Book Review: The Ties That Bind

Rock & Roll books, bound but ungagged

The Ties That Bind

Mick Jagger

by Philip Norman
HarperCollins, 640 pp., $34.99

Mick is sex. Those three words were written on walls, worn as buttons, and spoken as gospel in the mid-Sixties. The sentiment sounded incomprehensibly raw, but his huge, labial, rubbery lips branded his band, the Rolling Stones, and broke the mold of rock star he forged. That's the essence of Philip Norman's well-researched tome: that Jagger's been uniquely comfortable in his own skin. Author of acclaimed 2009 bio John Lennon: The Life, Norman's career includes early Stones interviews, so this portrait of the notoriously, but selectively amnesiac Jagger fills in both his and the band's early life in rich detail, such as the fascinating inclusion of diary entries from a band fan before Jagger's life in the fast lane. Norman's at his best setting the context for events like the infamous Jagger/Richards Redlands bust in 1967, and how the band operated with Brian Jones as bandleader. And good thing most of the book takes place during the Sixties given that the latter half devolves predictably into jet-setters, models, drugs, rock & roll, and sex, sex, sex. Look at Mick! He's not shattered.

READ MORE
More Mick Jagger
Read My Lips
Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones' sacrificial lamb receives an overdue close-up

Tim Stegall, May 29, 2015

Summertime Peruse
There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock & Roll
Once upon a time, writers used to be the tour documentarians

Abby Johnston, May 30, 2014

More Music Reviews
Rock & Roll Books
Screamin' Jay Hawkins' All-Time Greatest Hits: A Novel
Screamin' Jay Hawkins' All-Time Greatest Hits: A Novel

Tim Stegall, Dec. 9, 2016

Rock & Roll Books
A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism
A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism

Jay Trachtenberg, Dec. 9, 2016

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Mick Jagger, gift guide 2012, Rolling Stones

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)