The definitive book about the Rolling Stones won't be written until either bass player (and group historian) Bill Wyman opens up the archives or Mick Jagger decides to tell all. Until then, what we read about the world's oldest, greatest, most famous/infamous rock 'n' roll band will come from paste-and-clip bios or personal reflections by writers who were allowed to hang around long after the concerts ended and the partying began. Of all these, entertainment writer Flippo's 20-year odyssey is, by far, the best. It balances the Stones' mystique against the times, their aura against the era, their legend against actual fact. It is the truth, not as the Stones would prefer it remembered, but as Flippo observed it through the years, the tours and the long, drugged-out, over-sexed nights. Flippo's knowledge of the Stones and their music also balances well against the group's current growing fascination with wealth and big business. He keeps the rockers in their place both as a cultural phenomenon and as five unhealthy-looking urchins turned rich men courtesy of good old rock 'n' roll. The one clear piece of evidence which comes across after reading On the Road With. . .is that the Stones are bottom-line human. They are not gods (nor devils). They are not superhumans (they come across here as frail and easy to tire). They are not fakes and frauds, but talented and creative. And they are now in their third decade of a ride that doesn't seem ready to end. As entertaining and informative as any Stones book this side of Stanley Booth's Dance with the Devil.