Andrew Loog Oldham

Andrew Loog Oldham

born on 29/1/1944

Andrew Loog Oldham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Andrew Loog Oldham

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.[1]

Early life

Oldham's father Andrew Loog was a United States Army Air Forces lieutenant of Dutch 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: he was buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium. Oldham's Australian mother, with maiden name Oldham,[2] was a nurse and comptometer operator.

Oldham attended the Aylesbury School for Boys, Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire, St Marylebone Grammar School and Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire.[3] A self-proclaimed hustler who spent teenage summers swindling tourists in French towns, Oldham's 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.

Early career

Oldham became a publicist for British and American musicians and for producer Joe Meek.[1] Among his projects were stints publicizing Bob Dylan on his first UK visit and The Beatles for Brian Epstein in early 1963. In April 1963, a journalist friend recommended that he see a young R&B band called The Rolling Stones. 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. 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.[1] Oldham had previously been business partners with Peter Meaden, first manager of The Who, but they had fallen out. 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 Oldham to propel the group to success:

  • firing or demoting 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; Oldham said that six was too many and Stewart was five years older, stockier with a square jaw. To Stewart's credit, he stayed on as the road manager and was an influence.
  • retaining ownership of the group's master tapes, which were then leased to Decca - an idea learned from Phil Spector, that allowed greater artistic freedom and financial rewards than a standard recording contract;
  • 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, of the Rolling Stones, to start writing their own songs; and
  • promoting a "bad boy" image for The Rolling Stones in contrast to The Beatles. Oldham generated widely-reprinted headlines like "Would you let your daughter marry 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.

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". 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,[1] in which Rolling Stones as well as London session players (including Steve Marriott on harmonica) recorded pop covers and instrumentals. These were rediscovered in the 1990s when the indie band The Verve used a string loop based on the orchestral arrangement of "The Last Time" in "Bitter Sweet Symphony"; in the ensuing court battle, songwriting royalties for the Verve track were awarded to ABCKO Records, the owner of the copyright for "The Last Time". As his success increased, Oldham thrived on a reputation as a garrulous, androgynous gangster who wore makeup and shades and relied on his bodyguard "Reg" to threaten rivals.[3]

Oldham sold his share of the Rolling Stones' management to Allen Klein in 1966, but continued in his role as the band's de facto manager and producer until late 1967. Relations with the group were strained by Oldham's drug use and legal problems that the band was facing in 1967. After Oldham's departure, his relationship with the Rolling Stones was strained for several years.

In 1965, Oldham set up Immediate Records, among the first independent labels in the UK.[1] 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, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Amen Corner, The McCoys, The Strangeloves, and Duncan Browne.[4]

With Arthur Greenslade he was credited as the co-writer of "Headlines", the B-side of "Ride On Baby" (IM 038), by Chris Farlowe, which was released in October 1966.[5]

Oldham also helped Derek Taylor publicise the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album by publishing advertisements praising the album. He enlisted songwriter Billy Nicholls to record a British response, the album Would You Believe?. After the Small Faces disbanded in 1969, he put together Humble Pie, featuring Steve Marriott (formerly of the Small Faces) and Peter Frampton (formerly of The Herd).

In the 1970s and 1980s, Oldham worked primarily in the United States. He produced Donovan and other artists.[1] In the mid-1980s, he made Colombia his primary residence after marrying Esther Farfan, a Colombian model. There he became a mentor for local bands.

Recent career

Oldham co-wrote a (mostly fictional) biography of ABBA in the 1990s[6] 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.[7] Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at: The 2014 Induction Ceremony [8]

In 2005, Oldham 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. Oldham is heard daily with a three-hour show on weekdays and a four-hour weekend show. Since 2006 has worked with Argentine musician Charly García. In 2008 he worked on the production of Los Ratones Paranoicos' new album.[9] He also produced and arranged Canadian singer Wyckham Porteous's album 3 A.M. (2008). Since 2008 he has been managing and working with Colombian pop artist Juan Galeano.

"Andrew's Blues"

The song, "Andrew's Blues", sung by the Rolling Stones and appearing on the Black Box collection CD1,[10][11] is a humorous if scathing evocation of Oldham.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Jason Ankeny (1944-01-29). Andrew Loog Oldham | Biography. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2014-02-03.
  2. [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Loog Oldham, Andrew (2000). Stoned, Secker & Warburg.
  4. Breaking News: The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra is back!. Retrieved on 2014-02-02.
  5. Chris Farlowe - Ride On Baby (Vinyl) at Discogs. (1966-10-27). Retrieved on 2014-02-02.
  6. ABBA: The Name of the Game: Andrew Oldham, Tony Calder, Colin Irwin: 9780330346887: Books. Retrieved on 2014-02-02.
  7. Rolling Stoned, by Andrew Loog Oldham. (2012-07-13). Retrieved on 2014-02-02.
  9. [2]
  10. Stansted Montfichet. Black Box - The Rolling Stones | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2014-02-02.
  11. Rolling Stones* - Black Box (CD) at Discogs. Retrieved on 2014-02-02.
  12. The Rolling Stones - ANDREW'S BLUES (AKA SONG FOR ANDREW) lyrics. (1999-11-01). Retrieved on 2014-02-02.

External links

  • Official website
  • Review of The Rolling Stones Songbook (French)
  • Small Faces - Immediate
  • Lyrics of "Andrew's Blues"

The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger | Keith Richards | Charlie Watts | Ron Wood
Brian Jones | Bill Wyman | Mick Taylor | Ian Stewart | Chuck Leavell | Darryl Jones | Dick Taylor
Andrew Loog Oldham | Allen Klein
Related articles
Discography | The Glimmer Twins | Nanker Phelge | Rolling Stones Records
The Rolling Stones | Members | Albums | Singles | Songs

This page was last modified 11.04.2014 18:16:45

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