D.A. Ball
December 10, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones was a long-haired teenage rebel, a petty thief, and a musician who couldn’t stay sober or sane enough to get to all his concerts. He fathered three illegitimate children and treated women like dirt (he broke his hand beating one). He didn’t always like the Stones’ music and considered dumping Mick Jagger from the band. And he drowned—somehow—at 27. According to author Laura Jackson, he was the Stones’ motivating genius, ”the most exciting man of one of the most exciting decades in living memory.” Oh, really? Perhaps her groupie awe is the reason her extensive research in Golden Stone: The Untold Life and Tragic Death of Brian Jones only adulates Jones without illuminating him. Yet the story of this tormented rock star is unnerving, engrossing, and required reading for Stones fanatics.

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