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
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

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.

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor