Miss Marianne Faithfull:

Miss Marianne Faithfull:
(Born December 29, 1946) Songs she inspired: She Smiled Sweetly, Let's Spend The Night Together, She's Like A Rainbow, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Wild Horses, I Got The Blues, 100 Years Ago, Winter

Miss Anita Pallenberg:

Miss Anita Pallenberg:
(Born April 6, 1942) Songs she inspired: You Got The Silver, Sister Morphine (words by Marianne), Wild Horses, Coming Down Again, Angie, Beast Of Burden, All About You

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spanish Tony, Where Are You? A Review of Up And Down With The Rolling Stones

All photos scanned by me, courtesy of Tony Sanchez except the photo of Bianca Jagger is courtesy of photog Bernard PrimmKeith and John Dunbar at Redlands: Anita and Keith in St. Tropez:

Anita in St. Tropez:

Keith and Anita at Redlands before the drug bust of '67:

Joe Monck, Spanish Tony, Anita and Keith:

Anita and Robert Fraser in the grass at Redlands:

Keith in his moat, Redlands:

Brian at Redlands:

Marianne at the Rock n' Roll Circus, 1968:

Ms. B, 1971:

Keith and Marlon down at the harbor, south of France, 1971:

Keith and Tony in the south of France:

Madeline at Villa Nellcote:

Keith and Tony, St. Tropez, 1971:

Spanish Tony, Keith, Marlon, Madeline and Anita in St. Tropez:

Villa Nellcote:


I wrote this about a year ago:
"Spanish" Tony Sanchez's 1979 memoir Up And Down With The Rolling Stones is perhaps not the most accurate Rolling Stones book ever written, but it's certainly one of the most entertaining. I suppose Sanchez's goal was to describe his relationship with the band (mainly as friend and drug supplier of one Keith Richards) from the mid ‘60s through the ‘70s, but the book has little to do with him and more to do with detailing all of the sensational and fantastical events that surrounded the Stones camp, catering to the mythology that characterized the band and the times. Music takes a back seat to sheer dramatics, but there are tons of Stones books that can tell you a (reasonably) objective regurgitation of their history, so that did not concern me, as I've already read most of them and so can you. What Sanchez offers is an eye-witness (sometimes), insider's account into the dynamics of the greatest r'n'r band in the world. For any big Stones fan or aficionado, the book is a must-read, but I admit being a bit apprehensive to its factual legitimacy. Keith Richards himself reportedly declared, "Spanish Tony can't even write his own name, let alone a book". Sanchez writes with such detailed authority--about everything--that it's easy to call into question some of what he says. As has been pointed out in several later biographies, Tony wasn't even present at some of the scenes he seems to vividly recall, and certain facts don't measure up, but in the end, that doesn't really matter. His presumptions, often of what Mick, Keith, Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Brian Jones, et al. are feeling make for highly entertaining reading, as they are often soap opera in content (which isn’t to say they aren’t true). In fact, the book is written with very colorful, often elegant language, which in itself is curious especially for an uneducated man with an eventually serious drug habit. Nonetheless, it is a fine tale. I was especially thankful for the fact that Stones goddesses Anita and Marianne were mentioned as liberally in the book as their counterparts, so I would especially recommended this to fans of theirs (Anita arrives in London in Chapter 2, and she’s in the entire book). (Although it’s worth mentioning that in Marianne's 1994 autobiography, she denounces Tony as a vile, low-life, disgusting, hanger-on type person, and there is little doubt that Up And Down was a cash-grab of sorts. But she also had sex with him occasionally to score drugs, so that probably doesn’t make for the happiest memories). All of the group’s juicy gossip and major events are documented here, from the 1967 Redlands drug bust, the filming of "Performance", the Keith-Anita-Brian love triangle, the unraveling and fateful demise of Mr. Jones, the disaster at Altamont, Marianne's Australian OD, Mick and Bianca’s wedding, Villa Nellcote, et al. Could Sanchez be embellishing a bit, painting beautiful pictures of people and things and events in order to appeal to the fantasies of the reader? Well, probably, but I’m just fine with that. At times he comes off a bit patronizing, admonishing the drug use and affairs, but always with a bit of fondness. He tells how Anita Pallenberg would ask him to steal things on the set of "Performance" for her, but once Donald Cammell mentioned to Tony that things were missing, he immediately stopped--plausible, but taking this sort of "moral high ground", as if it’s painfully important to him for the reader to think he's a good guy. And the fact of the matter is, Spanish Tony is absolutely inconsequential. He is interesting about the Rolling Stones, and that is where the interest begins and ends. He was merely another pawn for them to manipulate and discard, and I would reckon that he probably knew that, despite what he would have you believe. The photographs in this book are rare and great, some of which I hadn’t ever seen, as are the little anecdotes you couldn’t read in another text, like shooting water rats at Keith's place (inspiring the "Live With Me" line). The bottom line about this book is--if you're a fan of the Rolling Stones, buy it by all means, but don't let it be any sort of final authority on the band. For me personally, it’s one of my favorite reads.


Michelle said...

I must say of all the Stones biographies I've read (which is perhaps an unhealthy amount), Spanish Tony's is one of my favorites. The time they spent in the South of France is my favorite phase of theirs. They crafted incredible music and never looked better! Amazing job, xo.

The Flower Man said...

were do you get the photos you pay for if you do pay for them, and on another note, theres alot of blogs asking were is spanish tony, he passed away a few years back

The Completist said...

thanks for the post, i stumbled on it while writing this up:


Anonymous said...

I loved that book. It's the first book I ever read as a kid, and I read it like three times. I was a die hard Stones fan from 6 years old onward!

Anonymous said...

The guy with the guitar in the fotos where they are in the van and walking in the country, is Jorge Ibarra, a Guatemalan artist who is a family friend. He was Robert Frasiers friend at the time. He is still making Art in Guatemala I believe. I gave him my copy of the Tony Sanchez book years back....he could not put it down, it brought back so many great memories!

Boo Boo said...

The Tony Sanchez book was great. It has been re-issued a few times over the years (here in England), and each time the News Of The World has featured it as "new and scandalous revelations of the Rolling Stones by former minder".

I first read it when I was about 13and it influenced me profoundly! At the same time I read "Moon The Loon" which is a very similar book to "Up And Down With...." but about Keith Moon and written by his minder Dougal Butler. Both books are essential rock reading, not much compares to them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Tony's depiction of the Stones in his book "Up and Down with the Rolling Stones" is all that sensationalistic. He talks about "junk." {Keith et al were all junkies so that is consistant.} He discusses how they used it, a few of the characters like Bobby Keys who used it, when they used it, where they used it, how they copped it and the quality such as the "China White" which was so potent it was particularly dangerous. I thought some of the scenes described in France were hilarious. I thought there were little tidbits regarding the nature of Keith and the nature of Anita and the relationship between Keith and Mick, Mick and the Stones, Mick and the public, etc. etc. I think much of what Tony talked about or intimated has come out in other "tidbits" revealed here and there over the years. For instance I believe it is pretty clear that Keith and Anita were chased out of Nellcote because some of the young "help" did get involved with heroin in some way, etc..............Some people seem upset about the Mandrax whereby Anita gave Keith a couple so she could sleep with someone else but Keith was a junkie and Anita's appetites probably weren't even dimmed by junk so that doesn't particularly surprise me. Of all the books I've ever read on the Stones "Up and Down with the Rolling Stones" is ten times more interesting and revealing than any other. Enjoyed this blog or website or whatever it is. Take care.

Danny Metal said...

Tony Sanchez book may be questionable to some extend, but is by far the best recollection of The Rolling Stones events during the band's best years. The boys were no saints, we all know that, especially Keith. May be Tony said too much, but his book is a classic for rock and Stones fans.

Dyan said...

This was great-did you stop collecting before Jerry Hall, Patti Hansen & JoAnn Wood? came along?

muebles granada said...

Very useful material, thank you for the article.

Louis Vuitton Outlet said...

This topic was really educational and nicely written.

Nicky said...

'Up and Down...' was ghost written by John Blake, a sensationalist newspaper journalist, who still owns the rights. His own opinion and embellished dramatisations are apparent to varying extents. There's plenty of Tony left, but when you next read the book, keep a lookout for the journo's hand.

Brenda O'Connell said...

I worked for Marianne in the 60's. Remember Tony being at their Knightsbridge flat with John Dunbar

Anthony R. said...

Tony was my father.