Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy From Brooklyn Got Mixed Up With the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., July 17, 2009
Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up With the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It)by Bill German
Villard Books, 368 pp., $25
To paraphrase the subtitle, how did a nice boy from Brooklyn get mixed up with the Rolling Stones and live to tell about it? In the case of Bill German, earnest überfandom let him tumble his dice with the world's greatest rock & roll band. It's a trifle of a book; what Stones fan needs another account of hanging with Mick and Keith? Yet, if you're a Stones fan, you can't get enough, and that's where German scores. As a high schooler, he created the Beggars Banquet fanzine, cutting and pasting in his bedroom. The Stones read it, loved it, and at their Satanic majesties' request, he joined their entourage just in time to witness firsthand the Mick/Keith feud. No big revelations here, no new drugs, no untold scandals; German lived the ultimate fan fantasy and shares his insider photos. And while he stood in their merciless spotlight long enough to get burned out, he's still the fan.