Tony King might be “rock history’s best-kept secret”, says Alexis Petridis in The Guardian. The 80-year-old has worked with everyone from the Rolling Stones to Freddie Mercury and Elton John. So as you can imagine, he’s well-equipped to handle tantrums. One weekend in the mid-1970s, King arrived at John Lennon’s LA home to find the Beatle shattering gold records and trying to uproot a palm tree. He eventually managed to pin down Lennon, who quipped: “I never knew you were so strong, dear.” Another time, he had to usher the Liverpudlian out of a performance by Frankie Valli, after he started loudly telling the Four Seasons frontman to “show us your dick”.
After switching jobs to work with the Rolling Stones, King was upbraided by Keith Richards for smoking a joint with the guitarist’s then-partner: “unbelievable as it seems now”, the rocker initially disapproved of drugs. The most “hilarious eccentric” King ever met? Yoko Ono, who encouraged him to take magic mushrooms before a business meeting with an industry executive. “I took off halfway through lunch,” he says. “I was flying. And Yoko leans across the table and says, ‘Good, aren’t they?’”
The Tastemaker by Tony King is available for pre-order here.