Andrew Loog Oldham
|Born||29 January 1944|
|Origin||London, England, UK|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, manager, impresario, author|
Andrew Loog Oldham (born 29 January 1944) is an English record producer, talent manager, impresario and author. He was manager and producer of the Rolling Stones from 1963 to 1967, and was noted for his flamboyant style.
Loog Oldham's father, Andrew Loog, was a United States Army Air Force lieutenant, a New Orleanian of German descent, who served with the Eighth Air Force. Loog was killed in June 1943 when his B-17 bomber was shot down over the English Channel, and he was buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium. Loog Oldham's Australian-born mother, Celia Oldham, was a nurse and comptometer operator. Loog Oldham attended the Aylesbury School for Boys, Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire, St Marylebone Grammar School and Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire.
A self-proclaimed hustler, Loog Oldham spent teenage summers swindling tourists in French towns. His interest in the pop culture of the 1960s and the Soho coffeehouse scene led to working for Carnaby Street mod designer John Stephen and later as an assistant to then-emerging fashion designer Mary Quant. Loog Oldham became a publicist for British and American musicians and for producer Joe Meek. Among his projects were stints publicizing both Bob Dylan (on his first UK visit) and the Beatles (for Brian Epstein) in early 1963.
The Rolling Stones
In April 1963, a journalist friend recommended that Loog Oldham see a young R&B band called the Rolling Stones. Loog Oldham saw potential in the group being positioned as an "anti-Beatles"—a rougher group compared to the "cuddly moptop" image of the Beatles at that time. Loog Oldham, still a teenager, rapidly acquired a seasoned business partner (Eric Easton) and took over management of the Stones who had been informally represented by Giorgio Gomelsky. Loog Oldham had previously been business partners with Peter Meaden, first manager of the Who, but they had fallen out after getting into several fights. Loog Oldham signed recording rights to the Stones to Decca, targeting A&R head Dick Rowe, who had earlier declined to sign the Beatles.
Among strategies devised and executed by Loog Oldham to propel the group to success:
- reassigning Ian Stewart from onstage keyboard player in May 1963 to studio-only play. This was to keep their public appearance as a five-man group of slender young men; Loog Oldham said words to the effect that "the kids can't count to six" and Stewart was 3–5 years older than four of the five band members (although Bill Wyman was almost two years older than Stewart, no one knew this at the time. Wyman, who wrote for some of the Stones early fanzines even dubbed himself the youngest member. His true age was not revealed until circa the band's highly successful 1969 American tour.). Stewart stayed on as the road manager and continued to contribute keyboard parts to the band's recordings and live performances, and remained an influence.
- encouraging Mick Jagger to be the front man, and take the spotlight off leader Brian Jones.
- bringing John Lennon and Paul McCartney to the recording studio, which led to their song "I Wanna Be Your Man" becoming the Rolling Stones' second single;
- encouraging Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to start writing their own songs ("Tell Me" was their first);
- promoting a "bad boy" image for the Rolling Stones in contrast to the Beatles. Loog Oldham generated widely reprinted headlines like "Would You Let Your Sister Go with a Rolling Stone?" and provocative album-cover notes, such as a satirical incitement to fans to mug a blind beggar for funds to buy the album. This quote can be found on the back of some issues of The Rolling Stones No. 2 LP. [better source needed]
Loog Oldham and Eric Easton negotiated a recording contract which was very favourable to themselves. Instead of having the Stones sign directly with Decca they set up a company, Impact Sound, which retained ownership of the group's master tapes, which were then leased to Decca — an idea learned from Phil Spector. Impact Sound received a 14% royalty from Decca but paid only 6% to the Stones, out of which Loog Oldham and Eric Easton received a 25% management fee.
Loog Oldham produced all Rolling Stones recordings from 1963 until late 1967 despite having no previous experience as a producer. According to the Rolling Stones' website, accounts regarding the value of his musical input to the Stones recordings vary "from negligible to absolute zero". Though lacking technical expertise in the studio, it is thought that Loog Oldham was good at seeing the "big picture" of the Rolling Stones' image and sound. He discovered Marianne Faithfull at a party, giving her Jagger and Richards' "As Tears Go By" to record. He also developed other studio talent with his Andrew Oldham Orchestra, in which Rolling Stones as well as London session players (including Steve Marriott on harmonica) recorded pop covers and instrumentals. As his success increased, Loog Oldham thrived on a reputation as a garrulous, androgynous gangster who wore makeup and sunglasses and relied on his bodyguard Reg 'The Butcher' King to threaten rivals.
Loog Oldham put an advert in the Melody Maker that praised The Righteous Brothers' version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" in an effort to detract attention and sales from Cilla Black's competing version.
In 1965, Loog Oldham hired Allen Klein as his business manager. On Loog Oldham's behalf Klein renegotiated the Rolling Stones' contract with Decca, excluding Loog Oldham's partner, Eric Easton. But over the next two years Loog Oldham's relations with the Stones were strained by his drug use and inattention to the group's needs. When Jagger and Richards were arrested for drug possession in 1967, instead of devising a strategy for their legal defence and public relations, Loog Oldham fled to the United States, leaving Klein to deal with the problem. Loog Oldham was forced to resign as manager of the Rolling Stones in late 1967 and sold his rights to the group's music to Allen Klein the following year.
In 1965, Loog Oldham set up Immediate Records, among the first independent labels in the UK. Among the artists that he signed and/or produced or guided were PP Arnold, Chris Farlowe, the Small Faces, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Rod Stewart, the Nice, Jimmy Page, Nico, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Amen Corner, the McCoys, the Strangeloves, Humble Pie and Duncan Browne.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Loog Oldham worked primarily in the United States. He produced Donovan, Gene Pitney and other artists. In the mid-1980s, he made Colombia his home after marrying Esther Farfan, a Colombian model. There he briefly worked with some Colombian bands.
A recording by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra was rediscovered in the 1990s when the Verve used a string loop based on the orchestral arrangement of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time" in their song "Bitter Sweet Symphony"; in the ensuing court battle, songwriting royalties for the Verve track were awarded to Allen Klein's ABKCO Records, the owner of the copyright for "The Last Time".
Loog Oldham co-wrote a biography of ABBA in the 1990s and three autobiographies: Stoned (1998), 2Stoned (2001), and Rolling Stoned (2011) in which he and other music figures recount his days as a manager, producer and impresario. He was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2005, Loog Oldham thanked the Scientology-linked drug rehab organisation Narconon for saving his life from his cocaine addiction. That same year, he was recruited by Steven Van Zandt to host a radio show on Van Zandt's Underground Garage radio channel heard in North America on Sirius Satellite Radio. Loog Oldham has a three-hour show on weekdays and a four-hour weekend show. In 2006 he collaborated with renowned Argentine musician Charly García for his album Kill Gil, which was eventually released in a slightly reworked form in 2010. In 2008, he worked on the production of a new album by Argentine rock band Los Ratones Paranoicos.
In 2014, Loog Oldham overheard Canadian artist Ché Aimee Dorval singing backup on a friend's track he was helping to produce, and he subsequently signed her to his label. In September 2014, Loog Oldham's label released Dorval's second studio EP, Volume One. She was also given two covers to sing on his 2013 album of Rolling Stones' songs entitled Andrew Oldham Orchestra and Friends play the Rolling Stones Songbook Vol. 2. Dorval sang "As Tears Go By" and "Under My Thumb".
- Jason Ankeny (29 January 1944). "Andrew Loog Oldham | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Rej, Bent (2006). The Rolling Stones: in the beginning. Great Britain: Firefly Books Ltd. p. 298. ISBN 978-1-55407-230-9.
- Goodman, Fred (2015), Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 978-0-547-89686-1, p. 81
- Loog Oldham, Andrew (2000). Stoned. Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-09-928467-7.
- Henry Mance (8 April 2016). "UK to Colombia: the man who discovered The Rolling Stones". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
- Goodman 2015, p. 83.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 84, 86.
- Rej 2006, pp. 298–300.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 87–90.
- Goodman 2015, p. 90.
- Richards, Keith (2010). Life. USA: Little, Brown and Company. pp. 129. ISBN 978-0-316-03438-8.
- Goodman 2015, p. 92.
- Goodman 2015, p. 93.
- Goodman 2015, p. 96.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 93–94.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 86, 90.
- Rej 2006, p. 298.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 77–81, 101–109.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 138–141.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 144–151.
- "Breaking News: The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra is back!". Everybodymustgetstoned.net. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Chris Farlowe - Ride On Baby (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 27 October 1966. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Goodman 2015, pp. 265–267.
- Oldham, Andrew; Calder, Tony; Irwin, Colin (1996). ABBA: The Name of the Game: Andrew Oldham, Tony Calder, Colin Irwin: 9780330346887: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 0330346881.
- "Rolling Stoned, by Andrew Loog Oldham". Gegensatzpress.com. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Andrew Loog Oldham: inducted in 2014 | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum". Rockhall.com. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Scientologists will 'purify' drug addicts - for £15,000". The Guardian. 27 March 2005. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Archived 17 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "About Ché". Ché Aimee Dorval website. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Meissner, Dirk (16 December 2019). "Kamloops university to host former Rolling Stones manager for rock history course". British Columbia. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
- Stansted Montfichet. "Black Box - The Rolling Stones | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Rolling Stones* - Black Box (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "The Rolling Stones - ANDREW'S BLUES (AKA SONG FOR ANDREW) lyrics". Burbler.com. 1 November 1999. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- Goodman, Fred (2015). Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-89686-1.