Former Rolling Stones manager headlines rock dreams course at B.C. university

Former Rolling Stones manager headlines rock dreams course at B.C. university

VICTORIA — Andrew Loog Oldham was 19 years old when he joined the vanguard of rock and roll history known as the British Invasion, becoming the first manager and producer of the Rolling Stones in 1963 and co-founding Immediate Records, an influential label with a roster of music superstars including Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac.

Now at 75, the member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said he’s bringing his music industry experience and “war stories” to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., to teach a 13-week course.

Rock Dreams: A History, 1954-1984 Up Close and Personal with Andrew Loog Oldham, is being offered as a full credit course in January in the Faculty of Arts. It is being billed as a “life lessons course using music as the medium.”

“It’s been an ambition of mine to do this,” said Oldham in a telephone interview from Bogota, Colombia, where he lives. “I’ll be able to offer what formed our lives. What made us ambitious in music or art or whatever it was.”

He said the course will provide his insider perspective from post-Second World War England, 1960s British Invasion and the counter culture, 1970s punk and new wave to the 1980s video generation.

“The basis of what we were doing is we avoided getting a regular job and having the lack of a future, which is what we’d been promised after supposedly winning the Second World War,” said Oldham. “Music was almost like a consolation prize.”

Oldham, who worked briefly as a publicist for the Beatles before convincing the Rolling Stones to allow him to become their manager and record producer, said the Stones played largely cover versions of American rhythm and blues songs, but he urged them to expand their creative boundaries and write their own songs.

It wasn’t long after that Rolling Stones songs composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards became huge 1960s hits, said Oldham, citing “19th Nervous Breakdown,” “Satisfaction,” “Get Off of My Cloud” and “Paint It, Black.”

Oldham said he knew time was marching on for him when he heard ”Paint It, Black” coming from the speakers at his local grocer.

“I knew my life had changed forever the day I walked into a supermarket, sometime in I think probably the end of the 1970s, and I heard “Paint It, Black” being played in a supermarket,” he said. “That was a profound experience.”

He said people marvel at the longevity of the Rolling Stones, whose members continue to tour and record in their 70s, and the only thing that will stop them is their own health.

“I think it’s pretty wonderful because whether they liked it or rallied against it in the beginning or not, we are in the world of entertainment and that’s what they do, continually still better than anybody.”

Oldham, who now has little contact with the band members, said there is as much misinformation as information circulating about the band.

“After a certain age, especially in public, we all become caricatures of ourselves,” he said. “I doubt Keith (Richards) behaves like that at home. His general gargoyle appearances.”

Billy Collins, a senior lecturer at TRU’s Faculty of Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism, said there will be a stage-like setting for Oldham’s classes.

So far, 174 students, ranging in age from 15 to 68, are registered for the course on Thursday nights.

“Am I excited, absolutely,” said Collins. “It demonstrates what a smaller university in a smaller city can do. “Even though this is somewhat of an experiment, it demonstrates the nimbleness of TRU and the willingness to try new approaches.”

Several surprise guests are scheduled to make appearances during the course to add deeper details to Oldham’s topics, he said. Johnny Marr, the guitarist for the former legendary British band The Smiths, is set to join Oldham via Skype during one of his lectures, Collins said.

Philosophy Prof. Bruce Baugh said he will be sharing the stage with Oldham throughout the course. The music aficionado said the course outline includes an extensive reading and viewing list, starting with the 1956 Jayne Mansfield movie, “The Girl Can’t Help It,” and including the Sheila Whitely essay, “Little Red Rooster vs. the Honky Tonk Woman: Jagger, Sexuality and Style.”

“When the dean told me we have the possibility of Andrew Loog Oldham coming to give a course for students here, I couldn’t believe it actually,” said Baugh. “I pretty much fell out of my chair.”

Oldham said his connection to Kamloops, about 350 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, comes through his manager Gary Procknow, who grew up in the city of about 90,000 people.

Oldham said he’s often fantasized about being dropped off on the side of the road in a small town and having to fend for himself.

“Now, it’s more or less happened,” he said.

Just Posted

An incredible closing ceremony capped off the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (File photo by SUSAN JUDGE/2019 Canada Winter Games)
2019 Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund Society hands out $655,000

35 not-for-profit groups across Alberta to get money

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says COVID ICU patients have increased by more than 100 per cent in the past month. (Photo by The Government of Alberta)
Record number of people in ICU: says AHS president

The head of Alberta Health Services says hospital staff are treating more… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team announced Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer Rebels acquire goaltender Connor Ungar, forward Liam Keeler in separate trades

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon… Continue reading

Alexander Michael Talbot, 29, was found guilty of operating a vehicle while prohibited, flight from police and vehicle theft in Red Deer provincial court recently. (Advocate file photo)
Man charged following police chases in central Alberta last summer is sentenced

Alexander Michael Talbot sentenced to 22 months in prison

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) falls on Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2

Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) watches the puck get past Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) on a shot by Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway during the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Monday, May 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Marchand scores in OT, Bruins beat Capitals to even series

Marchand scores in OT, Bruins beat Capitals to even series

Toronto Maple Leafs former players Darryl Sittler, centre, Johnny Bower, centre right, are joined by Ted Kennedy's son Mark for a ceremonial puck drop with Montreal Canadiens' Andrei Markov, left, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf, right, before NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Leafs, Canadiens legends eagerly awaiting playoff series

Leafs, Canadiens legends eagerly awaiting playoff series

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Western MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

Western MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

Most Read