Mick Jagger’s Love Letters Sell For Over $300,000
The Guardian reports that ten letters sent by Mick Jagger to a secret lover in the summer of 1969 have sold at an auction for $303,307. This was double the pre-sale estimate of $113,386 to $161,980. They were bought by a private collector who bid over the phone.
The letters show Jagger as a “poetic and self-aware” 25-year-old. They were written to American singer Marsha Hunt while Jagger was in Australia. Hunt provided the inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ 1971 song “Brown Sugar”. She asked Sotheby’s in London to sell the ten letters at an auction. At the time of the letters she was in the West End production of Hair.
Hunt said: “The passage of time has given these letters a place in our cultural history. 1969 saw the ebbing of a crucial, revolutionary era, highly influenced by such artists as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, James Brown and Bob Dylan. Their inner thoughts should not be the property of only their families, but the public at large, to reveal who these influential artists were – not as commercial images, but their private selves.“
Dr Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s books specialist, added: “We are delighted with the result of today’s sale which reflects the great significance of these letters, written at such a vivid moment in social and musical history. There has been enormous international interest in the letters, which depict Mick Jagger, not as the global superstar he is today, but reveal him as a poetic and self-aware 25-year-old with wide-ranging intellectual and artistic interests.“
The collection included song lyrics and a Rolling Stones playlist. It was in an English literature and history sale. The letters were written from a film set after the Stones’ Hyde Park concert and provide Jagger’s thoughts on several cultural events, including the moon landing. They were written while Jagger was filming the movie Ned Kelly. Their relationship was secret at the time.
Dr Heaton said: “They provide a rare glimpse of Jagger that is very different from his public persona: passionate but self-contained, lyrical but with a strong sense of irony.“
Hunt added: “They’re addressed to me. I was 23, American-born, Berkeley-educated and London-based. Despite his high profile and my own … our delicate love affair remains as much part of his secret history as his concerns over the death of Brian Jones and the suicide attempt of his girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull.“
Hunt is the mother of Jagger’s first child and said she needed to raise money to repair her home in France. She said she hoped the buyer would recognize that the letters are a part of history. She said: “The letters speak for Mick at an incredible juncture of our lives,” she said. Someone, I hope, will buy those letters as our generation is dying and with us will go the reality of who we were and what life was.“