Mick Jagger’s Confession About The Rolling Stones Being Rude

The Rolling Stones started their career at the forefront of the British Invasion in 1962. They were identified with the counterculture of the 1960s that was marked by rebellion and youthfulness. Although the Stones entered the music scene with cover songs, they later came up with their own hits and made a breakthrough. However, there was another band that fronted the British Invasion: the Beatles.

Even today, the Rolling Stones are compared to the Beatles. Back then, these comparisons were at their peak as both bands were seen as rivals. In a competitive environment like the music industry, they were often pitted against each other. So, both acts didn’t hesitate to jab at each other throughout the years. Keith Richards once argued that ‘Sgt. Pepper’ was a mishmash of rubbish; Paul McCartney said the Stones was a blues cover band, while Mick Jagger called the Beatles’ breakup an excellent idea.

Although these remarks seem serious, the Beatles and the Stones were ‘friendly rivals who appreciated each other’s music. However, Mick Jagger didn’t want the Stones to be compared to the Fab Four. According to what he wrote in his book ‘My Life As A Rolling Stone,’ their manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s strategy was to create an image that was the opposite of the Beatles’: making the Stones the bad boys of the rock music scene. As it appears, Jagger had something to confess about this tactic.

Speaking about being the bad boys of rock music in a 1968 Esquire interview, Mick Jagger said that the Beatles were also as rude as them, but it didn’t make the headlines as it didn’t match with the Fab Fou’s image. However, the Stones were rude to everyone just because they were rude to them as well. According to Jagger, he and his bandmates often received negative remarks about their looks and even got turned down at a restaurant in Wales because of how they looked.

“God, I wish I were that shrewd!” Mick Jagger said about intentionally creating a bad public image to be different from the Beatles. “The Beatles used to say very sarcastic, rude things to reporters, but no one ever wrote it because it didn’t fit the image. We were really quite horrible to everyone because they were so horrible to us. We didn’t dig any of it—all the interviews and crap—and we didn’t like talking to them anyway because they were such stupid jerks.”

“They didn’t understand us, so we were very bad-tempered,” Mick Jagger admitted. The singer then noted, “We thought we knew everything—which, in a way, we did. People were frightened by us into paranoia. They were rude about our hair and the way we dressed. We’re clean; we’re not dirty, and our hair shouldn’t be important.”

Mick also shared, “It’s what kind of people we are that’s important. In Wales, for example, we were hungry, and we started to go to a place to eat. It wasn’t the Ritz, it was just a pub, but the guy at the door didn’t even say, ‘You can’t come in because you haven’t got a jacket and a tie.’ He just took one look and said, ‘No.’”

The Stones icon continued, “Through the door, we could see an elderly guy at the bar, so we asked him, ‘Do you agree with him?’ He got all red and said, ‘I bloody well do. You’ve got no bally, right? I’m still able to give you one right on the nose.’ He was hysterical. If Keith had been with me, he’d have hit him because he’s got more of a temper. I’m quieter. I don’t want a fuss.”

Further reflecting on the attitude towards them, Jagger said, “Of course, when we were younger, you know, nineteen, we used to flare up and yell back. It’s other people who cause the trouble. They’re the ones that are rude and insulting. We don’t stare at them and start making remarks about how fat and horrible they look. But it makes them furious, just the way we look.”

So, Mick Jagger argued that the Rolling Stones were rude towards everyone in response to the insulting approach of everyone around them. According to Jagger, they didn’t intentionally create this public image to distinguish themselves from the Beatles. It seems Andrew Loog Oldham’s strategy worked its way without much effort, as the Stones were sort of forced to act that way.

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