Mick Jagger’s ghostwriter Barry Coleman quit after an “awful experience” trying to write his memoirs 30 years ago.
Coleman took over when the original writer quit and now reveals he spent two terrible weeks trying to work with the reluctant Rolling Stones star, who abandoned the project and repaid his $1 million-plus advance from publishing firm Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Jagger has since explained he found the process of digging into his past “dull and upsetting”.
Speaking to The Guardian, Coleman admits Jagger was not a willing collaborator, recalling, “We had one conversation, then he stopped returning my calls.
“Then the publishers told me that they now had a deal for the U.S. market, but they needed the finished book within two weeks or the deal was off.”
The writer explains that at that time two chapters were “more or less presentable”, but the rest was “a pile of interview transcripts, and nothing related to recent years”.
“Stitching everything together was an awful experience. All the big stuff was in there, there just wasn’t anything interesting said about it. There was always this sense in the transcripts that Mick was holding back, or trying not to hurt anybody’s feelings.”
When Coleman announced he was quitting, Jagger said he understood.
“We’d talked a lot about whether he still wanted to go ahead or whether we could do it again but differently,” he recalled. “He just didn’t want to do it. I think he respected his audience by not giving them something ordinary about an extraordinary life…
“In a way, it tells you more about Mick than anything that could have come out in a mediocre book. It needed Mick to be able to talk to someone like he might a therapist, approach his life from a tangent. Instead, we ended up with something that was too pedestrian for Mick Jagger.”