Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Mick Jagger Theme Park and Athletic Club

Reading Marc Spitz's Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue (New York: Gotham Books, 2011) reminded me of some things. Haven't seen the Rolling Stones live in concert since the late 1990s. First saw them in the late 1970s. Once won a pair of tickets from a Virginia radio station by identifying a snippet of "Star Star" -- which was a sly song choice on their part because explicit lyrics prevent its ever being played on the air beyond such a brief sampling. Saw Mick Jagger in a Virginia hotel restaurant. Saw the Stones in Philadelphia, Hampton, Greensboro and Detroit. 

In London in 1991, I met then 25-year old Nick Dunbar a couple of times, son of Marianne Faithfull and John Dunbar, where I was boarding in Clapham and at the Bentinck flat of Bob Dunbar and Tatiana Blagoveshenskaya Dunbar, not far from Manchester Square. The older Dunbars at one point were chatting about how it felt like only yesterday when Mick and Marianne had dropped little Nicholas off with them (he wasn't quite four years old at the time) just before the massive free concert in Hyde Park, within easy walking distance -- that is, the July 5, 1969 event just after the death of Brian Jones. I got the chills listening to their banter.      

Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue also reminds me of my great uncle Wellman Lyle France, early slotted for a life in coal mining. His father, Joe France, once told him as a kid not to go where the books were at home, and when he caught him with a forbidden volume once, Joe decked Wellman with a nasty punch in the face. Joe France died at 56 and Wellman went on to college and earned a Ph.D at Purdue University after completing his dissertation, A Study of Relationships Between Tests of Physical Performance and Various Traits of Personality (1953). He also co-authored Philosophy and Principles of Physical Education (1963, 1965). 

When Wellman found out I was into the Rolling Stones in the late 1970s/early 1980s, he said he corresponded with Joe Jagger, Mick's father, and wanted to make sure I knew that Mick had attended the London School of Economics. Now I know why on both counts. One was to make sure that I appreciated college, the other was because Joe Jagger and Wellman shared a common cause -- physical education and its importance. It's not by accident that Mick maintains himself for energetic stage antics.  

Today's Rune: Wholeness.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember reading that most of the stones actually came from middle class or upper middle class backgrounds. I've never made a study of that but sounds like Jagger did.