Rolling Stones historian in town for book signing

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Bill German is the author of "Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy From Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (And Lived to Tell About It)."

On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, he'll share his humorous anecdotes and never-before seen photos and sign his books at three Phoenix-area libraries.  Admission is free.

His book chronicles his ups and downs with the Rolling Stones, his friendship with the band (forged when he was just 16 years old) and how he became the band's official historian for almost two decades.

German travelled the world with the Stones, stayed at their homes, and witnessed their private jam sessions, decadent parties, and vicious in-fights.

It all started when German turned 16 in 1978. That's when he started "Beggar's Banquet", a newsletter devoted to the Stones on his high school mimeograph. Two years later he approached the band and gave them a copy. Soon thereafter he became their official historian and given unprecedented access.

In 1989 German noticed his access becoming more restricted with the "Steel Wheels" tour. Pop culture historians refer to this as the corporatization of rock and changed the face of touring forever. German found himself getting cut off by lawyers, accountants and managers, and discovered a backstage pass didn't necessarily grant him access to the group. Choked off by this new layer of protection, German no longer could report on the band as he did in the past.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the band, who will tour in 2013 possibly for the last time. German shared some unique insights as the Stones gear up for what will most likely be the largest grossing tour of all time.

Queen Creek Branch Library
Monday, Nov.5, 6:30 p.m.
(21802 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ)

Fountain Hills Branch Library
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m.
(12901 N. LaMontana Drive, Fountain Hills, AZ)

Northwest Regional Library
Thursday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.
(16089 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise, AZ)