The Rolling Stones’ Satanic Majesties Meltdown

The new MOJO magazine tells the full crazy tale of the Stones’ most misunderstood ’60s LP.

By StoriesMOJO StaffFeatured 2+3

IN THE WAKE OF the 50th Anniversary remastered reissue of the Stones’ grand psychedelic experiment, Their Satanic Majesties Request, MOJO delves deep into the drug busts, acid tests, and vaudevillian sneers that fed into the band’s most daring and divisive LP, and speaks to Mick Jagger about the “us against them” atmosphere of the time, plus the welcome release of the group’s ’60s radio sessions for the “super-condescending” BBC.

Famously dismissed by Keith Richards as “a load of crap”, the product of, as Jagger puts it, “too much time on our hands, too many drugs, no producer to tell us, Enough…”, Their Satanic Majesties Request is also regarded by many fans as a high water-mark of other-worldly Brit psychedelia, a document of Brian Jones’s psychological collapse and an essential stepping-stone to the Luciferian reincarnation of the band that came with Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Street-Fighting Man, and Sympathy for The Devil.

MOJO 291, with the Rolling Stones, UK Psych CD, Tom Petty, The Beatles, Phil Ochs and more.

MOJO 291, with the Rolling Stones, UK Psych CD, Tom Petty, The Beatles, Phil Ochs and more.

Writing in MOJO 291, on sale in the UK from Tuesday, December 19, Stones expert Mark Paytress charts the genesis of the LP, beginning with the tensions arising from the Redlands’ drug bust and band’s split from manager Andrew Loog Oldham to the group’s immersion in the drug culture of Marrakesh, and Jones’s tragic exclusion from the rest of the group.

With walk-on parts for Allen Ginsberg, Tommy Vance, and Marianne Faithfull in a boy’s wig, we journey deep into the tense, urgent Olympic studio sessions, the band recording in the bright glare of The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love, and Jagger and Richards’ post-Redlands appeal hearings, operating without a manager and without a rudder.

In addition to Paytress’s retelling of the central tale, Danny Eccleston stares deep into the DIY black mirror of Michael Cooper’s  lenticular Satantic Majesties LP cover,

Paul Trynka profiles Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher, the man behind the pop-star drug busts of the 1960s, Mick Jagger remembers how the Stones became flag-wavers for a generation, and Kevin Howlett looks at how the Beatles initiated their own covert psychedelic revolution, with their ever-evolving fan club Christmas flexi-discs.

The UK’s new psychedelic generation is also documented in MOJO magazine’s FREE CD, which brings together some of the most mind-bending examples of Britain’s LSD revolution, from The Small Faces and The Pretty Things to such lesser-known oddballs as Rupert’s People, The Alan Bown! and Bobak, Jons, Malone.

Also in the issue: the Heartbreakers pay tribute to Tom Petty, Jeff Tweedy talks addiction, mental health and recovery, Michael Simmons revisits the sad, beautiful, tragic life of US folk singer Phil Ochs and Pat Gilbert goes on the road with the hard-living, heavy drinking… Elbow.