. ‘Norman or “Nobby” as he was known to his colleagues was quite a character, as was his insatiable desire to rise swiftly through the ranks of London’s police. Pilcher may well have had an agenda to curb the activities of London’s musicians, but my own take on him was that he knew the value a celebrity bust. While seemingly the majority of the capital’s youth were engaged in some form of narcotic use, Picher knew that busting a celebrity would raise his profile (and by association, his team) enormously.’
 
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Richard Hamilton’s portrait of Mick Jagger and Robert Fraser under arrest.
 
Pilcher waged a war on pop’s elite. During his time at the Drugs Squad, Pilcher was responsible for arresting Donovan, Brian Jones, John Lennon and George Harrison. Pilcher always got his man, by bringing along to any bust his own supply of evidence. He was lampooned as a rock groupie by underground magazine Oz, and John Lennon described him as ‘semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower’ in “I Am The Walrus.”

In our present world of anodyne music pumped out by record labels and TV talent shows as a soundtrack for malls, lifts, and supermarkets, it is hard to believe that once-upon-a-time, music, in particular pop music, was considered revolutionary and a very real threat to the established order. Think of this when imagining the world The Rolling Stones burst into back in 1963, as it was the Stones, their music and their alleged drug use that became the focus of British establishment’s ire.

‘As far as attitudes towards soft drug use were concerned,’ Simon explains, ‘I would say it was the most important moment of the 20th century. A massive watershed of opinion that for the first time pitched elements of the so-called “Establishment” against the rebellious young - best exemplified in the metaphor of The Rolling Stones. Obviously, once battle lines were drawn it was going to get messy. With the benefit of hindsight, the debate was far too premature – it was only 22 years since the end of WW2 – and obviously many in authority had seen active service and were aghast at the sight of these youngsters strutting their stuff unhindered. Many saw it as an affront.’

Unlike The Beatles, who played the game, and were considered cheeky and harmless, wore suits and smiled, The Stones were deemed dirty, surly, long-haired, and played Black music - R ‘n’ B, that inflamed their fans to riot. All of this wasn’t helped by manager Andrew Loog-Oldham statement if The Beatles were Christ, then The Stones were the Anti-Christ.

Things started to go wrong, after one of The Stones’ riotous gigs, where the famous five had been whisked away from the venue as quickly as possible, but without a toilet break. On the way home, they pulled into a service station, where Bill Wyman asked to use the gents toilet. The garage attendant didn’t like the look of Wyman and his long hair, nor his gurning friends in the back of the van, and refused the bass player access. Jagger and Brian Jones became involved, with Jagger saying he could piss anywhere, which the 3 of them duly did. The incident led to a trial and a fine and was the first hint that someone had The Stones in their sights. If not the Establishment, then rogue elements:

‘I was at pains to point out what really the “Establishment” consisted of during the mid-1960s, and how “they” sought to enact their revenge against Mick, Keith, and Brian. Ultimately, I don’t believe it was men in suits in Westminster discussing the Rolling Stones and plotting their downfall. It’s a hugely romantic image, but it is frankly ludicrous. In reality, there was a Labour government in power who - believe it or not - was attempting to understand the new movement, and equally, were to rationalize drug use through a sweeping review of the arcane narcotic laws that had been in place since the war.

‘However, there were other – less regulated - elements of the so-called establishment that were outraged at the antics by the nation’s youth as exemplified by their defacto leaders- pop groups. Obviously, with The Beatles still the nation’s favorites, The Rolling Stones were an obvious target for sections of the “moral majority” to vent their spleen on.  Predictably, it was the News Of The World who decided to infiltrate the Mick and Keith’s core circle and reveal their personal habits to their readership. The papers expose in turn gave the police carte blanch to raid members of the group. Soon, it was open season on musicians – but just not restricted to the UK, but elsewhere too. So the “Establishment” in a sense, yes, but not as many would like to believe.’

There was further rattling of teacups, when Richards purchased a 15th-century house, Redlands, in West Wittering, Sussex. The very thought that a working class guitar player could afford such a posh residence, curdled the milk on the breakfast tables of Middle England.

Add to this the shift in the news away from Wing Commanders and derring-do, to pop groups and hairstyles, saw a growing concern over the fall in the nation’s morals and its role models.

As The Beatles were unassailable, especially after Prime Minister Harold Wilson controversially honored them with MBEs in 1965, the press turned their eye to The Stones for any possible dirt.

Of particular interest was the rise in drug use amongst these young musicians. The News of the World set up a team of journalists to infiltrate The Stones’ circle and get the skinny on their drug use. One night, a journalist spoke with a drug-addled Brian Jones about his chemicals of choice. Thinking they had a major scoop, the paper ran the story. It was to prove a major mistake, as the News of the World couldn’t tell their pop stars apart, and believed they had caught Mick Jagger unawares, rather than Jones. When the paper published its story on Jagger and his alleged drug confession, the singer sued the paper. It led the tabloid to plan its revenge to discredit Jagger.
 
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  More on Simon Wells ‘The Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust’, after the jump…  

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.30.2011
08:53 pm
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Brian Jones interview 1965
07.05.2011
02:06 pm
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The final photo session of Brian Jones with The Rolling Stones.
 
There isn’t tons of footage of Brian Jones, founder of The Rolling Stones, speaking on camera, so this is a real treat. Usually it’s Mick Jagger who the reporters would direct the questions at (or Mick who would always answer, I suppose) but seldom have we seen Brian speak for such an extended period of time. (Mick must’ve been knackered?).

The interview took place in Montreal in 1965 and the interviewer wanted to know what the Stones thought of America. They tell him.
 

 
Via The Houndblog/Thank you Chris Campion!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.05.2011
02:06 pm
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John Lennon reads about Brian Jones death, 1969
08.12.2010
07:54 pm
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John Lennon reading about Brian Jones death. 1969.

Posted by Marc Campbell
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08.12.2010
07:54 pm
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Rare Stereo Mix Of The Rolling Stones ‘Satisfaction’
07.25.2010
12:37 am
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Many of The Rolling Stones’ pre-1966 hits were never released in stereo. For example Satisfaction, although originally recorded in stereo, was released only in monophonic sound.

In the mid-80s a true stereo version of Satisfaction appeared on Japanese and German editions of Hot Rocks 1964-67, which are long out of print. They’re available from collectors, but expensive.
 
In this true stereo version of Satisfaction, you can hear instruments that were mostly inaudible on the mono version. Brian Jones acoustic guitar (left channel) and Jack Nitzsche’s piano are now much more present, particularly Brian’s guitar.

We’re so accustomed to hearing the mono mix, that at first, the stereo mix seems too airy, the stereo spread too wide, the result slightly flabby and lacking punch. We miss the stripped down, punky, intense edge of the mono version. But, after repeated listening, the stereo version yields its own charms, a different but satisfying (pun intended), experience.

If for no other reason than to hear Brian’s guitar with such clarity, the true stereo version of Satisfaction is a great discovery.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.25.2010
12:37 am
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Stones in the Park: The big-time rock era born in Hyde Park 41 years ago today

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After a couple of drug-bust-heavy years off the road, the Rolling Stones were at a few turning points as of July 5, 1969. Their back-to-basics Beggars Banquet album signaled the end of the rainbow dream of Their Satanic Majesties Request, and a return to a therapeutic blues mode that would last them long into the ‘70s. Most importantly, guitarist Mick Taylor of John Mayall’s Blues Breakers had replaced a drug-soaked Brian Jones, and Jones had been found drowned in the pool of his Sussex home two days before their previously booked free performance in Hyde Park. The Stones decide to go on with the show. As shown below, Britain’s leading independent Granada Television was there.

Granada put the biggest rock concert in England’s history to that point (250,000 people, with Woodstock planned for a month later) into context by chatting with the band, the fans and members of the amazingly efficient Kent chapter of the Hells Angels. Unfortunately, the Stones’ next huge concert would demonstrate that the Kent Angels neglected to exchange notes with their West Coast brothers about how to best secure a large crowd…
 
Please note: Live Video seemed to be the only free video site that’s hosting the full documentary. Unfortunately, the user experience after the jump is less than optimal—the video just starts and buffers a lot. It seems best to just pause the screen and let it load before playing. Please remember that it’s free, and that for best results you can buy the DVD by clicking the link below.
 
Get: The Stones in the Park [DVD]

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Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.05.2010
10:55 am
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A Eulogy For Brian Jones: Jagger Recites Shelley

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It’s been, what, weeks since the last Dangerous Minds Rolling Stones post, so here’s my last one…for the decade.  The tragedy at Altamont happened 40 years ago yesterday, but rather revisit that chapter in Stones history, here’s some little-seen footage of Mick Jagger taking the stage at Hyde Park to eulogize Brian Jones, who’d died under mysterious circumstances just two days earlier.  Five months after Hyde Park, the Stones played Altamont.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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12.07.2009
05:31 pm
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Unraveling The Strange Death Of Brian Jones

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Yesterday’s paper, in this case the Daily Mail, suggests, finally, some fresh interest in solving the case that is the strange and tragic death of Brian Jones:

Police are reviewing the death of Rolling Stone Brian Jones ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.02.2009
01:20 am
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