Love You Live, Rolling Stones Fanfare from the Common Fan
Marilou Regan with Hans Oosterbaan- (Fanfare publishing)
3 (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: May 19, 2003
Review by Andy ArgyrakisWhen it comes to bands with extremely dedicated fans, The Rolling Stones rank right up there with the other obvious all time great rock and rollers, such as The Beatles and The Who. Like those fellow British invaders, there's been a surplus of material published on Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and all their past and present cohorts, so it's no wonder that yet another title hit the shelves in the already steady stream. Love You Live, Rolling Stones Fanfare from the Common Fan doesn't uncover any shockingly new scandals or reveal deeply personal first hand information from band members, but as can be gathered from the title, that isn't its main goal. Instead primary author and compiler Marilou Regan (with Hans Oosterbaan and a list full of photo and article contributors) seeks to map out the ultimate fan experience, from over 600 photos (hundreds of which have never been published before) to dozens of die-hard testimonials, to historic memorabilia collages.
To give credit where credit is due, Regan and her team were exhaustive in finding a slew of detailed, humorous, and even touching accounts by those who've had interactions with the Stones on some level from all across the globe. Whether it be journal entries from frequent concertgoers (in the 50 show plus club), mentions of brief encounters with the members in random public places, or priceless concert experiences (like scoring front row tickets or catching a coveted drum stick) the tales are mostly lively and attention consuming. Not only are most antidotes interesting, but their corresponding photographs can vouch for the accuracy and authenticity of such tales. Out of those images, the performance and candid shots from the Stones early days are this book's true treasures, providing those who lived through that period with multiple remembrances while educating younger fans in the process. Copies of promotional posters (advertising small club dates and private fan club parties) also make for quality nostalgic recollections. They take readers back to the days when fans could hand over pocket change to a bouncer for entrance into a Stones' show instead of having to spend an arm and a leg in a much less desirable stadium setting.
Such perusing through the book's 250 oversized pages is certainly an enjoyable experience, especially on a leisurely afternoon, though there are times when the fan submitted content goes beyond appreciation, leaning more towards the line of obsession. Unless you're a religious follower of the band, stories of listeners who've went to great lengths to meet a member or snag a seat to a show are not as easy to relate to, pitting such accounts on the brink of stalker styled behavior. Potential buyers must also beware of the book's photography drawbacks as well, most notably the amateur state in which several of these shots were captured. Hats off goes to everyone involved for their submission efforts, but perhaps it would have been best for the publishers to leave the blurry, hurried, and awkwardly framed shots out of the final product.
Such setbacks aren't enough to wholeheartedly discourage Stones' fans to leave Love You Live out of their shopping carts; they're just words of warning to weigh before heading to the cash register. The most appropriate demographic to check out this title is clearly the die hard fans, who could salivate over and hang on every word much more than just your average 40 Licks owner, and would most likely be adding it to their growing coffee table collection of other Stones selections.
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