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Original text in German. From article published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Sept. 12 2017
Apart from the rock muse Uschi Obermaier, Reinhold Mack is likely to have had the most intense time with the Rolling Stones in Munich. As a sound engineer for the legendary Musicland Studios, he looked after the band in the mid-1970s. Whereby “look after” is the correct expression with this bunch, other bands like Deep Purple were much more organized and professional, recalls Mack.
So from eight recording phases only the two long-playing records “It’s Only Rock’n’Roll” and “Black And Blue” came out. “That’s how they worked,” says Mack: “We go into the studio, and then the hell out of it is played.” While trying it out, he recorded everything, at the end of a session he had 200 tapes, each weighing five kilos: a ton of stones. “You already had brilliant moments,” he says. But was there also a perfect take? “No, none at all” – according to Mack’s taste.
The engineer also had the “most unpleasant” job of getting some guitarists like Harvey “The Snake” Mandel to be released. Mick Jagger, who also ran the business and “like the devil after the poor soul” was after the money, was relentless. If there was a petrol receipt on the table, he probed suspiciously: “200 kilometers! Where did you go?” Interestingly, he was very meek when a woman called for him. “Put Mick on the phone,” she asked Mack, “tell him: It’s his mother.”
On the line, the rock kid became very tame for three quarters of an hour: “Yes, yes, I’ll do it now …” Mack loved the pianist Ian Stewart – and of course Keith Richards: “a nice gentleman”. At the time, however, he was hanging on the needle, sometimes falling asleep, falling off the chair or not showing up at all. Once he clapped his face in his fried eggs and bacon at breakfast. Jagger was just passing by, lifting his hair, pulling the plate away, and placing Richards on the table. “Rock’n’Roll wasn’t nearly as glossy as you think it is today,” says Mack.
Bubi Heilemann, photographer
“Wherever they were, I was too,” says Wolfgang Bubi Heilemann. In his case, it’s not a show-off, because as a photographer of the rock stars he got around quite a bit and met Jagger, who was the same age, all the time. “I always call him Mickey Mäusi.” At the shooting for the first Bravo star cut in Manchester, he lent Mick Jagger, who appeared in a suit, his colorful T-shirt, in Montreux he took a love letter from Mick to Uschi Obermaier, and at the 1972 Olympic Games he photographed him in the stadium, like he cheered the British sprinter David Jenkis.
When Heilemann was later director of the pop show Formula 1 and happened to meet Mick Jagger on the Bavaria site, who was talking to a costume designer, the joy was great: “Mick is always so happy when he meets someone he knows. ” Heilemann was supposed to pick him up at the Hilton Hotel that evening. First they went to the Chinese restaurant in the basement of the Seidl Villa. “Mick ate up and down the menu, only tasted everything, I got dizzy,” remembers Heilemann, who thought he had to pay. When he took out his wallet, Jagger only said: “Leave it in. I pay with American Express. Normally they don’t pay it anyway, but hang up the bill with my signature.”
Heilemann once met Jagger by chance in a disco on Münchner Freiheit. The next day the Stones performed in Innsbruck, “he didn’t feel like it” and preferred to make a stopover: “He loves Munich.” Jagger hid behind brass bars and pointed to women he liked. Heilemann went to the floor and spoke to her. “Everyone came along.” Together they drove to the photographer’s house in Obergiesing. “The girls sat in the living room like chickens on a pole,” remembers Heilemann, who was drinking cognac with the singer in the kitchen. “I still have the silver goblets with the dried up cognac leftovers from Mick, which I could show on a TV show.”