Author Barry Coleman said that the memoir he was ghostwriting for Mick Jagger was scrapped due to the book being boring, according to NME.com. Coleman, who was the second writer hired to interview and write the book for Jagger, recalled publishers Weidenfeld & Nicolson hiring him in 1983 and picking up the project where the original author left off.
Coleman recalled, “Two chapters were more or less presentable. The rest was a pile of interview transcripts, and nothing related to recent years. Stitching everything together was an awful experience.”
Coleman remembered that Jagger had covered meeting partner Keith Richards, Stones co-founder Brian Jones‘ 1969 death, and that year’s infamous free concert at the Altamont Speedway.
He went on to say, “All the big stuff was in there — there just wasn’t anything interesting said about it. There was always this sense in the transcripts that Mick was holding back, or trying not to hurt anybody’s feelings. We’d talked a lot about whether he still wanted to go ahead, or whether we could do it again, but differently. Mick didn’t blame me. He just didn’t want to do it.”
Coleman respected the Stones frontman for pulling the plug on a book that was destined to be lackluster: “I think he respected his audience by not giving them something ordinary about an extraordinary life. I’ve lived with this story for 38 years with a certain frustration, but in a way it tells you more about Mick than anything that could have come out in a mediocre book. It needed Mick to be able to talk to someone like he might a therapist, approach his life from a tangent. Instead, we ended up with something that was too pedestrian for Mick Jagger.”
Mick Jagger recalled the end of the Stones’ legendary London era when the band had to quit their decidedly suburban English lifestyle in the spring of ’71 to become tax exiles in France: “We had a pretty, I mean, sedate lifestyle — (laughs) it not really the way. . . It wasn’t sedate, but it was pretty centered, and it was pretty grounded in its own way. Geographically it was very grounded and we were all very kind of English in our ways. So we had to come to this crunch period where this kind of lifestyle, that we’d created for ourselves, which was really pleasant, had to come to an end — including being in these kind of houses, or for me anyway living in them anyway for long periods of time and working. And that is the beginning of Exile On Main Street.”
Coming on Friday (July 9th) is the Rolling Stones’ new multimedia set, The Rolling Stones — A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach.