It’s hard to believe that the symbol of rock’s young rebellion is turning 70! (on July 26th)
Mick’s early birthday bash at the Loulou private members’ club in Mayfair brought together the Rolling Stones (except of Keith Richards who by all appearances wasn’t feeling well); celebrities, friends and Jagger’s children. The birthday boy spent the evening in the company of his current lady love, designer L’Wren Scott.
Mick Jagger was born Michael Phillip Jagger on July 26, 1943, in Dartford, England, to a family of a school teacher and a stay-at-home mom.
Well-liked and a good student, Jagger was accepted into the London School of Economics. In his spare time, he enjoyed American blues and R&B. About this time, he bumped into Keith Richards, a childhood friend he’s known since the age of four. Together they embarked on an exploration of London’s emerging blues scene where they’ve seen Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated perform. It was there that Mick Jagger appeared as a vocalist for the first time and where Jagger and Richards met the guitarist, Brian Jones.
Soon after Jagger, Richards, Taylor and Jones began forming Rolling Stones. Over time there were several changes in the group. Among past members were Brian Jones (who died in 1969), Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Dick Taylor and Tony Chapman. (Today’s Rolling Stones’ members are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood.)
From the very inception of Rolling Stones, the group was promoted as outrageous. Mick Jagger’s sex appeal, relentless energy and on-stage charisma sealed the group’s image.
As a group, the Rolling Stones have arrived at the music scene in 1964. Their first album – aptly named Rolling Stones – was released the same year. By 1965, they’ve had their first #1 hit in the UK: “The Last Time”, and shortly after, another: “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction”. Their second album “Sticky Fingers” released in 1971 cemented their position as UK’s rock stars, with “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses” gaining worldwide popularity. By 1989, the Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Along the way there were tensions, competition and creative differences between the band members (most notably between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) which caused the group’s several separations and eventually, reunions which produced new, successful collaborations such as Steel Wheels (1989). More recently, 1994’s Voodoo Lounge received critical acclaim as well as a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.
Even though a post celebrating Mick Jagger has to emphasize his role and contributions to the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger’s individual work is notable as well. Mick achieved recognition for his solo career as a songwriter and artist and as a film producer. His many successes earned him the title of a knight bestowed upon him by the Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.
Mick Jagger’s life included plenty of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. There were tensions between the Rolling Stones’ members. There were Mick’s more successful (1985’s She’s the Boss) and less successful (1987’s Primitive Cool) attempts at a solo career which led to renewed coming together with the band. There were loves: many, many loves….. There were marriages (to Bianca Perez Moreno de Macias and Jerry Hall) and seven children…
There were a few sharp quotes, like: “All dancing is a replacement for sex.” or “As long as my face is on page one, I don’t care what they say about me on page seventeen.”
The passage of time and wrinkles not withstanding, Mick Jagger is a legendary artist who’s ageless and still rocks! Happy 70th Birthday Mick Jagger!