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.