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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@

IT’S dif­fi­cult to imag­ine Mick Jag­ger in the bo­som of a quiet Aus­tralian pub, hav­ing a few sher­ries and en­ter­tain­ing the lo­cals, saloon style, by ‘‘tin­kling the ivories’’. That’s how it hangs in the of­fi­cial his­tory of the Braid­wood Ho­tel in NSW, where the Rolling Stones front­man spent some time dur­ing the shoot­ing of the film in 1969. It’s not clear whether he was wear­ing the tin bucket con­trivance de­manded of him for the lead role as he whipped the Braid­wood pa­trons into a frenzy with his old joanna skills, but what has come to light is that Jag­ger had love — or some­thing like it — on his mind while he was res­i­dent in the pic­turesque NSW town. Next Wed­nes­day a se­ries of let­ters go up for auc­tion at Sotheby’s in Lon­don, writ­ten by Jag­ger dur­ing that time in Aus­tralia to Mar­sha Hunt, his lover back in Lon­don who would be­come the mother of his first child, Karis, the fol­low­ing year. Hunt, then a singer and model who had ap­peared in the mu­si­cal be­came in­volved with Jag­ger af­ter she was asked to be a cover model for the Stones’ sin­gle

She re­fused, say­ing she didn’t want to look as if she’d ‘‘just been had by all of the Rolling Stones’’, but suc­cumbed to Jag­ger’s charms soon af­ter, although their re­la­tion­ship was clan­des­tine for most of the 10 months they were to­gether. The 10 Se­cret Love Let­ters, as Sotheby’s de­scribes them, show the then 25-year-old mu­si­cian in a ro­man­tic and in­spired frame of mind, toss­ing off lines such as ‘‘I feel with you some­thing so un­sung there is no need to sing it’’ to his beloved and com­mit­ting to pa­per his feel­ings on a va­ri­ety of topics, from the death of former Stone Brian Jones to ob­ser­va­tions on art, mu­sic, po­etry and Aus­tralia. The let­ters, be­ing of­fered for sale as part of a Sotheby’s English Lit­er­a­ture and His­tory auc­tion, are ex­pected to go for be­tween £70,000 and £100,000 (about $108,000-$154,000. WHILE we’re in Stones ter­ri­tory, it was pleas­ing to see former gui­tarist Mick Tay­lor toss­ing off licks like his life de­pended on it dur­ing one of the Stones’ two 50th an­niver­sary gigs at Lon­don’s O2 Arena two weeks ago. Tay­lor’s bluesy me­an­der­ing took up a goodly pro­por­tion of the 12-minute with the gui­tarist, ably sup­ported by Ron­nie Wood and Keith Richards, clearly en­joy­ing his time in the spot­light. Not that the 63-year-old is to­tally de­pen­dent on get­ting the oc­ca­sional call from his former em­ploy­ers. Tay­lor is still a reg­u­lar on the tour­ing cir­cuit with his own band and will re­turn to Aus­tralia next April for a tour that takes him to Ade­laide, Mel­bourne, Coo­lon­gatta, Syd­ney, New­cas­tle and Bris­bane. Tay­lor toured here in 1995, a trip that in­cluded an ap­pear­ance at the Blues­fest in By­ron Bay. At the time it was ru­moured that Jag­ger and Richards might show up for a guest ap­pear­ance, as the Stones had just fin­ished their Aus­tralian tour in Bris­bane two days ear­lier. It didn’t hap­pen. ‘‘I AM fas­ci­nated by peo­ple’s sto­ries and hear­ing what peo­ple have to say.’’ That’s what Dan Rosen, the head of the Aus­tralian Record­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, had to share with in a rather gush­ing fea­ture in the lead-up to the ARIA Awards last week. Seems the big chief is not so fas­ci­nated when the story is crit­i­cal of the Aus­tralian mu­sic in­dus­try’s night of nights, as was a post-ARIAs piece by the Bernard Zuel. ‘‘Turns out I’m a mis­er­able lit­tle prick and a sad bas­tard,’’ tweeted Zuel, fol­low­ing a mean­ing­ful ex­change of ideas on the tele­phone with the mu­sic in­dus­try guru. Charm­ing.

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