Mick jagger

The many lives of George Weidenfeld, legendary publisher and ladies’ man

‘You can go ahead,’ said the voice at the other end of the telephone. ‘The DPP has decided not to prosecute.’ It was the call that allowed the publication of Lolita, one of the greatest gambles of George Weidenfeld’s career. The moment George – it is impossible to think of him as anything other than George – had read this controversial book, available from the Olympia Press in Paris, known for its pornographic list, he had wanted to publish it himself; but as the law then stood, it would have been pulped immediately, owing to its story of a middle-aged professor who becomes obsessed with a 12-year-old girl and kidnaps

The Teutonic goddess who ‘created’ the Rolling Stones

Feminism? Pfft! Marianne Faithfull practically spat the word at me when I interviewed her in 2017. Then she rowed back, conceding that she’d spent most of her life ‘standing up for women’s rights… I’ve had to.’ Pallenberg humilated, seduced, empowered, educated, bonded and divided the band as the whim took her In chronic pain with arthritis, she’d struggled into a comfy chair while directing me to squat on the mucky floor at her feet. Who could blame her? From the moment the record producer and impresario Andrew Loog Oldham first packaged her as a teenage ‘angel with big tits’, the media had refused to treat her with respect. She’d been

Long live the rock dinosaurs!

When the Oldie changed ‘leadership’ a few years back I swooped on the new editor, young Harry Mount, like a seagull on a chip. ‘The one thing your great organ is missing is a pop critic!’ I lectured him. The average age of the reader was level-pegging with the pensioners in the rock’n’roll hall of fame: Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Ferry… it was a marriage made in mag heaven. ‘Papa’s not a rolling stone anymore,’ I continued. ‘He’s a grandpa, he’s a great-grandfather’ (Sir Mick became one in 2014). Harry went a bit quiet – he’d had a traumatic experience with a Jimi

Why Mick Jagger is an insult to rock

New York Orthodox Easter Sunday came late in May this year, and I spent it at an old friend’s Fifth Avenue home chatting with his young relatives. During a great lunch, I thought of those calendar pages one sees in old black and white flicks turning furiously to represent the passing years. It was the three generations present that brought on these reflections. My host George Livanos and I have been friends since 1957, and he and his wife Lita have five children and 15 grandchildren. Not all of them were present, but there were enough youngsters to remind one of the ballroom scene in The Leopard, when Prince Salina