Under Their Thumb:How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It) tells the story of Bill German's unlikely friendship with the Rolling Stones. He first met them on the streets of New York when he was a seventeen-year-old aspiring journalist. After handing them a copy of his amateur fanzine, they took the author under their wing and hired him as their official historian. They turned his little rag into their official newsletter and advertised it in one of their albums.
Soon after, he began traveling the world with them and staying at their homes. German went from being a teenage fan who wanted to know everything about his favorite band to suddenly knowing too much! He was privy to their private jams and recording sessions as well as to their parties, peccadilloes, and in-fights. Yet, through it all, he maintained his identity as that nice boy from Brooklyn. Despite Keith's observation—or edict?—that "people only leave the Stones in a casket or handcuffs," he was one of the few to leave their orbit on his own terms.
This updated edition of Under Their Thumb includes new stories about German's relationship to the Stones and twenty never-before-seen images.
Bill German's life turned upside down when, at age ten, he first heard the Rolling Stones' Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! album. By age sixteen, he was chronicling the Stones' activities in Beggars Banquet, the fanzine he launched from his bedroom. The band took note and eventually declared Beggars Banquet their official newsletter. German traveled the world with the Stones and was welcomed into their homes. He co-authored The Works with guitarist Ron Wood and wrote about the group for Rolling Stone and Spin. German majored in journalism at New York University until he dropped out to follow the Stones. He lives in New York City.