vineri, 10 august 2007

Mick Jagger

When we talk about Mick Jagger we need to refer to him as Sir Michael Philit "Mick" Jagger. He was born on the 26th of July 1943 and can be catalogued as an actor, record and film producer, songwriter, businessman and of course a rock musician. There is no denying that he is one of the world's most famous celebrities and that is of course because he is the front man of The Rolling Stones for so many years now.

Early Life

Mick Jagger was not born rich. His family was in the middle-class of England. Basil Fanshawe Jagger was his father (born 6 April 1913 - death 11 November 2006) and Eva Ensley Mary Scutts, an Australian immigrant to England (born 6 April 1913 - death 18 May 2000) was his mother. Both Mick Jagger's parents were active members of the Conservative Party.

The soon to become rock star was the older of two sons and was supposed to join the career of his father (teacher). Mick Jagger said at one point:
"I was always a singer. I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing. Some kids sing in choirs; others like to show off in front of the mirror. I was in the church choir and I also loved listening to singers on the radio - the BBC or Radio Luxemburg - or watching them on TV and in the movies."

His academical life was very successful until he quit the London School of Economics to pursue a musical career. What was sad is the fact that Jagger got a scholarship to study here and there are rumors running around that he was actually kicked out because he rode a motorcycle inside the library. This was never confirmed!

Mick Jagger's parents did not approve of his move and his wish to follow music, maybe because at that time there was not a belief that you could have a long career in music. As he was young Jagger had two bands: "Little Boy Blue" and "Blue Boys". As most young bands, they had no success.

Mick Jagger's first connection with what was to become The Rolling Stones came because of similar music tastes. He, Brian Jones and Keith Richards admired the same musicians. He said:
"I had a number of friends who had their own record collections, so we used to go round to their houses and listen to them there... We played everything and anything - that's how you learn... It was all a bit like trainspotting."
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were schoolmates but the two only reunited after Richards saw Jagger with a blues record and asked where he bought it from. The two joined forces with Ian Stewart, Charlie Watts and Jones to form The Rolling Stones, a name that came from Muddy Waters’ song “Rollin’ Stone”.

Mick Jagger in The Rolling Stones

Jagger was not a success with The Rolling Stones at the start. He was not used to the stage and his presence was not that strong. As with any band at that time all the members started to learn how to raise a crowd by imitating other artists. Mick also learned from different singers while The Rolling Stones toured with different English artists. That is how he developed his own style and eventually started writing songs with Keith Richards, creating a strong friendship between the two. Brian Jones, the main member of the Stones at the time, eventually got isolated as he was not able to contribute to the writing process.

1967 was a difficult year for Mick Jagger. He and Keith Richards were arrested with charges of drug possession thanks to a raid on Keith’s house. It was alleged then that singer Marianne Faithfull was found naked there and it was revealed that the raid was provoked by a tip-off to the London Drug Squad by journalists working for “News of the World”. The problem was that Jagger was mistaken by a journalist with Brian Jones, making the singer sue “News of the World” for defamation. The songwriting duo was eventually found guilty and was released after an appeal. During this period Richards and Jagger took over as the leaders of The Rolling Stones as Brian Jones started abusing drugs and his incapability of writing songs became a reality.

As time passed The Rolling Stones became more and more popular and eventually Mick Jagger and his friend, Prince Rupert Lowenstein, took over the business management of the band. The group continued to be successful and cause controversy.


Mick Jagger was an individual that caused controversy and the entire The Rolling Stones band was like that. The “A Bigger Bang” album included the song “Sweet Neo Con”, in which Jagger attacked the George W. Bush presidency. In February 2006 the band played the Super Bowl and Jagger was asked to omit some words with sexual connotations from two songs. As expected, he did not and his microphone was temporarily dipped.

At the Stones Altamont Free Concert in California there were accounts that the Hells Angels were hired to be security for a fee of $500 and free beer. This story was denied by the ones involved and Sam Cutler, the Stones’ road manager declared:
“The only agreement there ever was...the Angels would make sure nobody f@#$ with the generators, but that was the extent of it. But there was no 'They're going to be the police force' or anything like that. That's all bollocks.”
Problems appeared because Hells Angels injured several fans and even killed one young black man. There were allegations that they also sold drugs at the concert. Rumors had it that Mick Jagger in particular did not try to stop the violence and even encouraged it by singing “Sympathy for the Devil” while the man died. This was not correct as this song was played 4 songs before the man was stabbed and the incident took place while the Rolling Stones was singing “Under My Thumb”. Other unfounded rumors stated that Mick Jagger was actually racist and did not want a black fan at his concert. Video tapes show that the singer tried to calm the audience and put an end to the violence. Jagger is also a vocal anti-racist.

Outside Music Activities

Mick Jagger was signed to appear as himself in a sitcom that was supposed to be called “Let’s Rob Mick Jagger”. It was eventually renamed as “The Knights of Prosperity” and Mick guest starred in the premiere episode on January 3, 3007.

Mick’s most notable acting appearance was in Nicolas Roeg’s “Performance” (1968). In 1980 he was also cast as a main character in “Fitzcarraldo”, although he was not able to continue as the movie had production delays and when it was finally possible Jagger was busy with a band tour.
Jagger also starred in 2 art films: “Bent” and “The Man From Elsyian Fields” and appeared in “Freejack” as well. In 1995 Mick founded Jagged Films with Victoria Pearman in order to
“Start my own projects instead of just going in other people's and being involved peripherally or doing music.”
The first release of the company was “Enigma” in 2001. Paramount Pictures eventually announced that Jagger will work with Martin Scorsese to produce a new movie called “The Long Player”.

Mick Jagger’s Solo Albums:
Sir Mick Jagger

At the age of 60 Mick Jagger was knighted on December 12th 2003, for his "services to popular music". This came as an incredible accomplishment as he lived most of his life as a rock icon and a symbol of rebelliousness.

Keith Richard's answer to this was:
"I thought it was ludicrous to take one of those gongs from the establishment... it's not what the Stones is about, is it? I don't want to step out on stage with someone wearing a f@#$ coronet and sporting the old ermine. I told Mick, it's a fucking paltry honour."
Mick Jagger answered:
"I think he would probably like to get the same honour himself. It's like being given an ice cream — one gets one and they all want one. It's nothing new. Keith likes to make a fuss."
As expected, the action was not popular and it did bring several angry letters to The Daily Telegraph and other different publications. Many people believed that by giving such an honor to a person like Jagger all the previous receivers of the award are denigrated.

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