The Rolling Stones: (From Left) Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood
Last year was all about British celebrations. First arrived the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Then came the Olympics. Then a new Bond movie. And finally the Golden Jubilee of Brit rebellion — The Rolling Stones, which managed to put out two new songs in their new compilation, GRRR!
Mick Jagger shares with t2 over email the journey of a band that still defines a life given to sex, drugs and rock ’’ roll.
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction and Start Me Up to Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Dead Flowers...with a mammoth list of hits, singles and albums, how did you zero in on the compilation?
It was not an easy task, I can assure you. But I think we tried to pick the songs that meant the most to us and to our fans, songs that have been milestones or signified something important to us.
Tell us about the two new singles, Doom and Gloom and One More Shot, on the compilation.
Oh, they’re great songs; they’re typical Stones songs. There is no mistaking which band those songs belong to. And I think that they add a really nice touch to the album and it’s a little something extra for our fans other than the old classics that we’ve put out there.
Will we see the band reuniting to play some more concerts for the 50th anniversary?
I really hope so; we’re so excited about performing even now. I don’t think the Stones are ready to stop rolling just as yet.
How has the Rolling Stones sound evolved over the years and where does it stand now?
Well, we’ve grown as a band and as individuals and I think our music has grown with us. There will never be a song that’s written without some kind of inspiration or influence and the kind of person you are really affects that. So, I think that our sound has evolved with us.
More than five decades of playing together, what does it feel like to be a Rolling Stones member?
It feels great. I don’t think any of us ever thought that we’d be where we are today. When you’re just starting out, you’re young and think small… from one gig to the next. And suddenly you’ve been in the business for 50 years and realisation dawns. The journey has been amazing and we can hardly believe how we’ve come so far.
What have been some of the most defining moments for The Rolling Stones?
We can never agree upon the most defining moment — there have been a few!
We see the trademark lip-and-tongue Rolling Stones logo (designed by John Pasche and introduced in 1971) on a chimp. What was the inspiration behind the logo?
I think at that time we were just starting out… people started categorising us as the bad boys of rock ’’ roll. And it kind of stuck… became our image. So, the logo signified that… you have to remember that this was at a time people were very easily shocked. And that somehow became us. It’s something people identify with the Stones.
Who do you think has been The Rolling Stone’s biggest competition till date?
I couldn’t name another band as competition really. We’ve never really focused on competing with other artistes. It’s all about the music at the end of the day and we’re happy to share that space with people who make music. We do it because it makes us happy.
When you look back, is there any moment you wish you could have turned around differently?
No, I really wouldn’t change anything. It’s the sum of all your experiences that make you who you are, so to change something will make you a different person.
What or who has been the biggest influence on the band?
We’ve been very heavily influenced by blues, all of the Chicago blues artists, R&B and rock ’n’ roll, particularly Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry.
• Mick Jagger turns 70 this year.
• His real name is Michael Philip Jagger.
• Attended the London School of Economics.
• As Stones front man, Mick became one of the faces and voices of the 1960s.
• He was a prime mover in breaking free from the music industry network with the launch of Rolling Stones Records label in 1971, followed by arena and stadium concerts.
• In the late 1960s he began acting in films, starting with Performance. He has acted in over 20 films, including Jean-Luc Godard’s Sympathy For The Devil.
• Has seven children from two marriages and with four women.
• Was knighted Sir Michael Jagger for his service to music by the Prince of Wales in 2003.
• Was voted the fourth sexiest artiste in music history in VH1’s ‘100 Sexiest Artists’.
• In 1995 he founded Jagged Films, his film and television company, which has also produced a revealing documentary (Being Mick) about the singer.
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