‘The Man Who Killed Mick Jagger’ (1977)
A novel by author by David Littlejohn originally published in 1977 about a graduate student and social misfit who sets out to murder “the idol of his generation.”
The text on blurb on the back reads: “‘Ladies and gentlemen – The Rolling Stones!’ Ronald Harrington – graduate student misfit, social outcast, lost in the confusion of the California hip scene and trying every escape he knows to get free. It is time to rebel, he thinks – but rebel against what? And now he knows, perched on a gantry high above the stage, poised to jump on the sleeky, sweaty body of the idol of his generation, the prancing, teasing symbol of everything that at once repulses and attracts him…
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No relation to the real-life would-be assassin who was stabbed by a Hell’s Angel at Altamont, the sociopath of this fictional portrait is a white, middle-class 27-year-old who sits at a Roiling Stones concert, hating himself and everybody. Unrelieved disgust is the motif as Ronald Harrington ponders in flashback his life as a perennial outsider–too uptight for his California high school, too fat to be successful with girls, too distracted with misery to do well in graduate school. Meanwhile the reader has to put up with evocations (Dear Disgusting Diary) of Ronald’s lurid inner life in pseudo-lurid prose, phrases like “”he set one row of teeth tight atop the other,”” and analyses of Mick Jagger as demonic soul-teaser.
The book ends with Ronald about to leap onstage with a knife, but the events of his life–plausible though uninteresting in themselves–do not seem to point to this, or to much of anything. News stories have long been good fuel for fiction–Judith Rossner did it in Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Theodore Dreiser did it way before that–but only when the author is willing to dissect the life of his times rather than merely rub up against its sensational aspects.
(Ref. the man who killed mick jagger)
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