Personalities | The Rolling Stones (1971) | Key Events
Tax Exile In France
Spiralling finances had been threatening to catch up with the group for years, and with band members owing a six-figure tax debt each, they were advised to become exiles. So, bit-by-bit, they moved their families to France. Keith set himself up in the Nellcote villa – allegedly stealing electricity from the nearby train tracks – near the Riviera, which would soon become a commune overrun by the band, friends and various shady characters, as it also became a home to Keith, Anita and their son Marlon; a drug den; and recording space for Exile On Main St..
Rolling Stones Records
Sailing into Cannes to sign with Kinney National, an American corporation that presided over Warner Brothers, Elektra and Atlantic, the group formed Rolling Stones Records, for ever recognizable for its famous tongue-and-lips logo (not, as is often believed, designed by Andy Warhol, but by Mick Jagger and graphic designer John Pasche). Not a record label to sign artists in the way The Beatles’ Apple was, Rolling Stones Records was just a way for the Stones to release their albums. Its importance lay in image as, coupled with the famous logo, it made them one of the first groups to be overtly aware of the market branding that would soon run the music business.
Soon after signing their new record deal, the Stones released ‘Brown Sugar’. Dating back to Mick’s filming of the movie Ned Kelly in 1969, and debuted at Altamont, its title was a play on a type of potent Asian heroin, and the black girls that Mick found so attractive. One of the most compelling and recognizable songs in the Stones’ canon, it reached No. 1 in the US and No. 2 in the UK, despite its slightly risky lyrics hinting at slave rape, heroin use and sadomasochism.
Hot on the heels of ‘Brown Sugar’, Sticky Fingers was released the following week. Showcasing a slightly made-over Stones (sax solos replace guitars; it was Mick Taylor’s first full-length album), it was an instant smash – their first 1970s album, and one that would help the Stones stake a claim in rock camps on both sides of the Atlantic for the coming decade. (Incidentally, Rolling Stones Records’ first release was actually Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Jajouka, seminal world music recordings of the Morrocan Jajouka musicians made by Brian in July 1968.)
Bianca Perez Moreno De Macias
Bianca Perez Moreno de Macias, Mick’s girlfriend of nine months, was pregnant, and the couple married in St. Tropez, with Keith – who had tried to dissuade Mick from marrying her – as best man. For their time together, Bianca was disliked throughout the whole Stones camp, generally being seen as a haughty, spoilt bitch who looked down upon everyone else. Keith later claimed that Bianca was more negative for Mick than anyone realized, while Bianca would later state, ‘My marriage ended on my...
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