Thursday, August 4, 2011

Looking Back

Years after, December 1989, when visiting Keith Richards' New York loft, Andrew Loog Oldham was confronted with his 1963 decision again. 'Stu hated you, Andrew', Keith informed me. He paused, allowed the dime to drop and continued, 'but not as much as he hated Brian; he wanted to kill Brian'. Keith let us both mull on that one, and I thought I heard him add, 'Maybe he did'. 'He never forgave you for kicking him out of the group, Andrew', was what I heard Keith say.

'Yeah, maybe, but I couldn't have done it without help', was how I answered. 'Well', I sighed, trying to move it further in to close the cycle, 'I'm just glad Stu captured my essence so eloquently before he died. He's gone and he did me a favour. I'll never have to wonder what he really thought about me'. 'What did he say? ' asked Keith. 'He said he wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire', I replied. We both laughed; Stu tied the knot and grinned. A few months later I'd stopped off in England and was catching up with Cynthia Stewart on the phone.

'So how was Keith towards you when you met?' Cyn had asked, cutting straight to the point in a way that reminded me of what a wonderful minder and ally she had been. 'He was fine, really nice', I said. 'Good', said Cyn, waiting for more. 'There was only one weird moment', I remembered, piquing Cyn's interest. 'It was about Stu. We were off at a tangent, first what Stu thought of me, then how he loathed Brian. Then I realised I was listening to Keith speculate on how maybe Stu hated Brian enough to kill him. Fucking blew me away, I can tell you. I'd never heard that one before'.

'Oh, I have.' Cyn flatlined. 'Back at the time Brian died I thought about it too, and, in fact, Andrew, I went through Stu's diary just to see if he could have, but he couldn't have. He just couldn't have been there when thingumajig, I mean Brian, of course, just couldn't have been there when Brian died. Anyway, what did Keith say Stu thought of you?'. Cynthia had opened the door I'd left ajar, so I could tell her. 'He said Stu hated me and never forgave me for kicking him out of the Stones'. 'Hmmm'. Even Cyn had to mark time on that one. 'He was a strange man, Andrew, was our Stu. He didn't show it, but he was always terribly hurt by what happened'.

Adapted from the following source: Andrew Loog Oldham, 2Stoned, Vintage, 2003.

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