My Friend Mark
"This place isn't mine anymore. It belongs to the Rolling Stones, and
they don't want me giving interviews here."
"Well, Gil, the time has come."
"For what, Mark?"
"Well, I was just saying to my editor the other day you know
Larry O'Neil he covered Stevie Wonder Day at Long View for the
paper. 'Larry,' I said, 'we've really got enough on Gil Markle now to
do a real profile. Something for the Sunday edition. It's no flash in
the pan any longer. This guy has made real changes. I say, let's go,
send me out there with a Nikon and let's see if we can't take the
bushel off the candle. Tell the world what this guy's been doing.'"
"You said that, Mark? I mean, I didn't think you were all
"Well, I am, Gil. Have been for years. And you wanna know
what Larry O'Neil said?"
"Yeah, now I do, for sure. What did he say?"
"He said, 'Sunday edition only? Schmuck! You mean the
edition morning paper
"Well that sounds great, Mark, but I really don't know that this is the
"Time! Any time's right when you're doing what you're doing, Gil. So,
how about tomorrow, or the next day?
Gil, while the iron's
"The iron's hot all right, Mark. Too hot. I mean, you
Rolling Stones are at Long View now, don't you?"
"Yeah, Gil. Far out! The Stones! Had to happen sooner or later. Like I
said to Larry O'Neil, that Gil Markle . . ."
"Mark," I interrupted, "you're aware that I'm not authorized or
permitted to arrange news coverage of the Stones, or any interviews
with band members, or anything like that . . ."
"Hey, Gil. Wait just a minute. It's not them. Not them, Gil. It's you,
Listen, me and the photographer, we'll hug the corners
if you want, won't say anything to anybody. Just like flies on the
wall. That way we'll get the stuff we need on you, take a picture or
two, and have it all together in time for the weekend edition. How
"Mark, you don't understand. At this very moment there's a roadblock
down at the bottom of Stoddard Road. On the other side of the barricade
are reporters, photographers, TV journalists, the freelancers, and our
job is to
"If they call, I'm supposed to say I don't even know that the Stones
are here. Can you imagine that? 'No comment' is all I'm permitted to
say. And you want me to radio down there on the walkie-talkie and say,
'Oh, will you please let the crew for the
through? They're coming to interview me.' Mark, people would laugh in
my face. This place isn't mine anymore. It belongs to the Rolling
Stones, and they don't want me giving interviews here. They think
and I know it's not so, Mark that it's not me, but really Mick
Jagger or Keith Richards that you want to see."
"Gil, after all these years, and I have to hear that from you. You were
a friend of mine. A real friend. And now, to hear that. Gil, I just
don't know what to say."
"Figure out what to say to your editor, Larry O'Neil, not what to say
to me. I'm only doing my job, Mark."
Mark didn't hear that last part. He had hung up. Needless to say, no
profile of me appeared in that weekend's paper. I did, however, get
Mark invited to the press conference held on the day the Stones
left for Philadelphia. That media event is described in detail very
much toward the end of this book.