ACCORDING TO THE ROLLING STONES
That their longtime band mate Bill Wyman did his own exhaustive Stones coffee-table book last fall hasn't stopped the other members from doing a collection of old photos and recollections, too. The snapshots are wonderful (one of Jagger talking to Chuck Berry, each in a more outrageous '70s getup than the other, is particularly memorable) and the reminiscences, set up as an oral history, London slang and all, are engaging as well. Richards recalling postwar London as "horseshit and coal smoke, mixed with a bit of diesel here and there" really drives home just how long these guys have been around. Richards's wit is razor sharp, and the band's collective knowledge about old blues, R&B and jazz is awesome. What sets the book apart from Wyman's is a collection of essays from various musicians, industry people and authors. Sheryl Crow's is particularly heartfelt, as she describes when Jagger called to invite her to sing at a 1995 pay-per-view gig in Miami, then to share Thanksgiving dinner with the band and vomiting up the holiday meal before taking the stage. "Is there a way to describe what it is like to have Mick Jagger flirt with you on stage as if you were alone in a bedroom?" she writes. Author Carl Hiaasen writes about drawing inspiration from the old Stones photograph that hangs above his desk. Whether there's room on the coffee table for both Wyman's book and this one depends on the fan's love of the band. (Oct.)
Forecast:With the Stones in the middle of a worldwide tour, this title will get plenty of attention, and Chronicle plans to meet the demand with a 250,000-copy first printing. Will the book sell as well as Chronicle's similar Beatles Anthology (2000)? Not likely, but it still should strut its way onto national bestseller lists.