Mick Stops The Presses
Written by Bill German   
Sunday, 01 February 2009 05:00
It's twenty-five years since the first "official" issue of Beggars Banquet rolled off the presses.  I can't believe it's been that long.  I'd been publishing the fanzine on my own since 1978, but, after the Stones approached me in 1983 about making it "official," the 'zine went through some changes.  I therefore labeled the new version "Volume 2," to distinguish it from the previous "independent" incarnation.  (Mind you, none of those earlier issues were referred to as "Volume 1," the same way World War I wasn't called "World War I" when it was actually going on.)

After piecing together "Volume 2, Number 1" in January 1984, I was excited to get my first "official" issue to the printer.  But as the job was being run, I received a phone call saying Mick didn't like the way he looked in the cover photo and that I had to change it. So I called my printer and said, "Stop the presses!"  (In "Under Their Thumb," I detail how my relationship with the Stones affected my editorial freedom.)

Well folks, for the first time ever, here is a look (below center) at the cover that Mick didn't want you to see.  To the right is the cover that all Beggars Banquet subscribers eventually got.  And to the left is the advertisement the Stones inserted into every copy of their 1983 "Undercover" album.  As you can see, it's the exact same photo that Mick later said I couldn't use.  He was fine with a million people seeing it in 1983, but not with anyone seeing it in 1984.  Changing one's mind is a rock star's prerogative.

Undercover insertVol. 2, No. 1 Rejected CoverVol. 2, No. 1 Actual Cover

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