Nishat Kurwa on Thursday, Aug. 9th
A half century after a bewildered British press began writing about the quintessential bad boys who became one of rock n’ roll’s most successful and iconic bands, a German publishing house is releasing an e-book compendium of those buried articles to commemorate the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary this year.
(See gallery below).
The articles comprising 50 Years: The Rolling Stones are pulled from the archives of print leviathans like the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard. And the skepticism about the band exhibited in those articles from 1960s, when the Stones first burst onto the scene, is a far cry from the paps’ symbiotic and sycophantic attitudes toward today’s celebs.
“They hadn’t even achieved anything,” said Mathias Wurfl of the young Rolling Stones who were pilloried in those articles. Wurfl’s company, the eBook People, released 50 Years this summer. “But they behaved like wild ones, from the view of those people back in the days.”
Wurfl and his partners originally founded The eBook People as The Interview people, syndicating the content of large UK papers to more than 70 non English-speaking countries. As they sat over beers one day, contemplating the growth ceiling that loomed over their B2B enterprise that had only other news agencies as clients, they decided the time was ripe to use their platform to publish e-books. With prior experience in music journalism and celebrity interviews between them, Wurfl said there wasn’t much debate about what the subject of their first e-book would be. “It must be the Rolling Stones.”
Many of the Stones articles from the 1960s and 70s archives of The Daily Mail and Evening Standard, which were already Wurfl’s Interview People clients, had never been digitized. Wurfl said he and his colleagues spent weeks sitting in the publishing houses’ libraries, sifting through “huge shoeboxes with old clippings. After each day of working in the library, we had black fingers from the ink. You cannot imagine how long this ink from the 60s lasts.”
A familiar gleefulness, one that seems common among music journalists who are living out a career dream of young adulthood, crept into Wurfl’s voice as he talked about 50 Years and its goal to renew the material, and to bring it to U.S. audiences who never got a chance to read those early stories only published in print in the UK. “There are two interviews with Mick Jagger’s mother, stories about the Stones from before they went on tour. They’d tell the promoter what kind of liquor needed to be in their dressing rooms,” Wurfl chuckled.
The eBook People hired longtime music journalist Hanspeter Kuenzler to beef up the book with new material, including an introduction to each chapter, and new reviews of all the Stones’ albums.
The 79 old and rare images included in the book came from both freelance photographers and those who traveled with the band.
The Stones have their own book project, released the same week as the eBook People’s publication, but that one’s in a commemorative form that’s been around as long as they have – the coffee table book.
Wurfl’s next e-book is focused on another band of characters with an epic teen following. ”It’s a huge interview collection on the cast of the Twilight movie,” he said, and it’s nearly finished.