Stones Are Coming
"And now you've got Keith Richards, who's supposed to be the biggest
drug addict in the world, coming to stay with you. Very cozy. Gil, you're
gonna get busted."
I believe in the power of positive thinking, and that you can make
events happen in the world by projecting them as having already
occurred. Thus, if you want the Rolling Stones to come to Long View
Farm, you imagine with every ounce of intensity you can muster the
color, sound, and emotional texture of that eventuality, creating it in
your mind as a completed object, which you may then proceed to adore.
It is in the adoration of the object that you change the world. You
begin by saying to the person nearest you, "Isn't that a beautiful
object?" and that person will look where you point him, or her, and
will generally approve of your object. Mind you, that same person is
sometimes willing to see clothes on a naked Emperor, too, and that's
why you can't go around adoring any old object in public, because it
amounts to frivolous behavior with the lives of other persons. It's
know you want something before you start
projecting it as an actuality. Because people may well flock to your
side, change theirs lives about, and make your wish come true, for better
or for worse.
Did I really want the Stones to come to Long View?
My phone rang again, it was still that Friday afternoon, and I had just
talked with Alan Dunn, and with Geoff Myers at the Farm. "The Stones
are coming," I repeated to myself, and lunged for my pretty red phone.
"Gil, ba-by!" It was Rory McPherson on the line, a friend of mine for
years, also a friend of James Taylor, always worked at RCA in New York.
Always wanted to help me out somehow at Long View, but he never did, or
couldn't, or something. Rory wouldn't always take my telephone calls.
"Hey, little buddy, I knew you'd do it. Little buddy, you get ready.
"What are you talking about, Rory?"
"Hey, ba-by, don't you give me that. The word's out, and the whole
town's buzzing about it. It's
man. And it's the Rolling
Gil. Baby, congratulations!"
"Well, thanks, Rory. I'm aware that your friend Bill Beatty at S.I.R.
had a lot to do with this happening, if it happens."
"You got it, baby. You
your place. Loved
it. The fact of the matter is, Gil, they've got no choice." Rory
lowered his voice, and continued speaking in demi-tones. "Woodstock was
three years ago, and there's pressure on everybody to
make it work out better this time.
Rory seemed to know something about all this after all.
"Yeah," I said. "I guess maybe it is happening. The Stones
coming. Tell Bill I owe him a favor. Owe you a favor, too, Rory. And
let me know if you get any further news, or insights into this
"O.K., Gil," Rory concluded. "Hey, you see Nancy and you give her a
kiss on the cheek and you say it's from me, and knock 'em each once on
the head for me, those two beautiful kids of yours."
"Thanks, Rory. Say hi to Marilyn for me, too."
"Baby, I knew you'd do it. I knew it. I mean, I was just saying to Bill
the other day, 'You know, Bill, that Gil Markle is really doing one
hell of a job up there.'"
"Thanks, Rory," I interrupted. "I gotta go. Another telephone call.
Take care of yourself."
"O.K., Gil, you, too!"
Wendy Thurston, who's my secretary and assistant, and who's quick to
pick up on things, was waving at me from her office.
"You've got Mike Forhan on six-eight," she said. "Says he's got to
speak with you."
"O.K.," I thought. Mike is a real old friend of mine, helped me with an
earlier business venture in the '70's, got a touch of career burnout,
and was now in the business of putting anti-terrorist devices in the
wheel wells of privately owned airplanes. A little red light goes on if
some guy puts a bomb in your wheel well, and you thus know to take the
bomb out before getting in the plane and continuing on your way. Mike's
anti-thug boxes were very expensive.
"What's up, Mike?"
"Man, you are in one shitload of trouble, let me tell you that. You are
in water so hot you don't even
"What are you talking about, Mike?"
"You know damn well what I'm talking about, or you will when I'm through.
Sometimes I think I'm the only friend you got, who will tell you things. Gil,
"O.K., Mike, I give up, what trouble?"
"The Stones, man, and the drugs. It's the drugs, Gil. Listen, you've
had the law looking really close at you out there ever since Stevie
Wonder Day, and you know what I'm talking about. And now you've got
Keith Richards, who's supposed to be the biggest drug addict in the
coming to stay with you. Very cozy. Gil, you're gonna get
busted. They'll just waltz right in there, knowing they'll find
something, somewhere, and that'll make 'em
do you hear
me? These guys wanna be right about you, and so far they're not. They
you to be crooked, Gil, and this'll make 'em right. What's
the matter with you? Can't you see what's happening?"
"Mike, I don't even know for sure that the Stones are coming to Long
View Farm. I don't even know that much. So why should we be getting
bent out of shape on this other question? It just might work its way
"That's just like you. You're a fuckin' asshole. Listen to me, I'm
gonna call my cousin Marty right away and fill him in. He's got a
friend in the Attorney General's office in Boston. We gotta find out
who it is you go to, or who you pay, or whatever, to keep this thing
under control. Listen to me, I know what I'm talking about. I'm the
best friend you got."
"I think you are, too, Mike."
"O.K. then, leave it to me. You're not really
and you don't know how these things work. Politics, man. Listen to me,
if this thing works out, and the Stones come and you
busted, you should run for Lieutenant Governor, or something like that.
Politics, Gil. You've been thinking about that in the back of your
mind. I know. I know you better than you know yourself sometimes."
"Mike, please. I don't think I want to be Lieutenant Governor. I just
want all this to work out."
"You shoulda called me. Why do I have to be the one calling you all the
"Mike, I just got back from Rome. I'm trying to make this thing happen.
I haven't even seen Nancy and the kids yet. Let's let this happen a bit
more first. Things will work out all right."
"I'm still gonna call Marty. Guh-bye." And then he hung up.
I don't want to dwell too much on the remainder of that Friday
afternoon because it was a very confusing one for me. I really didn't
know whether the Stones were coming or not. Possibly they wouldn't come
at all. Yet there was a full-blown assumption on the part of everyone
who telephoned me that day an assumption that the Stones were
indeed coming to Long View Farm. Almost as though they had already
come. People were treating it as fact actively meditating on the
arrival of the Rolling Stones. People were projecting it as a "given,"
and then calling in to tell me about it. There was already a great deal
of apparent support for this one particular adorable object. These
people were going to make it happen.
If it was to happen at all. I was confused. I didn't know whether the
Stones were coming or not.
"Gil," Wendy shouted to me. "It's your mother on the phone."
"Thanks, Wendy," I said, and then I talked to my
her about the Rolling Stones and what it was likely to mean for me, if
it happened, and how crazy it had been for me during even this very
"I'm worried about Nancy and the children on the Cape," she said.
spend so little time with them with her. They're your flesh and
"Mom," I said, "I love you."
"We love you, too, Gil," she said.
Bob Adams showed up with our twin-engine airplane at 6 PM, as planned.
Gate Three. One trip for Gil from Worcester to Provincetown. Ice cubes
in the tray. Stolni' in the bar. Gil in the cabin, looking out and down
at the houses and the cars and the people some 5,000 feet below. I
fancied imaginary lightning-like lines carrying energy from one person
down there to another. "Rolling Stones are coming." "What?"
"Rolling Stones are coming." My first really successful meditation on
the topic. The Rolling Stones
coming; that much seemed
crystal clear to me even before we set down in P-town, in a strong
cross wind. Bob landed first one wheel, then the other, just as you're
"Think Mick will want to fly around in the Twin, Gil? Guess so, huh? I
tell you, though, now's the time to get that damned attitude indicator
fixed. Do you know what nearly happened the other night? Well, I don't
even want to tell you. Only, if Mick Jagger's going to be in this
airplane, you better get it fixed. Under five grand. But you still owe
the radio shop for the transponder and the radar altimeter."
"Bob," I said, "don't worry about it, we'll do it, go ahead with it
Monday. Tentative return Sunday, 6 PM, from here. Better wear the
beeper. For all I know I may be summoned to New York in the middle of
the night. I don't yet know how these people work."
"You got it, Gil."
Nancy was there to meet me, well-tanned, and the kids were with her,
too. I wondered if
knew that the Rolling Stones were coming.
Well, I was going to spare them that. Nancy would not like me laying
any rock 'n' roll trips on her, during the first five minutes I was
back. So instead we talked about Abby's new tooth, how tan David was,
and Bennie, who was now living nearby, in a teepee. It was only as we
were pulling into the driveway of the boathouse, which is right on the
Atlantic Ocean in Truro, that Nancy said, "You had a phone call.
Dunn, I think he said."
"Did he sound English?" I asked.
"Yes," Nancy said. "English."