Up and Down with The Rolling Stones … by Tony Sanchez

This was the first book I read on the Rolling Stones when I was around 13. It’s an easy but dark read. It’s written by Tony Sanchez, Keith’s drug dealer and sometimes partner in crime. Tony was also a photographer who took photos of the Stones and the Moody Blues. Spanish Tony, as he was called hung around with the Stones, Moody Blues and also knew the Beatles.

It’s full of wrecked cars, heroin, dead friends, sleazy characters, and some eventful journeys. At first, I would take some of the stories with a grain of salt but most of the events were verified by Keith’s book “Life.”

Spanish Tony and Keith Richards

Tony Sanchez and Keith Richards

Tony had some underworld connections like the famous Kray Twins of the 60s. He opened a club with some backing from the Stones and according to him saved Keith from some setups from time to time with his connections. The Nellcote in France period is covered well and the film of the 1972 tour that was never released except for a bootleg was explained.

Anita Pallenberg came off looking worse than anyone. Tony talks about Anita’s interest in black magic, Kenneth Anger, and how she would practice some of the rituals. He described her as a very nasty and petty woman, especially to Bianca. She was first with Brian…then with Keith and a brief spell with Mick. Marianne Faithfull was also a subject in the book and she came off really well.

Tony and Keith were pretty tight. On the original back cover of Beggars Banquet you can see “Spanish Tony Where Are You” written on the wall. He had been out of the country at that time.

Spanish Tony and Keith Richards2

Anita Pallenberg, Tony Sanchez, Keith Richards

The book concentrates on Keith and Mick…big surprise there…also on Brian Jones. He goes through the dynamics between the three.  He talks about the bust at Redlands and Tony trying to bribe some high-ranking police investigators to “lose” the evidence but it didn’t work.

He tells one story that happened at Mick Jagger’s 26th birthday party at the club that Tony partly owned (The Vesuvio Club) and the DJ was playing the Stones new song Sympathy for the Devil…In walks, Paul McCartney with the Hey Jude and Revolution demo single under his arm and it was played… people went nuts. Tony said that Mick felt upstaged…After that Tony had his cousin…a big Beatles fan…attempt to drive John Lennon home…but he could hardly drive the car because he was so nervous…John and Yoko were jerked all over the back seat so John ended up getting out and walking…

There are some funny stories in this about Keith and the world he created.

Tony was with the Stones until 1976 and he just walked away after some confusion backstage over a backstage pass…He was carrying dope to someone and so he says he checked himself in rehab.

If you are a Stones fan you should like it.