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Rolling Stones: A Different Kind of Book

The 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones is being celebrated in a lot of new books, but the upcoming Mick and Keith: Never Stop by Rona Elliot is one with a difference. It’s an eBook, which means that it’s meant to be downloaded to your computer or tablet. So in addition to Elliot’s text and many photos telling the band’s story, you get a video component from a pair of interviews Elliot did (separately) with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards during a break in the Stones’ 1989 Steel Wheels tour.

Author Rona Elliott on using the eBook format to tell The Rolling Stones story: “This was a way to bring alive through technology not only Mick and Keith, but not like in Keith’s autobiography, where you’re reading the words. Here, you’re hearing Keith talk about ‘Satisfaction,’ and how he thought it was filler. Here, you’re hearing Mick say, ‘Of course, I knew it was a hit.’ So this technology makes it possible for you to hear and see Mick and Keith in a way that the printed word would never deliver them.”

Author Rona Elliot compares Mick Jagger to Keith Richards: “Mick is an exhibitionist, not because he tried, that’s just who he is. The same way, when Keith is with his guitar – and he says it a million times – that’s who he is. But without them together, we don’t have the benefit of that, we wouldn’t have this music. That they met when they were five, to me, is kind of a joke from the universe telling us, ‘We’re going to give you a big joke, we’re going to let you in on the joke.’ They’re really different people.”

Elliot, who was the music correspondent for NBC’s The Today Show at the time, spoke with Jagger, who wore an expensive suit, at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. Richards’ chat was done on the Caribbean isle of Antigua, and he’s wearing a t-shirt. The contrast between their answers to many of the same questions provides as good a look into what makes each of them tick as we’ll probably ever get.

From Mick and Keith: Never Stop, Keith Richards answers Rona Elliot’s question about whether they knew “Satisfaction” was a hit when they wrote it: “We really thought it was filler. But we had to have another track and so, ‘Do you think this is good enough?’ and we laid it down. It started to sound more interesting as we put it down. But at the same time when I was told a few days later that that was going to be the next single, that’s what everybody thought…this was just a track we threw in that we hardly got a chance to work on. We just flung it in. So, but that the way things happen.”

From Mick and Keith: Never Stop,Rona Elliot asks Mick Jagger the same question about “Satisfaction” as she asked Keith Richards: Elliot: “When ‘Satisfaction’ was written, did you even have a hint of what a huge song it would become?

Jagger: “Yeah, I knew it was a big hit.”

Elliot: “That’s interesting, because Keith said he thought it was a filler, but you knew it was a big hit?”

Jagger: “Yeah.”

Elliot: “What did you hear in it? I mean, that song packs the punch now that it did 25 years ago.

Jagger: “Well, you can just hear it. I mean just you can either hear a hit or not. I mean, you obviously make mistakes over a long period of time, but I normally get them right.”

Mick and Keith: Never Stop is available from NBC Publishing via iTunes on October 2nd.

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