Former Rolling Stones manager and rock producer teaching university course in Kamloops

Starting in January, students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops will have the chance to take a course about the evolution of pop culture from 1954 to 1984 from someone who witnessed it firsthand — Andrew Loog Oldham.

Oldham, was the first manager of the Rolling Stones, discovered artist Marianne Faithfull and produced records with rock legends like Rod Stewart, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. 

The winter semester course, Rock Dreams, will explore the evolution of rock and roll, but Oldham said it will be relatable even for students who don't have musical aspirations. 

"Your dreams don't have to be about rock. Hopefully, what I discuss and the people I discuss, it will be applicable to what the student's life will become whether they be a carpenter or whatever," Oldham told Daybreak Kamloops' Courtney Dickson.

"We're talking about people and we're talking about how people engage with life, succeed, fall over. You know, for example, excess is everywhere. It's not just in music and in entertainment."

The British producer, who has been splitting his time living in Bogota, Colombia and Vancouver since 2003, said he's been visiting Kamloops and Princeton for the past six years because his business partner and friend spends a lot of time in the area.

Oldham liked the idea of being part of a course where he could thoroughly examine "those whose dreams came true through rock," as well as having the opportunity to create with students. 

"My mother would be proud that I might finally have a regular job," he added. 

No teaching experience

Oldham said he doesn't have any teaching experience, and when he left school 60 years ago, his headmaster's report said "he may do well, but not here," but he won't be on his own at the front of the room. 

Joining him Thursday nights to teach the course in the southern Interior city, will be professors Bruce Baugh from the philosophy department and Billy Collins from the tourism management department.

"This is a lens into the beginnings of rock and roll, so it's amazing," said Collins. 

"From a teaching perspective, this is a perfect opportunity to animate the classroom and curriculum with real-life stories — that's what really resonates with students."

The 100 seat course will be open to not only current students, but also members of the public who apply to audit it. 

"If you're out there in the world and you love rock and roll, or you're a Stones fan, or you're any fan of any rock and roll band, you know the original big bands, this is like a dream come true basically," said Collins.

Rick McCutcheon, dean of the Faculty of Arts, echoed Collins' excitement. 

"it's really an incredible opportunity to have somebody who has lived a very special life," said McCutcheon, who helped get the course created after a colleague put him in touch with Oldham.

"I'm so delighted that he is here."