Fan fiction… Brian Jones & The Rolling StonesPosted: August 20, 2014
[Fan fiction is a very rare thing for me to do, in fact I’ve only done it just the once and that is what’s published below. I decided to post it on here because it was quite a hit at my recent writing discussion group. Enjoy!]
“Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith.”
Sympathy for the devil. After a grueling five or more days of chasing the perfect, exact sound – the Stones unleashed what would open their album, titled Beggar’s Banquet. It was 1968, the band had experienced a whirlwind of events and somewhere in the storm several stories of police allegations, controversy, drugs, sex, money and other disputes flowed out of the band’s camp. Brian Jones, the band’s founder, become a troubled idol of the decade, the press continuously spun wild stories of his party habits and love affairs in America and Britain. A true tragic genius who sadly fell to the wheel of his already rocky tracks…
As soon as Brian woke up the sun burnt a hole in his head. He lifted his hand off of the scorching steering wheel to brush it through his viking blonde matted hair. His muscles ached, his vision was still blurred. He cleared his throat but this only greatened the bursting pain in his head. The mustard shirt he was wearing was sticky in the heat, the deep purple velvet jacket was nowhere near as flamboyant as what it was when he brought it. “Urrrrrrrrgh..” Brian groaned, and then suddenly jumped back in his seat. He looked around, and realised he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a London bus. Its shade of red blazed like plastic under the blistering sunshine. Brian put his head in his hands, then looked up, he was in his luxurious garden of the country-house he’d recently brought. Relieved last night didn’t take him anywhere else other than home, he sat and pondered.
Cotchford Farm, formerly owned by Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne, sitting amongst the West Sussex countryside provided somewhat of a sanctuary for Brian after the trial and tribulations of what fame had brought him. Since the drug bust he was lucky to have dodged prison, the judge seemingly taking some sympathy on him “for goodness sake” he said, “don’t get into trouble again or it really will be serious.” For it wasn’t just the judge who could see Brian was in no state to survive prison mentally. People around him at the time say he was deteriorating, his appearances at band practice became erratic and his contributions to music minimal.
What he pondered about precisely could’ve been anyone’s guess. Maybe it was to do with the band, his worries for their change in musical direction away from their R’n’b roots, their strained relationships and their plans to tour America, which strictly required a working visa Brian would almost certainly not be granted. Once he had managed them, pushed them, set up concerts, tours, but now, it seems, the reigns of power had dissolved in his hands, melted, to grains of sand. Or maybe his thoughts fell mostly on Anita. Ah yes, Anita. A flash of pain whenever he heard her name, and now, less frequently, her voice. Munich. They first met. She was on a modeling assignment and he touring with the Stones. “I am…” He began. “Everyone knows who you are…” She Interrupted, she purred, smiling, smoking. But, Morocco. The fight. Screams and tears. Bloody fists and a black eye. That’s where she left me…
Finally the band decided to move on without Brian and made a pact to visit him at Cotchford Farm to deliver the news. Giving Brian the choice on how to break it to the press was their last sign of respect, no hard feelings, for an old friend, who fast become a shell of the man he once was. Despite being known to have both intense paranoia and jealousy it seems Cotchford Farm still had a handful of ‘hangers-on’, some placed there by the Stones’ manager Tom Keylock to keep “an eye on Brian.” Despite this, the house, or more specifically, the swimming pool, was where Brian met his end. His death certificate reading “death by misadventure”, no-one was with him in his last moments.
Any recollection of Brian’s night was dark, he reached for the cigarettes in his pocket and lit one whilst leaning his head back. He decided to keep the bus in his garden, after all, what else was he going to do with it? He exhaled and grinned, and his laugh bellowed through the empty bus.
After Brian’s death the Stones were due to play a free concert in Hyde Park which they dedicated to Brian. Their success from this gig and their North American tour grew stronger and stronger, before they exiled themselves to the south of France to escape the government seizing their assists due to the money they owed in tax. Their album Exile on Main Street was mostly recorded here, however one song written mostly by Jagger, named Shine a Light, started to be written back in 1968, when Brian was still a member of the band and around the same time Sympathy for the Devil was recorded. The song is believed to be about Brian, about his detachment to the band and his substance addiction.
“When you’re drunk in the alley, baby, with your clothes all torn
And your late friends leave you in the cold gray dawn.
Just seemed too many flies on you, I just can’t brush them off.
Angels beating all their wings in time,
With smiles on their faces and a gleam right in their eyes.”