Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Rolling Stones - Rock Royalty?

The story behnd a book jacket....

I was having a chat with a friend of mine about book jackets today, having had a similar conversation yesterday with a publisher about the same thing. When we did Rolling With The Stones the publisher presented us with a jacket idea that was just awful. They tried to say that it was not up for discussion and that what we had in front of us was what it was going to be. I'd had a long talk prior to the meeting, at which their ideas were presented, in which I thought we agreed that they were going to present several ideas and then we would talk about what was best. I had specifically said that under no circumstances could it be a picture of the Stones as there have been three different Stones bands. They ended up presenting a cover which had Mick, Keith and Bill on the front, Mick Taylor on the spine and Woody, Brian and Charlie on the back. It was a kind of composite job in black and white with the book title in orange. After arguing it for a while they were not taking on board my point of view so on the way back to Scotland I wrote an email that attempted to encapsulate how I felt; I stumbled across it this morning.

The Rolling Stones are Rock ‘n’ Roll

They epitomise everything that is excessive, exciting, powerful, lavish and brilliant about rock music. They are Dynastic, Imperial and Majestic……They are true Rock Royalty

They were the first rock band…….not just any rock band; they are THE rock band. They have modelled rock in their own image and helped define everything that we call Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Watched in concert by more people than any other band in history. They transcend rule one of rock…….live fast, burn out & die young. They have courted adversity, taken risks and still soar supreme. They defined rock and roll excess….while others came and others tried only the Stones remain.

Anyone who has ever picked up a guitar has imagined himself or herself to be Keith Richards. If you’ve sung with a band you’ve dreamed of being Mick for one fleeting moment. And it’s every rhythm section’s dream to swing like Charlie and Bill……and to remain so cool while you’re doing it. They have been the idols of millions and still are for many. Even if you are not their biggest fan you will want to have been one of them for a week, or perhaps be each one of them for just one day.

Then there was Brian, beautiful child? Nasty boy? Young, gifted and scared? He was a rock star before we even knew what they were.....A Rock star not a Pop star.

They are everything that is magnificent about Rock ‘n’ Roll. They swagger, they perform, they strut…..but they never limp. They are Passionate and Proud…….. They are fantasy Rock ‘n’ Roll

This book must shout “look at us……we are rock Gods, not mere mortals.” “We’ve had more girls than any band in history….and more girls have wanted us.”

The Stones shout they don’t whisper. The wild cry…..,It’s only the tame that whisper never.

The Rolling Stones are Red, Black and blue…...they are not orange, Pink or Green……and they are very definitely not grey. Nor are they black and white, they are a rainbow

They are not 5 people, for some they are Mick Keith, Charlie, Bill and Brian…...for others Charlie, Bill, Mick Keith and Ronnie…...and for others substitute Mick Taylor for Ronnie. And of course there is Ian Stewart. They are not 5, 6, 7, or 8 people The Rolling Stones are greater than the sum of their parts.

Cover icons
Mick’s tour jacket
Brian’s white tear drop guitar
Packet of fags
Bottle of Jack Daniels
Pills
Maracas
Plectrum
Set of keys
Diary

Chronicling their existence has been Bill's mission and Rolling With The Stones is the only book that will ever need to be written, and it mustn’t look like just another Stones book.

We need a cover that only the Rolling Stones can inspire; their imperial majesty has reigned over rock for the last 40 years. We need a cover that only the Rolling Stones could live up too. Not just a good cover but the greatest cover of any music book ever. A cover that will go down in publishing legend.

So here’s what you do……..Get a large glass of Jack Daniels, crank up the stereo to eleven and play very loud

Gimmie Shelter
Street Fighting Man
Brown Sugar
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Sympathy for the devil
Then immediately play Handel’s Zadok the Priest…………….

…………… after all five Stones tracks and exactly 1.22 seconds of Zadok the Priest start designing.

It will be the greatest book ever on the rock and roll era, about the greatest rock and roll band in the world, by the best visual publisher in the world…..and it will damn well look like it!

They are the power and the Glory.
They will lead us in temptation.
and they will fear no evil

These are my Rolling Stones, now show me yours.Much credit for the design of this book must go to Richard Evans who posts here regularly.

4 comments:

r morris said...

Brilliant cover, Richard. It sums up the nature of the book, which tells the history of the Stones through the use of Bill's extensive ephemera collection.
One question--why is the outer jacket on the American hardback different? It has a black, white and *gasp* gray cover that slips off over the more colorful and vibrant photo shown here.

Richard Havers said...

It was originally released with this cover but someone in the US publishing ofice decided that it wasn't a very good jacket so they put a new wrapper on it. The second one is far from exciting.

Richard Evans said...

I'd love to have a chat with that person in the US publisher's office!

r morris said...

Yeah, why cover such a great, colorful, telling cover with something so boring?