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In 1962 Mick Jagger was a bright, well-scrubbed boy (planning a career in the civil service), while Keith Richards was learning how to smoke and to swivel a six-shooter. Add the mercurial Brian Jones (who'd been effectively run out of Cheltenham for theft, multiple impregnations and playing blues guitar) and the wryly opinionated Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, and the potential was obvious. During the 1960s and 70s the Rolling Stones were the polarising figures in Britain, admired in some quarters for their flamboyance, creativity and salacious lifestyles, and reviled elsewhere for the same reasons. Confidently expected never to reach 30 they are now approaching their seventies and, in 2012, will have been together for 50 years. In The Rolling Stones, Christopher Sandford tells the human drama at the centre of the Rolling Stones story. Sandford has carried out interviews with those close to the Stones, family members (including Mick's parents), the group's fans and contemporaries - even examined their previously unreleased FBI files. Like no other book before The Rolling Stones will make sense of the rich brew of clever invention and opportunism, of talent, good fortune, insecurity, self-destructiveness, and of drugs, sex and other excess, that made the Stones who they are.
Christopher Sandford has been a professional writer for 30 years and a frequent writer about the Rolling Stones for 25. He has published 17 previous books and is the only writer to have written biographies of both Mick Jagger, 'the classic biography' (The Times) and Keith Richards 'Sandford's affectionate, warts-and-all portrait of Keith is undoubtedly the best read' (Charles Spencer, Sunday Telegraph)