The Brian Jones Trip

Book Reviews



The LastDecadent

by JeremyReed        







    Author Nuttier Than Squirrel Poop!







Do you missJoel and the 'bots? We do! Diane was raised on the ‘Satellite of Love’, and hereis her MST3K treatment of a well meaning but pathetically uninformedreview by Mary Ishimoto Morris of Jeremy Reed’s perfectly idiotic book, TheLast Decadent.  Anna Whositgets a damn good heckling as well, but this time her The Murder ofBrian Jones: the Secret Story etc. is only "the short". 


From TheWashington Post -


(Morris' intro edited out here-HH.)


...Reed'sbook, "The Last Decadent," is an intelligent, lyrical exploration ofJones's complex psyche and persona (or shall we say, a load of complete and utter bullshit dumpedout in the most pretentious manner imaginable.) He builds a persuasive casefor considering Jones as an Oscar Wilde or Quentin Crisp for the turbulent'60s,  (if you know fuck-all aboutBrian Jones. If you're going to cast anyone from the Stones as Oscar Wilde, gowith Mick.  He picked the role himselfyears ago) pushing the boundaries of cross-gender expression andheightening bisexual consciousness, (yeah, and did you know the Pink Floyd were a Gay Lib band?) andcompares the reactionary social persecution those men suffered to Jones's own(he was the target of police harassment  (an idea set forward by countless people since 1967).)


Reed cites a story fromNicholas Fitzgerald's book "The Inside Story of the Original RollingStone" (which is widelyconsidered a hoax by serious researchers into Jones' life) aboutFitzgerald's girlfriend squealing upon meeting Jones at an elegantparty. "Brian said, 'It's all right, I have that effect on women.' He gaveme a hot look, clearly implying, 'and men, too.' " Fitzgerald,  (who claims to be) a Guinness breweryheir, was Jones's friend (or maybe he only met Brian for a few minutes in abar somewhere) and occasional lover during the last four years of his life(Now wait a minute here! That's not Fitzgerald's story at all! He claims he andBrian had an unconsummated flirtation. This Reed takes Nicky-boy's fantasy at face value and then *elaborates*upon it.)


Reed's Jones is vain, extravagant,hedonistic, arrogant and misogynistic as well as insecure, delusionary, fragile and dysfunctional, subject to paranoia and depression(christ, he was a mess) yet capable of kindness and generosity.  Reed also paints a rich portrait of Jonesas a superior musician with refined artistic sensibilities, making usappreciate his singular contributions to the Stones: his dulcimer on "LadyJane," marimbas on "Under My Thumb," sitar on "Paint ItBlack," slide guitar in "No Expectations," blues harmonicain numerous songs. Reed tells of Jones's discovery in Morocco of the MasterMusicians of Jajouka, who would play New York's Town Hall in 1995.  (This will be a surprise to those who havenever read anything else about Brian Jones in their lives. Of course, the onlyrational people who could buy Reed’s theories are those who have never readanything else on Brian Jones.)


He alsogives us Jones himself, speaking insightfully on music, revealing his artisticsoul. Though decadence might not seem a fitting tribute to any man's life (in fact, it means decayed), Reed usesthe term eloquently to bring relevance and dignity to Jones's life(if you imagine it brings dignity to Jones to compare him with EmperorHeliogabalus - read more about him in The Big Book of Weirdos,chapter one.)


And AnnaWohlin says she was attracted to Jones's combination of "elegance anddecadence." Her"Murder of Brian Jones" is a love story, sentimental and emotional.  (It makes Laura Jackson's book look like acritical and unbiased assessment.)


Itsrelevance lies in Wohlin's disclosure of what she says she couldn't disclose in1969 because she was young (22 and an adult in the eyes of the law), foreign (Swedish), inshock, naive and afraid--information that, as she says in her prologue,"will help solve the mystery surrounding Brian's death." (Themystery is how she could get away with selling a book called The SecretStory when virtually every pertinent detail has been cut and pasted fromother people’s books.)


She tells ofa beam, installed by Thorogood's men, that fell from the kitchen ceiling,almost injuring her, (andif you can believe this part of the book, we have some Beatles reunion ticketsto sell you) and of the angry confrontation between the two men on June 30,1969, that culminated in Jones firing Thorogood.


Afterward, Jonesworried that he had gone too far and exhibited what Wohlin calls an"unrealistic desire for reconciliation" (yet the most unrealistic thing in evidence here isMs. Wohlin's story of a murder and cover-up.)


At 10:15 the night ofJuly 2, Jones invited Thorogood to the house for a drink and a swim. Wohlintried to discourage Jones from teasing Thorogood--he had been taunting thecontractor as well as pulling him underwater--before she was called inside totake a phone call. Responding to cries for help from his girlfriend, who wasnear the pool, she passed Thorogood, in the kitchen shakily lighting acigarette, before finding Jones spread-eagled at the bottom of the pool. Later,when Thorogood and Wohlin went together to the police station for questioning,he warned her, "The only thing you need to tell them is that Brian hadbeen drinking and that his drowning was an accident. You don't have to tellthem anything else." "Frank lied during the interview," she nowsays. "And I concealed the truth." (Thus throwing the police off the track and protecting thecold-blooded killer of the man she loved. You understand how it was.)


ThoughWohlin's present account differs somewhat from Reed's, (as if they aren't even discussing thesame "Brian Jones") they both reach the same conclusion--thatThorogood was responsible for Jones's death (as has been previously claimedin the Rawlings "death bed confession" book, causing the Sussexpolice to reopen the case and then close it again when Rawlings and Tom Keylockpreferred not to make their claims under sworn oath). Brian Jones's deathcertificate read, in part, that he had been "swimming whilst under theinfluence of alcohol and drugs. MISADVENTURE," a finding that Reed says was refuted by anautopsy (though it wasn't and though Reed isn't a medical expert and isjust quoting what he read in the last crummy batch of 'Brian was murdered'books.)


For more than 30 years,then, Jones's name has been tainted by the slanderous conclusion, (now, it is simply tainted by the legacy ofcrack-brained biographers) however plausible at the time, that he diedcarelessly and by accident. How unjust. If Brian Jones was murdered--andthese authors make a convincing case (that they don't know thedifference between black and white and will say anything to sell a book) thathe was--the record should be corrected. (You got it? Brian Jones was a tortured closet homosexual who hatedhaving sex with women and yet was a absolute steam roller who turned PoohCorners into Screw Corners with his Swedish “fiancée” and spent his last daysdreaming of a church wedding and picking out names for the daughter he hoped tobless the world with someday. . . Isn't it great to get things all cleared up?)



Mary Ishimoto Morris, who writes frequentlyabout rock-and-roll

(despite the fact she doesn't know what she's talking about)



 For more on The Last Decadent visitour regular book review section:      Cool, Calm& Collected


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