HattrellPrioryStreet 1

38 Priory Street and all that

38, Priory Street is a celebrated address in Cheltenham lore, the site of a basement club run by the doughty Mrs Filby, with her daughters Jane and Ann. This elegant, … Continue Reading →

Paul and Talitha

The Beautiful and the Damned: Gnawa and the Gettys, Marrakesh

This is a sad, symbolic part of the Brian Jones story which features two other doomed icons of the ’60s jet set, Paul and Talitha Getty, of whom Yves Saint-Laurent … Continue Reading →


Brian, Brion and Bill: a mysterious glimpse of William Burroughs

I attended and enjoyed the opening of William Burroughs’ art last night (some photos, including Gysin’s Dream Machine, are posted below) -which made this a good time to post a snippet … Continue Reading →

Pretty Things

Open G tunings and open secrets

History, they say, is written by the victors. And often victors write their history in outrageous contradiction of facts that are there, on the record, glaring and obvious. This is … Continue Reading →

Sonja 472

A vision of Pan

My biography of Brian Jones, titled Sympathy For The Devil, is published tomorrow in the UK. Hence now is a good time to introduce one of the themes of the … Continue Reading →

eric burdon press shot

“Why change it all for some freaky music?”

In the run-up to the publication of Sympathy For The Devil I’ll be running a quote of the day, to give a flavour of the book, plus a bunch of … Continue Reading →

Rolling Stone story

The Blues and Genius of Brian Jones

David Fricke, always one of Rolling Stone magazine’s finest, most incisive writers, recently trailed Sympathy For The Devil as “the first serious, thoroughly reported biography of the ill-fated Stone”. Thanks, David! … Continue Reading →


Pretentious and provincial… or jet-powered, full of spooks and hip as hell?

  Above, serene Caryatids on Montpelier Walk seem to reinforce Cheltenham’s “genteel image”. But what was going on behind the scenes? It was in a story that I commissioned for … Continue Reading →


Dennis Hopper, hip Hollywood and “the reach-out Stone”

There’s an excellent new exhibition of Dennis Hopper’s photos opened recently at London’s Royal Academy . It  provides one more source for the consensus, observed by many, that Brian Jones … Continue Reading →

Brian's room today; electricity has arrived since his trip in August 1968, but otherwise the house is just as serene - and spartan.

The pipes of Pan, and the power of places

     Over the last few days there have been a few stories that fixate on Brian Jones’s death. It’s a fascinating compulsion but one that, I reckon, diminishes his … Continue Reading →

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