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The Brian Jones Trip
Tony Scaduto




Brian at Redlands


The more I pour over this book, the more errors I see and the more I question Tony Scaduto's overall truthfulness. I would say that here we have a good writer but he has no respect for Mick Jagger and this affects the quality of his work.

As the title suggests, Everybody's Lucifer (see below) is not an adoring 'Stones' camp' ode to Mick & Keith as rock superheroes. Interviews with Chrissie Shrimpton and Marianne Faithfull make Mick look like a rat. Neither is it a murder theory book. Scaduto accepts the official explanation of Brian's death, and he casts no aspersions on Frank Thorogood. Notice that he DOES claim that Brian had told Alexis that he was being ripped off in various ways by assorted employees, including builders. However, Scaduto does not imply that Frank was one of the crooked builders.

I know many Brian fans read a book and pick the bits they like and throw out the bits they don't like. Murder theory book writers do the same when researching. After awhile a very one-sided picture begins to develop. This process of selecting bits and pieces is wrong. By legal tradition, if one bit of a story is false, the whole story is considered suspect. Myself, I believe there may be some false bits in Scaduto's version of events, but I present it here as the best information we have so far, and because Scaduto's material has been recycled many times in later books, errors and all.

Tony Scaduto was a proper journalist and his story is the earliest, therefore his book would normally be considered the closest to the truth. Tony documents his sources - Marianne Faithfull and Michael Cooper are his two sources for the visit to Brian and the knife fight. Alexis Korner, Cleo Sylvester and Shirley Arnold are a few of the other sources for this chapter of the book.

ALEXIS KORNER: I believe that the quotes from Alexis probably are legitimate. Alexis was still alive when this book came out and continued to give interviews. I have never heard of Alexis denouncing Scaduto, but if I find out that he did, I will update this page. Murder theory buffs will notice that later writers have taken this interview and selectively edited Alexis' words until the meaning of the statements is totally REVERSED.

BRIAN JONES: I personally don't trust the quotes assigned to Brian. I think artistic license was taken to put together Brian's side of the story. Sadly, Brian never made any comment to the press about any of this.

MARIANNE (I talk utter rot when I'm drunk!) FAITHFULL: She later denounced Scaduto. I don't know whether there is misinformation here, and if so if it is due to Scaduto or Faithfull. Faithfull does have a history of saying things and then taking them back, or of being denounced herself. In my opinion, she has proven herself a total crackbrain, and the story she tells here is fairly ludicrous. It seems to have escaped Marianne that if Brian was in the terrible state she describes, somebody (if not Suki, then Mick and Marianne) should have gotten him to a hospital. Turning around and driving back to London was surely leaving Brian to a predictable fate. An older and wiser Marianne repeats the fight scene in her autobiography, Faithfull, but this time it is only a fistfight, nobody says anything and Brian just falls in the Redlands moat. She gives the time as two weeks before Brian drowned and repeats that Suki was present that day.

Marianne further states in her autobiography, in no uncertain terms: "Brian died in a drunken muddle, with no one trying very hard to look after him. A puffy, bewildered, raging, depressed muddle." This image, which actually takes back the beginning of a recovery that Scaduto gives to Brian in his final days, no doubt reflects Marianne's memories of the last time she saw Brian Jones. I doubt it was two weeks before he died, though, unless Brian was cheating on Anna with Suki over at Redlands. Like a lot of 'friends of Brian', Marianne wishes to give the impression she was around to the bitter end, therefore must screw the calendar around.

Whether the later, watered-down version of the fight is the true version, who knows? Michael Cooper, according to Scaduto another source for the knife fight story, is not specifically said to present AT the knife fight. This makes Cooper a poor second witness. (Tony Sanchez tells a "cuter" version of the fight in his book, and claims that he was present himself. I think Sanchez just has Brian run out of Redlands and throw himself in the moat, which is only a few feet deep. Brian pretends he is trying to drown himself, and Mick falls for it and goes in to save Brian. Mick takes the joke poorly. Here I give up at fact finding!!! Sanchez' book is in print, so read it yourself. To me, it looks like Sanchez and later writers just took Scaduto's material and bent it for their own purposes. Since Sanchez denies that Brian was a suicide, and suggests that he was instead a murder victim, it follows that Brian's motivation for going in the moat needed to revamped.)

JANET LAWSON: Another suspicious bit is whether Janet Lawson was actually Brian's nurse employed to take care of him. I think it is possible, but this is not what she told the police; she told the police she hardly knew Brian Jones and made it plain that she was NOT the 'adult in charge'. Scaduto does not give any supporting details about who hired the nurse/s, when, why, etc.

Note: Scaduto's account of the late night swim and the accident(?) is not at all accurate and at this point I begin to sincerely question Scaduto's spin on things. Sloppy errors I can understand, but this is so off as to be weird.

In conclusion, I present these out-of-print pages because I think the Alexis material is probably straight and it has largely been dropped from the 'Life of Brian' in favor of less likely tales about supergroups, missing tapes, etc. The Brian Jones and Marianne material may be of questionable historical value but this is obviously THE foundation stone for much of what will come later in the murder theories books. (Tom Keylock, here the miserable cook, will loom large in the legend someday!)


Mick Jagger
Everybody's Lucifer copyright by Tony Scaduto, 1974

 

Mick & Marianne pay a visit to Brian at Redlands. Mick refuses to eat the dinner prepared by Brian's cook, Tom Keylock. Brian picks up a knife and tries to kill Mick. pgs. 8, 9

The fight continues outside, Brian throws down knife and jumps in moat. Mick drags Brian out, Brian says "I can't kill you, so I'll die instead" and jumps back in. Jagger saves Brian twice more and takes him inside. Brian and Mick make up and seem friendly. About a month later, Jagger calls Alexis Korner and tells him that Brian is in bad shape. Alexis promises to talk to Brian. pgs. 10, 11

Alexis recalls to Scaduto the early years. Alexis calls Brian. Brian is pleased and apologizes for not keeping in touch with Alexis over the years. Brian invites Alex to Cotchford, and Alex drives down. pgs. 12,13 (not included here)

An upset Brian talks to Alex about Mick Jagger and the Stones. Brian asks to join Alexis' group, New Church, then he tells Alex that the Stones organization has given him a nurse who won't let him make phone calls. "They're keeping me prisoner." People are robbing him, stealing his furniture and overcharging him for the building work. "I'm being robbed by everyone." Alex is stunned and tries to smoke a joint, Brian stops Alex and tells him booze is better. "I'm off drugs and back into some great drinking, like in the old days."pgs. 14, 15

Alex recalls that Brian was a like a glob of jelly when on drugs. Brian tells Alex about crashing his Triumph motorcycle through a shop window; the whole village protected Brian from the cops. Alex thinks that Brian is trying to remodel his personality away from the bisexual pop scene and it is an improvement. Alex and Brian continue to call each other frequently. Brian is full of hatred and paranoia. He tells Alex "the office" won't let him come into London and are deliberately trying to convince Brian that he is mad. Alex doesn't believe the Stones office is evil. pgs. 16,17

 

Scaduto recaps some of Brian and Anita's relationship and the break up in Tangiers. Brian told Alexis he wasn't interested in Anita anymore. Brian calms down over the weeks and gets more like his old self. Brian asks to join New Church again. Alex says no because he believes Brian isn't quite together enough to play with a band. (Same as Mick! - hhall) Also, Alexis can't provide proper security for a Stone on tour. Alex explains that he didn't want to be in a band with Brian because he didn't like some of Brian's musical ideas. Brian is interested in the old stuff and Alex isn't. Alex agrees to act as a sort of musical director for Brian's band. Brian is happy and enthusiastic about the band. He stops complaining so much about Mick and Keith and the office. pgs. 18,19

Alexis thinks Cotchford Farm was good for Brian. Brian is dismissed from the band and agrees to a public relations falsification. Mick Taylor replaces Brian. Alexis, his daughter Sappho and New Church lead singer Peter Thorup go down to visit Brian a few days before he officially leaves the Stones. Brian wants to produce a record for Sappho. Brian calls Cleo Sylvester to ask her to sing in his new band. pgs. 20, 21

Cleo agrees to rehearse with Brian. Alexis talks about Brian's enthusiasm for the new band, it was getting Brian off the hatred and bitterness. Alexis talks about some of the problems they had. Mick wants Brian to come to the Hyde Park concert. Shirley Arnold thinks Brian may come if Mick would personally invite Brian. Mick doesn't. Three nights later Brian dies. Brian wanted to go for a midnight swim after drinking heavily and taking downers. His nurse Janet Lawson objected. Frank was watching Brian swim. pgs. 22, 23

About the drowning and inquest. Question: did Brian Jones commit suicide? Hip London thinks so. Rumor: Jagger had stolen another girl from Brian, Brian was despondent and killed himself. The details of this story never panned out. People who really knew Brian did not believe he was suicidal. Alexis thinks it was "a goof". Brian had been severely depressed six months before, but now he was beginning to feel happy. Hyde Park concert, etc. pgs. 24, 25