Mick Jagger’s love letters to Marsha Hunt, the woman who famously inspired the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” are being sent to auction block next month in England, The Guardian reports. Ten letters from Jagger, written in July and August 1969, will be sold December 12th at Sotheby’s, where they are expected to fetch £70,000-£100,000 (roughly $111,000-$158,000).
The letters supposedly show an intellectual, sensitive Jagger who was exceedingly self-aware about his fame. Written while Jagger was filming the movie Ned Kelly in Australia, the letters find him referencing the death of Stones guitarist Brian Jones, as well as his feelings about Bob Dylan and John Lennon/Yoko Ono. He discusses the reading material sent to him by Hunt (Emily Dickinson poems, Vaslav Nijinsky’s diaries), and includes bits of lyrics he’s writing (like the track “Monkey Man”),
“This is Mick in his own words,” Hunt told The Guardian. “This is part of English history, it is part of rock history, part of cultural history and it corrects all the misinformation and I think we live in a time when misinformation is swallowed as, ‘well, who cares?’ Facts are relevant.”
“The sale is important. 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.”
Hunt suspects that Jagger is not exactly pleased with the sale of the letters, but her reasons for selling are simple: she needs money to fix her home in France.
Her relationship with Jagger is no surprise at this point, though it was a closely-guarded secret until 1972. The couple never married but Hunt is the mother of Jagger’s first child, daughter Karis, born in 1970. The American-born Hunt was a musician herself, as well as a model and a fixture of London’s social scene in the 1960s. She first met Jagger when the Stones approached her about appearing on the single cover for “Honky Tonk Women,” though she declined. She would become the muse for 1971’s “Brown Sugar,” one of the Stones’ biggest hits.
“The letters speak for Mick at an incredible juncture of our lives,” Hunt said. “The summer of ’69 was the end of a whole era of revolutionary spirit – we didn’t know it was about to die. And who knew that this group of boys making music would 50 years on be still celebrated as a voice of the period?”
– Jillian Mapes, CBS Local