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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on