A new documentary about original Rolling Stones leader Brian Jones features a letter written to him by his estranged father.
The undated note was an attempt to build bridges in the years after Jones had been kicked out the family home for his wayward lifestyle — which included fathering three children to three different women by the age of 20 — before he’d even formed the famous band that would later fire him.
Nick Broomfield’s latest movie, The Stones and Brian Jones, concludes with the letter from Lewis Jones being read by the rocker’s ex-girlfriend Linda Lawrence, who’d kept it in her attic for decades. It says: “My dear Brian, we have had unhappy times and I have been a very poor and intolerant father in so many ways. You grew up in such a different way than I expected you to. I was quite out of my depth… I don’t suppose you will ever forgive me, but all I ask is for just a little of that affection you once had for me. This is a very private and personal note so don’t trouble to reply. Love, Dad.”
While noting that it’s impossible to say if Jones ever read it, the movie also includes a clip of him discussing family relationships. “A child is a thing to be loved. A child is the manifestation of both parents and both parents see themselves in the child… he’s a reflection of their own personality,” the rocker explains. “So, one day, when he grows up, he’s going to assert his own personality, which may well differ from the outlook and personality of his parents, who immediately feel upset… They feel they have lost him.”
Broomfield – who met Jones on a train in 1963 – told the Guardian that his film avoided the rumors which surrounded the artist’s death three weeks after being fired from the band in 1969. “I felt they didn’t go anywhere,” the director said, “and, in terms of the story, I just thought: ‘What’s the point of me wasting a lot of time just to end up dismissing them?’”
Instead, he focused on Jones’ troubled personality. “Brian was essentially a helpless child who craved his parents’ approval,” Broomfield argued. “After he was thrown out of their house at 17, he would somehow find families that would look after him. Basically, he would charm his girlfriends’ parents and move into their family nest like a cuckoo. Invariably, they would look after him until they found out that he had got their daughter pregnant.”
The Stones and Brian Jones will be broadcast as part of the BBC series Arena on May 15 in the U.K.
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