Bill German is the only person to write a book with
one of the Rolling Stones and live to tell about it.
He’s also the only person ever advertised in
a Rolling Stones album.
It all began in 1978, when German, a 16-year-old fan,
sneaked into his high school’s mimeo room to create the
first edition of his Rolling Stones newsletter, Beggars Banquet.
His teachers hated it, his parents nearly plotzed,
but German kept his little creation going for the next seventeen
years, reporting on every detail of the Stones’ personal
and professional lives.
Because German was an aspiring journalist and radio
deejay, he didn't approach his creation as just a fan club,
but as a news publication. And so, at age 17, when he presented
his newsletter to the Stones themselves, they appreciated his
irreverent and non-gushy writing style. They began inviting
him to parties and to press events. (If you’re thinking
“Almost Famous,” you’re on the right track.)
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards then came up with an
idea. They wanted to declare Beggars Banquet their official
newsletter and offer it to Stones fans worldwide. After clearing
it with their attorneys and their record label, the Stones advertised
Beggars Banquet inside their “Undercover” album.
When a million people ran out to purchase that record, an entire
generation of fans became familiar with Beggars Banquet.
From there, German was invited to travel around the
world with the Rolling Stones. The kid who started as a dorky
Rolling Stones fan was now sleeping over the Stones’ houses
and was privy to their recording sessions and video shoots.
Interestingly, German never let his personal relationship
with the band members compromise his reporting. He saw the Stones
for all their warts and occasionally butted heads with Mr. Jagger
over the stories he printed in Beggars Banquet.
At age 23, German was hired to ghost write Ron Wood’s
autobiography, “The Works.” German virtually moved
into Wood’s house on New York’s Upper West Side
to get the job done. Despite constant interruptions at all hours
of the night from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan,
and Don Johnson, German and Wood completed the manuscript on
time. Harper & Row published it in 1987, as German and Wood
embarked on a book tour.
German’s vast Stones knowledge has opened up
opportunities for him in radio, his first true love. Listeners
across the country tuned in to hear German interview Keith Richards
during a two-hour special on the ABC Radio Network. And his
weekly Rolling Stones news reports were heard nationwide along
the Global Satellite Radio Network. Plus, he’s put in
dozens of appearances on stations like WNEW and K-Rock in his
native New York, and on KLOS in Los Angeles.
To music fans, German is recognized as the foremost
storyteller and authority on the Rolling Stones. In fact, German’s
own story has been recounted in magazine articles and books
that have been written about the Stones.
German wrapped up the print version of Beggars Banquet
in 1996 (after seventeen years), but maintains a multimedia
web site at BeggarsBanquetOnline.com.
And now he’s ready to launch “THE STONES
ZONE,” a fast-paced, informative, irreverent radio program
that will offer updates from the Stones’ 2002-2003 world
Of Beggars Banquet