Charlie Is My Darling: Andrew Loog Oldham returns to the Rolling Stones' early days
The first couple of decades of rock ’n’ roll were filled with terrifying producers and managers. Some of these figures were certifiably mad (Phil Spector, clearly). Others seemed that way—you couldn’t quite tell whether the underworld style was a put-on. But even if they were pretending, there was something scary about how far they were willing to take the pose.
One example was Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones from 1965 to ’67, back when the band belonged to Brian Jones and pills rather than Keith Richards and heroin. It was Oldham who established the Stones’ nasty, parent-baiting image, promoting them as miscreants in suits. And he backed it up with his own chilling vibe and phenomenal drug use.
At the same time, he started a highly influential independent label and produced early recordings by an amazing array of talent: Marianne Faithfull, Small Faces, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, Humble Pie, Jimmy Page, and on and on—all by the time he was 25.
Although he sobered up long ago, Oldham has remained in the business of music (even hosting a regular slot on Steven Van Zandt's Underground Garage radio channel), while splitting his time between Vancouver and Bogotá. That’s right, Bogotá.
And he’s glad to talk about those old days of blurry genius. That’s what he’ll be doing on Saturday night (July 31) at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway), when he hosts a midnight screening of Charlie Is My Darling, a rarely seen 1966 documentary about the Stones on tour in Ireland.
Admission is $10, with part of the proceeds going to the SPCA.