A Prince Among Stones: That Business with the Rolling Stones and Other Adventures
I was disappointed in this book. It wasn’t because his insights on Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were poor, it was that his insights into the world the rock and roll business was so poor.
Loewenstein writes well, but he doesn’t flesh out his subjects. It reads like a list of the rich and famous- except the rich are all old money and not really famous- I recognized few names, but those I did had little impact on the story Loewenstein was telling.
Loewenstein was a merchant banker and in this book he comes across like the stereotype: exceedingly dull. I was prepared for that. I was hoping he would make up for his inability to make even the Rolling Stones interesting by giving the reader insight to the financial dealings of the world’s biggest Rock ‘n’ Roll band. But he simple skims over his 40 years of work he did for The Rolling Stones. Loewenstein would open up a rich vein like: Allen Klein, Record deals, Touring, Promoters, Recording Studios, Cross Marketing, Investments, Microsoft, etc., but after quickly explaining what the opportunities were, he would move on to the next topic. I was left thinking Loewenstein did very little for his clients. It took him almost 30-years to get out from under Allen Klein’s contract.
The strongest chapter (9) was about his Catholic faith. The book also warmed up a little whenever he talked about his wife Josephine.
Loewenstein spent most of a pointless chapter twisted himself in knots trying to explain why he didn’t like the Rolling Stone’s music. This was the weakest chapter in a pretty weak book.
The book raises more questions than it answers. If I was the editor I would have made sure Loewenstein answered them.
Excerpts from the Book:
The group’s documents arrived- in truckloads. I persuaded my colleagues and company lawyers to look at all the documents for no charge. This, I have always thought, was one of the most remarkable deals I have ever negotiated. -page 87
It was not only the levels of physical fitness, which could never be as high as they were when they were younger: touring is very hard physical work. The tours were also psychologically demanding because the performer were pushing themselves in front of hundreds of thousands of people and always dealing with criticism as well as adulation,k including criticism of them continuing to perform as they got older: the ‘Strolling Bones‘ jibe. Tim was not on anyone’s side. In fact, it seemed to be going faster and faster. John Gielgud, towards the end of his life, remarked that breakfast seemed to be occurring every ten minutes. -page 223