From nanny to rock ‘n’ roll legends tour manager, Sally Arnold is the original supernanny jumping from looking after children to the even harder job of looking after entitled rock stars.
Sally Arnold was the first female tour manager in the world of rock, and the first woman to have a tattoo over her mastectomy scar. Rock N Roll Nanny is her story, and don’t let the name fool you, it is about so much more than stories of rock stars and their antics. Rock N Roll Nanny is the true story of a trailblazing woman that ‘nannied’ some of the world’s biggest rock stars – this is her memoir.
Sally Arnold, a farmer’s daughter, qualified as a Norland Nurse (a uniform wearing professional nanny), and in 1971 she took a job in Paris, France that would change her life. She was the nanny for a little baby called Jade, the daughter of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. But nannying soon falls by the wayside, why look after rock stars children when you can look after the rock stars themselves? Well respected by the Jagger’s, it’s not long before she is working for the giants of rock as the first woman tour manager in the rock n roll business working with bands such as the Rolling Stones, The Who, Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
After a successful career in the rock business, she moves on to organising charity events such as the first Comic Relief shows, where she must manage personalities such as Billy Connolly and Rowan Atkinson. And if they weren’t big enough, she also handled some very famous names including Prince Charles, Princess Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh to Mikhail Gorbachev and Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.
Rock N Roll Nanny is her story and how she survived as a woman in the world of rock and roll. It’s a wonderful and insightful read.
Overall, Rock N Roll Nanny by Sally Arnold is a fascinating and enjoyable true story of a remarkable woman. You don’t have to have an interest in rock and roll or music to enjoy this book, only a third or so is about the rock and roll world. A real behind the scenes look into the world of rock stars and the work that goes into looking after some of the biggest names in world music and arranging some very big events.
This book gives an excellent insight into what it is like looking after some big name personalities of the rock world and their egos, being strong enough to not only manage them but have them respect you. It is also a deeply personal look into the life of Sally Arnold; relationships, grief, drug taking and life changing illness.
Whilst a third of the book covers working with big name bands, the plane crash that killed several members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd and her fiancé, the rest covers her life before becoming a nanny and then her charity work working with Comic Relief, The Who’s / Pete Townshend’s Double O charity as well as deeply personal issues around her love life, her breast cancer and being the first woman to have a tattoo on her mastectomy scar, being named one of Women of the Year in 1997 for all her tireless charity work and her love of travelling including a pioneering trip to China by train in 1973 when China wasn’t really open to tourists.
The book also features some of Sally’s exclusive personal photographs featuring rocks stars and royalty (although the quality isn’t the greatest in the book as they are small black and white images printed on paper – although you are directed to her website to see better quality ones).
The book is written in a frank, honest and easy to read fashion, openly talking about sexual encounters and drug taking in a casual way and whilst everything isn’t told it gives an excellent eye-opening insight into the world of rock n roll from behind the scenes.
Rock N Roll Nanny is a book for fans of rock and roll as well as an inspiring story of hard work, a woman succeeding in a man’s world and being well-respected for doing a fantastic professional job. It is a fascinating read and a book that is hard to put down. A memoir that just doesn’t just focus on rock and roll and the anecdotes of rock stars.
RRP: £13.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)