Monday, 11 February 2013

Odd Bedfellows

 Former friends: Prince Rupert and Mick Jagger, pictured together at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at The Waldorf Astoria, New York in 1989, parted on good terms, something which seems to have changed

Rock n' roll banker: Prince Rupert Loewenstein, pictured in 1991 with Keith Richards, has written a book about his years as the Stones' financial manager which has Mick Jagger fuming

The fellow we used to see in this parish who called himself Tuscan Tony (now either banned from blogging by the fair Tuscana, or perhaps more of a Facebook man), nevertheless stays in touch. As he surveyed the Daily Mail this weekend, perched upon his Tuscan hillside in balmy early spring sunshine (or driving Apennine sleet, take your pick), he alighted upon this story and sent it to me.

I worked for the said Bavarian princeling and his clients the Rolling Stones as investment director for about five years in the early 90s. Without betraying confidences, I am surprised that Rupert Loewenstein has written any book at all, let alone a memoir of his life as financial advisor to the Stones. He was an aesthete, with a penchant for classical music and expensive books and manuscripts. His house on the Thames at Petersham was splendid. He always behaved like an old-fashioned English gentleman banker, for whom discretion and reticence were second nature (and, *ahem* still are, for some). I liked him very much. Without ever running the risk of overpaying me, he was otherwise generous, letting me stay in his house in LA on occasional visits and treating me (correctly, I thought) as though I were a junior partner of his bank. His one failing was to serve German wine at lunch, with its overtones of air freshener.Otherwise, he came across as an English aristo, albeit more of a metropolitan one rather than a landowner.

I also liked Jagger and would happily have spent more time in his company discussing cricket and politics. But this was the nineties, not the sixties. I have to imagine what he was like in 1968. Louche, lascivious and lefty, I would have thought. And he might – just might – have had an ego thing.

So it is a delicious irony that the modern-day Sir Michael Jagger, Kt, should be referring to Prince Rupert as his ‘ex-bank manager’ and accusing him of ‘bad manners’! Wonderful. "Those financial professionals are such riff-raff, are they not, Keef?" "Yeah, brother, I hear ya".

Loewenstein was a canny banker and a very good businessman. He was the architect of the band’s massive touring income. I think I’m right in saying that he was the first man to get an entire world tour underwritten by a sponsor, which effectively changed the game for all the big acts who came later. Touring had been a loss-leader for selling records; I doubt Rupert was quite brilliant enough to see the end of record/cd sales quite so far in advance, but by golly the Stones were the first to benefit from the big touring bucks.

They were good for one another. I am surprised at a public tiff.


Thud said...

It seems Lowenstein wants his moment of fame, perhaps all those years of well paid silence were not enough.Bring back Tuscan tony!

Electro-Kevin said...

Aye. Bring back the Tuscan !

Touring also benefitted from big screen technology and amplification. To make people feel like they were at an event even though (at 300 yards away) they weren't.

Well done on Mr Lowenstein spotting this.

(What a fantastic life you've had, Idle.)

PS. I've just bought the house where MUSE practiced and wrote their early songs. The bassist lived in it up until their first headlining at Reading.

Electro-Kevin said...

MUSE now best tourers in the world. Official.

lilith said...

E-K, I exclaimed just now that Idle has met Mark Steyn and followed up with "But of course he has, he's met everybody worth meeting". To which Elby replied "He's met us, poor chap.."

lilith said...

P.s Kev, you are a total groupie! Will you call the house Muscle Museum? (a single I admit to buying when it came out)

I think Jagger is so precious he was bound to freak out. He didn't like Keef's book one bit.

Electro-Kevin said...

Cydonia, Lilith.

idle said...

Lil, neither Mark Steyn nor Mick Jagger are aware that they would thoroughly enjoy meeting Lil & Elby of Somerset.

I, however, get to meet them twice a year for dog walking and beer.

I'm the lucky one.

lilith said...

Awww :-) Give Drummer a scurch from me.

Elby the Beserk said...

Keef's auto-bio is a treat. I don't get the impression that either terribly middle class Mick or Keef were that political; this terribly middle class Elby was default Lefty, but bored titless by politics - all my college mates who were into it got very boring with their blether. I think I'd enjoy Keef's company more Keef's - I shared Keef's gargantuan taste for narcotics in my use (tho' not skag and needles, oh no); Mick I think would good to chat about cricket with though.


I once danced with a girl who later dated Mick. A Miss Corinthia Roberts-West, tall and gorgeously blonde.

Mind you I also dated Victoria Rothschild (met her thru' the Keynes family, whom I got to know, as I was classmates with one of their four sons, and the Rothschilds were up the road) when I was at school in Cambridge, and Lucy Annan, whose father became DG of the BBC later, I think.

That's it for the name-dropping :-)

Electro-Kevin said...

And Elby cooked me sausages once. Don't forget that, Elby. I haven't.

lilith said...

And he will cook them for you again E-K..we will need our house warmed!

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