And Finally Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #78: Mick Jagger v Keith Richards

By | Published on Friday 16 September 2011

The Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have been the joint figureheads of The Rolling Stones for just shy of 50 years now, and the band continue to record and tour whether people like it or not (largely because a lot of them seem to be in the former category). But like any relationship that close and that long, time can take its toll.

When Richards published his autobiography last year, he said that he and Jagger had drifted apart long ago, calling the singer “unbearable” and claiming that he’d not “been to his dressing room in 20 years”. Oh, and he said he had “a tiny todger”.

Jagger in turn told the New York Times: “Personally, I think it’s really quite tedious raking over the past [for an autobiography]. Mostly, people only do it for the money”.

Nonetheless, Richards told BBC 6music last November that the band were all set to knock out another album, saying: “Everybody’s ready to go out there again … We’re looking forward to working”. And as new Stones albums are generally a promotional tool for some live activity, rumours of a tour started to circulate, one that would begin this year and stretch into 2012 and double up as a big celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary year.

So certain did tour dates seem, in fact, that the band’s former live promoter Michael Cohl launched a lawsuit against Live Nation (actually a countersuit to one the live conglom had already filed against him) in a dispute that was partly over who had the rights to work with the Stones on any new concerts. The band then issued a statement stressing that they had no contractual commitments to anyone in the live sector (so weren’t committed to either Cohl or Live Nation) and they had no intention of touring in 2011 anyway.

But what about that 50th anniversary, surely something should happen to celebrate that? Well, yes, but unfortunately Jagger is still a bit upset about all those things that Richards said in his book. So upset, in fact, that it seems he’s banning the guitarist from attending any Stones birthday party.

Speaking to Live Magazine about the upcoming anniversary, Jagger suggested that rather than a big expensive tour, perhaps getting his band together and having a blue plaque installed at the site of their first ever gig, at the Marquee Club in London, might be a nice touch. Except, of course, The Marquee no longer exists, having tried out various different locations before its most recent demise. And the original line-up of Jagger’s band couldn’t be there in its entirety for various reasons up to and including death. Not to mention the aforementioned more recent upset.

Jagger said: “Maybe we could go back to the Marquee to accept a plaque for 50 years of service instead of a tour. That could work – except Keith obviously can’t come. Charlie Watts [who joined the band a few months after their first show] can come but he wouldn’t get the plaque, obviously”.

Keith hasn’t yet commented on how much he’d like to see a circular tile glued to the side of a branch of Santander (which is what the former Marquee building now is), and Mick has gone off and formed a new band, SuperHeavy, anyway. Asked whether there was any likelihood that The Rolling Stones would perform together again by BBC Breakfast this morning, Jagger said it was possible, but admitted that there were “tensions” within the group.