Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Afternoon I Met The Spirit of Brian Jones: A Happy Ghost Story Part Two


(to the left is AA.Milne and Christopher Robin and The House at pooh Corner aka Cotchford Farm that Brian lived in)When Brian Jones was on his way out of The Rolling Stones it was primarily because he was doing too many drugs. (No matter how many times one hears that it is still 'piss yourself with laughter funny' how many drugs DOES it take?Bloody hell!). The Rolling Stones, especially Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been given an unfair or should I say incorrect rap about Brian's demise from the group and life. Being in a band is hard enough without one member out to lunch, granted Brian Jones was the soul of The Stones but it is also clear that he was displeased about how The Stones had progressed and that his massive originality and talent as a performer and explorer of third world sounds would be better served as a solo artist. It was also clear that he had an entire other life as an adventurous and occasionally abusive party animal..
As a kid , I felt bad reading John Entwistle's quote that he missed Keith Moon 'personally but not professionally.' I had to grow up to understand why Keith Moon and Brian Jones became constant detriments to their fellow bandmates and that only the most balanced, professionally educated person , standing far apart from the situation would be able to intervene and save them (though that in and of itself might not have worked). And in the 1960's was anyone balanced enough on these new roads being charted to see what was coming up? (Yes, Altamont was a major fuck up but if I was that age with my childhood friends in a band that had become superstars stuck in the middle of the 60's dropping Owsley Sunshine I'm sure I would have done the exact same thing The Stones did-or worse).
The members of Brian's band had no idea that Frank Thurogood , a forty something gofer, hired to mind Brian's home and business affairs post Stones would have been murderous. We may never know why Thurogood chose to become an oppressive, domineering and malingering presence at Cotchford Farm as he spent Brian's money and played nasty mind games with the already troubled young man. Many blame the class system others feel that Thurgood was instrinsically screwed up and jealous, deviously imploring Brian to pay out money for erroneous charges and 'home improvement' projects gone mismanaged because he could 'afford it.'
And no one really knows what actually happened in the swimming pool . Was it a game of 'dunk' that went awry or was it sheer rutting male energy that became deadly?
What is clear is that only till recently, when the internet shown a light in this dark place in rock n roll history, many attached to the situation were still very scared to discuss it. I'm positive that after it happened The Stones were terrified and wisely decided to 'let it go.' We think of that group as the impentratable force they are today but back when Brian Jones was killed they were almost as vulnerable to 'the mob' as anybody. Sadly, that is were the band may have beome stratified and cut off from their audience in a way The Who would never be. But that's why we love The Rolling Stones... aloof and jet set while still being dodgy. Despite all rumors, Mick and Keith were no real position to 'help Brian', they obviously had their own stuff to work on.
So, back to 'those in the black cloaks...' They were horses, beautiful prize winning staliions coming towards me in the sunshine at the back of the estate to greet me. The gardens and ornate garden sculptures adjacent to the house were now visible as I made my way to the green, green grass and lay down. And then I fought not to fall asleep. It was so peaceful and calm. Coming from America nothing is old , these fields had been worked for centurys upon century's and I was finally face down in them feeling totally welcome;like being a kid again. Whatever sorrid event had happened a few yards away, whatever young boy (Christopher Robin or Brian Jones) had felt that his father had been too cloying and selfish none of that mattered now. The positive energy of the place was too powerful and joyous .
The horses became a bit ansy and wanted to see me actually do something instead of lay about in rock star/Winnie The Pooh lala land. I had no sugar cubes for them it was perhaps better for me to move on. Brian Jones's presence was one hundred percent there with no wierdness. I suddenly felt like skipping about with happiness but as I did I looked directly over at the back of the house and saw the estate's owner (and supposedly ardent marksman) Alistair Johns looking directly at me....
To be continued.

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