Prince Rupert Loewenstein, the Bavarian banker who helped turn the Rolling Stones into one of the most bankable acts in history, has died at the age of 80. He is understood to have died peacefully Tuesday morning following a long battle with illness.
Loewenstein guided the Stones’ fortunes for nearly 40 years, despite admitting in the 2013 autobiography “A Prince Among Stones” that he was “never a fan of the Stones' music, or indeed of rock and roll in general.” His lack of interest in rock didn’t diminish his skills with the stuff that folds.
The son of Prince Leopold of the royal house of Wittelsbach, Loewenstein was born in the Spanish balearic island of Majorca, in 1933. He was educated in Britain, studied at Oxford and went on to work as a merchant banker in the City of London, the capital’s financial district. It was there that he was introduced to the Stones in 1968.
Dubbed “The Human Calculator” and described as "rock's greatest money man," Loewenstein is credited with connecting the Stones with promoter Michael Cohl, a relationship that launched some of the most lucrative concert tours in history. Cohl promoted the Stones' tours from 1989's “Steel Wheels” outing, continuing on a tour-by-tour basis until the band's “A Bigger Bang,” which ran from 2005-2007 and grossed $558 million according to Billboard Boxscore.
And it was on his advice that the band relocated to the South of France in the 1970s, becoming one of the first -- and certainly the highest profile -- rock groups to enter self-imposed tax exile.
The Stones and Loewenstein went separate ways in 2007, though in a statement issued at the time suggested the aristocrat was “retained on some aspects of their career." Jagger, however, was reportedly unhappy with the revelations later published in Loewenstein’s memoir.
At deadline, the Stones had not yet issued a statement to mark Loewenstein’s passing.