Mick Jagger's love letters to Marsha Hunt reveal 'secret history' of the Rolling Stone

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

A series of love letters revealing a passionate and clandestine romance between Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and American actress and original Hair cast-member Marsha Hunt (pictured) will go under the hammer next month.

The ten missives written by Jagger to Hunt, the inspiration for "Brown Sugar", during the summer of 1969 while he was filming Ned Kelly in Australia are expected to fetch between £70,000-£100,000 at Sotheby’s English Literature and History sale on 1 December.

London-based model, singer and actress Hunt was a poster girl for the “Black is Beautiful” movement and also the face of ground-breaking West End play Hair.

She had been asked by the Rolling Stones to appear in a photo shoot for “Honky Tonk Woman” but refused in consideration of her position as a role model for black women. “I didn’t want to look like I’d just been had by all the Rolling Stones,” she said.

But Jagger pursued Hunt, appearing at midnight at the door of her Bloomsbury apartment. She wrote in her 1986 memoir Real Life, he stood, “framed by the doorway as he stood grinning with a dark coat …He drew one hand out of his pocket and pointed it at me like a pistol…Bang.”

The letters include references to the first moon landing, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Christopher Isherwood and the Isle of Wight festival. They reveal Jagger’s artistic and intellectual interests, snatches of poetry, surreal flights of fancy and his sexual desires.

Hunt said: “When a serious historian finally examines how and why Britain’s boy bands affected international culture and politics, this well-preserved collection of Mick Jagger’s hand-written letters will be a revelation.”

“Despite his high profile and my own as a singer, actress, Vogue model and star of London’s original Hair cast, our delicate love affair remains as much part of his secret history as his concerns over the death of Brian Jones and the suicide attempt of his girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull.”

Writing of their relationship, Jagger says: “I feel with you something so unsung there is no need to sing it…”; his describes the Australian outback as the early morning mist “turns red and violent then hard and warm”; he maligns “John & Yoko boring everybody…”’ and thanks Hunt for being “so nice to an evil old man like me”.

Jagger, who was 25 when he wrote the letters to 23-year-old Hunt, includes the full lyrics for “Monkey Man” in one, with three additional lines and a track list of songs with accompanying comments such as “OK” and “dodgy”.

The letters contain veiled references to the death of Brian Jones and Jagger’s increasingly difficult relationship with Faithful, with whom he had been due to co-star in Ned Kelly, but who took an overdose of barbiturates and almost died soon after her arrival in Australia.

This letter made available by Sotheby's Saturday Nov. 10, 2012 shows a letter addressed to American-born singer Marsha Hunt. Handwritten letters from Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger to his former lover Marsha Hunt will be auctioned in London next month. Hunt is a singer who was the inspiration for the Stones' 1971 hit "Brown Sugar" and bore Jagger's first child. The letters, written on a range of headed stationery (from Chevron Hotel,  Sydney; JHA Sykes, Palerand, Bungendore, New South Wales and Woodfall Limited, Bondi Junction, New South Wales) are filled with anxiety about the future of his relationship with Hunt.

Jagger seems to deliberately misspell words and his handwriting declines through the correspondence following an injury to his hand sustained when a prop pistol on Ned Kelly misfired.

Dr Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s Books Specialist said: “These beautifully written and lyrical letters from the heart of the cultural and social revolution of 1969, frame a vivid moment in cultural history. Here we see Mick Jagger, not as the global superstar he has become, but as a poetic and self-aware 25-year-old, with wideranging intellectual and artistic interests.”

“Written from a film set in the Australian Outback in that momentous year for The ‘Stones, just after their landmark Hyde Park concert and before the tragic events of Altamont, we are afforded an insight into how one of the central actors in the momentous cultural events of the time saw the world as it changed around him. They provide a rare glimpse of Jagger that is very different from his public persona: passionate but self-contained, lyrical but with a strong sense of irony.”

Jagger and Hunt went on to have a child together in 1970.

Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'