dimanche, août 22, 2004


Keith ! Keith ! Keith !
Ce blog s’appelle « Ask Keith » et c’est pas pour rien. Vous l’avez lu énoncer ses réponses de vieux sage sur son site web, aux gens venus consulter en lui la pythie du rock ? A lui tout seul, il est la parole stonienne incarnée.
Keith sait. Ou fait semblant de savoir. Et nous embobine souvent. Son discours est nébulo-circulaire. Il fait le tour du pâté de maison pour ne jamais s’attaquer au centre du sujet, c’est une tactique ancienne qui fonctionne encore plutôt bien. Et comme personne ne le brusque ni ne le pousse dans ses retranchements, la tactique n’est pas prête d’être abandonnée.
Keith enjolive et ne raconte jamais deux fois tout à fait de la même façon : il sait qu’un plat doit être accommodé juste un peu différemment à chaque fois pour continuer d’exciter les papilles.
Keith est un type parfaitement immobile, qui emploie une énergie considérable à ne pas bouger d’un iota. Ce qui lui en reste est peut être destiné soit à se convaincre lui-même que ce n’est pas nécessaire, soit à en convaincre les autres. Keith est le type le plus conservateur qui soit. Mais je l’aime quand même (oh oui !).
A noter que lorsqu’il parle à Manœuvre, il devient plus. Plus spontané, plus grossier, plus quoi. Je n’ai pas tranché sur qui, de Manœuvre ou de la traduction, est cause de ce changement.
Pour le moment, là, c’est de l’angliche et de l’amerloque. A vos Harrap’s version argot sixties…
La plus belle, l’interview de 71 à Rolling Stone, dans la tropical disease de Nellcôte, on l’a en version papier seulement. Idem pour une interview de 74 reproduite dans Best, mais issue du NME (ou du MM ?). Donc on verra si techniquement, c'est possible de les mettre ici plus tard, en bonus. A part ça, le bonhomme est bavard, de l’interview, ça va, on en a… Ca tombe vraiment très bien, c'est le plus intéressant, Charlie aussi le dit alors...

Ron, on a rien sur Ron.

Il est tellement cloné avec Keith qu’on doit estimer que ça suffit. Juste des bribes d’interviews, mais l’interroger sur les Stones, la vie, la mort, et tout ça, naaaan, la Rolling Stone company doit pas laisser faire… Passons alors.
On est un peu de mauvaise foi, mais la vérité c'est surtout qu'on s'en fout un peu de ce qu'il a à dire. Voilà.
Charlie a dit que son sujet de conversation principal à Ron, c'était lui-même. Pas sûr que ça soit un bon teasing ça...

samedi, août 21, 2004

Mick Jagger - The Observer : juillet 2003

Jagger's edge

He wriggles towards us like a 70s disco queen, dancing to 'Brown Sugar'. 'It's one of my favourites. I had to decide a long time ago what to do when our songs came on - cringe or dance. I went for the dance option.' Mick Jagger talks to Mariella Frostrup about fame, family and turning 60 Sunday July 13, 2003 The Observer

Barcelona lies open-mouthed in anticipation. The city is in the grip of a surrealist's dream. It's awash with disembodied crimson lips. In the Olympic stadium a sea of them flutters flaccidly in expectation. Later that night, they'll be flapping in time to the beat and looking faintly pornographic. Wherever I go in this noisy city, these soundless mouths confront me. Around the pool at the Arts Hotel, the same greedy, crimson smackers are tattooed on to arms, spread across backs and chests. I rub my eyes in disbelief when a pair emerges from the pool embedded in a woman's navel. Now, here in my room, this 'labia majora'; the original all-consuming, eternally hungry gob is wide open and looming ever closer. It's like seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time after a lifetime of being sent postcards. It sneers, it twitches, then cracks open to reveal a dark interior lit by a single glinting diamond embedded in a molar. Like a lighthouse beacon it signals danger, but still it entices you ever closer. Nearer and nearer you go, and then suddenly it explodes and spreads like lava. The face brandishing those ravenous lips crumples into itself; a paper bag of mirth. Mick Jagger is laughing.
The soon-to-be-60 singer with the Rolling Stones has plenty to laugh about. It's 40 years since his band sped into the charts with 'Come On' and began their tenure as the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world. Four decades later, they are still on the road on a year-long, sell-out tour. Jagger will be celebrating his six decades to date at a stadium in Prague. I wonder if he ever imagined he'd be spending this birthday thus. 'Yes,' he chuckles, 'It was booked years ago.' But at 60? I press on. 'I think every birthday you get to you sort of can't believe. When you're 21, you can't believe you're 21, when you're 30, you can't believe you're 30. You start getting a bit better at this as you go on because you've already done 40 - that was big, difficult, incredulous. So you just have to accept it.'
A glance around the Olympic stadium in Barcelona suggests that the Stones' appeal extends far beyond their own generation. I watch fathers hoist seven-year-old sons on to their shoulders, teenage girls throw their underwear in a torrent on to the stage, macho bikers perform Mexican waves and whole families in matching Stones T-shirts. The spirit of carnival suffuses the stadium and the excitement is palpable. 'They're a communal celebration, these big outdoor shows,' says Jagger with obvious pride. 'I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but it is amazingly successful to do this kind of tour at any time. Whether you're 20 or whether you're 60, there are very few people out there - I mean you can count them on the fingers of one hand, the bands who can pull off a tour this size.'
I'm amazed that he can still muster up the enthusiasm. Touring from an outsider's point of view seems a rather relentless grind. 'It's great fun, really. That's the thing. It's hilarious watching the whole of Barcelona get wound up for the Rolling Stones, - there's the most enormous build-up. Reading all the papers, I go out on the street and they're all going, "Oh, I bought my ticket three months ago," and there's all these footballers all lined up with their model girlfriends to come to the show. I mean it's hilariously funny. To have that effect, it's an enormous laugh. And, of course, you get paid for it really well. You feel fantastic at the end of the evening if you give 50,000 people a great time and you're earning tons of money. So who's losing out?'

In the UK, the Rolling Stones are often ridiculed as wrinkly rockers for having the audacity to strut their stuff post-50. But for those old enough to remember the early days of the group who invented the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll lifestyle, it's a miracle that they are still together. Earlier that day I'd spotted the famously nocturnal Keith Richards, 59, sporting what appeared to be a healthy golden tan.
In the 60s, a Stones tour spelled hysteria, in the 70s and 80s debauchery, and in the 90s the last word in stadium rock. Nowadays, it's more of a family affair. Rampaging around the hotel are scores of Rolling Stones offspring including four of Jagger's seven children and two of his grandchildren. Occupying the bandwagon full time for this 'Licks' tour are 180 people, including a core group of employees who run the show and have been involved with the group for 20 years. It must put the Rolling Stones on a par with the Civil Service in terms of long-term employment prospects. Along the way, this army of roadies, technicians and assistants is augmented by the ever-increasing gang of kids whose ages roam three decades, wives, ex-girlfriends, friends and parents. A Stones tour is a spectacle before it even hits the stage.
The self-confessed ringmaster of this travelling circus is Michael Phillip Jagger, born in Dartford, London, on 26 July 1943, and these days better known as Sir Mick, knight of the realm and eternal bad boy. His celebrated reign in the media as the Sun King of rock'n'roll came to an end in the early 90s. The tabloids portrayed him as a tragic, burnt-out figure. His sexual promiscuity, seemingly unchecked by his Balinese 'wedding' to Jerry Hall, provided acres of column inches. Reports of his reluctance to pay off wives and girlfriends provoked outrage and charges of miserliness. Solo albums, like last year's Goddess in the Doorway, were ridiculed, despite sales of more than a million. Mick Jagger, it seemed, could do no right.
'Nearly everything they write about me is untrue, complete bollocks.' In the face of this barrage Jagger has remained tight-lipped, refusing to enter the fray, and so the speculation and conjecture about every aspect of his life continues unabated. All this despite the fact that the reality of his life bears little relationship to the headlines themselves. He remains on excellent terms with all his exes, none of whom are starving in a garret. Indeed, he still shares a London home with Hall. His children are well provided for and his relationship with them is enviably close. He's a responsible and hands-on father; these days more likely to be photographed out on the town with his daughters than with girls young enough to be his daughters (Sophie Dahl excluded).
Jagged Films, his film-production company, is a burgeoning success responsible for the critically acclaimed Enigma, starring Dougray Scott, and is now in pre-production on a movie about the life of the poet Dylan Thomas. His most recent excursion as an actor, in The Man From Elysian Fields, gleaned his best reviews to date. Finally, his band has been playing to sell-out stadiums across the world for the past year. It's a state of affairs for which he can take much of the credit, since he runs all aspects of the band's business.
'I don't think anyone else is interested. I don't think anyone else in the band is the slightest bit interested in that part of it. As long as it's successful. I'm sure if it wasn't successful they'd be very interested.' It's a typical Jagger statement, disingenuous and accompanied by a chuckle. From what I glean in snatched conversations with various members of the crew, Mick is omnipresent on tour, overseeing everything from ticket sales to set lists and stage design, the latter in conjunction with drummer Charlie Watts. If he's past it then hand me my bus pass now.
The tabloid image of Jagger continues to be that of a libidinous miser, a 'contradiction in terms' as he points out. I ask if either is true. On the subject of money he insists, 'All those rich lists in the Sunday Times are so far off the mark. I don't know about anyone else's, but mine definitely is. It used to go up millions even though I'd just been sitting around doing nothing. How they can make that stuff up and publish it, as factual evidence on a hundred people, is bollocks. I'm not saying I'm poor, but I do spend an awful lot of money just on keeping everything up, all the people and the children and all the ex-wives and the house that you don't live in that you still have to keep going.'
His outrage at the injustice of it all is making me giggle. 'I know you don't think I spend any money but I do,' he says. 'Anyway, those of us brought up in the 50s were taught to be frugal. We don't like throwing computers away as soon as they don't work - apart from out the window in frustration. We like cars to be repaired instead of junked. We're not brought up like Puff Daddy to be taking 30 free-loading friends to the south of France and spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on Cristal. The truth is, most English people, whether they're rich or not so rich, just don't behave like that.'
Much of the speculation about Mick's relationship to his cash is inspired by divorce and paternity settlements, the acrimonious nature of which he asserts is totally unjustified. 'We live in a very litigious society and the tactic used in divorce cases is to demand a huge sum of money in the hope that you'll eventually get a percentage of that enormous sum. But the papers say you are being sued for, let's say, £50m, so when you pay out 10 you're accused of being a miser. Most people would say £10m is actually rather a lot of money.'
It's not just wives, of course. Mick's most recent spat in the courts was with the mother of his three-year-old son Lucas, Luciana Morad, a Brazilian model with whom he had a three-month fling. 'Luciana didn't need to sue me. She didn't even give me a chance to give her any money. She just employed this adversarial self-publicising lawyer who wasn't the slightest bit interested in settlement, just in what publicity he could get for himself. She now realises that was a mistake.' As Jagger acknowledges about the relationship itself, which heralded the end of his two decades with Jerry Hall. 'It was a mistake and I admit it. But then I say that and in a few years Lucas reads it and thinks, "Oh I was a mistake," so I have to add the caveat that he's a really nice little boy. If I don't it sounds horrible.' It's as much as he will divulge on the topic of his sexual antics. Jagger is not a man given to self-scrutiny.
Bear in mind that during this exchange we both know he's had a girlfriend for over a year, the LA-based stylist L'Wren Scott.
Do you think of yourself as single?
'That's a very tough one.'
I think it would be fair to say you were dating.
'That would be fair.'
Did you enjoy the period when you were single?
'It didn't last long.' [He bursts out laughing.]
Do you prefer to be in a relationship?
[No longer laughing.] 'That's a very complex question and I don't want to answer it.'
Do you think people are justified in thinking that you misbehave quite a lot?
'It depends what you call misbehaving. I find it very difficult to be married.'
Is monogamy a mystery to you?
'It's a great headline! I think monogamy is not for everyone.'
There follows a lengthy explanation of the social mores of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It begins thus: 'At certain points in our recent history we've been forced to accept certain rules and regulations in our social behaviour. Which even some of us on the fringes of bohemia have been forced to come to terms with, ie monogamy, marriage, children, all those things, right?' He carries on with a look at pre-Victorian values, culminating in an argument for a more open form of relationship, as with the current restrictions marriage itself is impossible and divorce inevitable. 'Nowadays, it's acceptable that you get married and divorced every couple of years. As long as you're faithful within those couple of years that you're married. I mean I don't think that is particularly acceptable as a form of social behaviour. I'm not saying going around fucking everyone you like is acceptable, either. But there are many different forms of social arrangement.' Sir Mick could no doubt illuminate me on any number of them. I can't help wondering if Jerry Hall had to sit though the same history lesson each time another Latin lovely sold her story.
At this point, I have to declare an interest. From unpromising beginnings I've grown to like Jagger a lot. We met four years ago at the launch party for a book about the Stones. My view of him then pretty much echoed that of the tabloids. A dirty old man rocking on way past his bedtime. It was the week of the Stones' show at Wembley in 1998 and, on introduction, Mick told me that he was aching from head to foot. 'You poor thing,' I sympathised. 'The show must be really exhausting.' 'Oh, it's not the show, today is a day off. It's the cricket.' 'You've been playing cricket?' 'No, spectating. At my age even that's exhausting!' He burst out laughing and our friendship was born. In 'real life', Jagger is one of the funniest mimics I've come across, he's also erudite, incredibly well informed about just about everything and one of the most enthusiastic, if unconventional, dancers I've ever come across. There's a lot of elbow and lip work. A year after we met, I spent Millennium New Year's Eve with a group of friends on Mustique. Mick took to the dancefloor at midnight and was still there at 3am with the teenagers. He unabashedly gyrated his way through five Stones songs in the course of the evening. On another occasion, while making a 'short film' to keep the children amused over a weekend at his chateau in France, Mick's part (Sir Michael Du Lac) required him to walk through the formal garden dancing. We had no stereo outside, so it had to be to imaginary music. He wriggled his way with gusto down the front lawn towards us like a 70s disco queen. My husband asked him what he'd been dancing to. '"Brown Sugar"', he whispered. 'It's one of my favourites.' When I ask him if it causes him embarrassment when his songs come on he replies, 'I had to make a decision a long time ago - dance or cringe. I went for the dance option.'
It's hard to equate the touring, serpentine, slightly reclusive singer with the figure he cuts when he's not on the road. At his modest chateau, Jagger drives a small hatchback and can be found pottering around the local garden centre looking for plants to fill borders. Guests are led through the flourishing vegetable garden to check on his courgettes. Ever present, squealing by the pool, or clustering around him, are his children, now numbering seven and including Karis, the product of his brief affair with singer Marsha Hunt; Jade, the child of his first marriage to Bianca Jagger; his four children with Jerry Hall, Elizabeth, 19, James, 17, Georgia, 13 and Gabriel, 5; and finally Lucas, born of his affair with Morad.
Watching Sir Mick prowling around the stage, it is hard to imagine him as doting dad and grandfather. Then again, as a band member famously observed: 'He's a nice bunch of guys.' Jagger admits that the singer and father figure are quite disparate. 'Yeah, they are, but I can switch from one to the other quite quickly.' He giggles and his face settles with such ease into its laughter lines that it's clear he's spent the majority of his six decades smiling.
'The other night I was trying to get Gabriel to come on stage and hide behind the amps and watch. Which I thought was a funny thing to do. It was half way through the show where Keith does his two songs and he was just finishing. It was a big stadium show. So I said come on Gabriel, let's just go up and hide behind the amps, but he got really scared. One minute I was being dad and then suddenly I had to go on and I was left with Gabriel half way up the steps and he started to cry. You know, like children get very fearful. I can remember those fearful moments, usually involving large crowds when my father would take me to football matches. Anyway, I had to go back on so I gave him to the first person there, Alan, who's worked with me forever, so he was fine, and I rushed off and did 'Sympathy for the Devil'.' At which point he opens his iceberg-blue eyes wide in pantomime style and delivers a burst of 'Woo, woo' - the crowd chant that greets that particular Stones' anthem. 'It was just a funny moment. Talking about going between one and the other.'
For a grandad he's in bloody good shape. Jagger's milky-white stomach is on display throughout the interview in a stripy blue and white shirt only buttoned across his nipples. He is so lean and wiry that you could follow the progress of a pea journeying through his intestines. The Stones have always looked nutritionally challenged: Jagger puts it down to the fact that they're Second World War babies, but to have a rock-hard belly at 30 let alone 60 is quite an achievement. Gym sessions every other day with his Norwegian trainer, Torje, ('It's not fashionable to do it every day'), a near teetotal stance on alcohol and eight hours' sleep a night are just some of the contributing factors. Then there's the more unusual assertion that touring not only keeps him healthy but brimful of vitality. 'That may sound absurd, but there is something to be said for it because if you're actually functioning in this way, then you have to be completely switched on. You know, you're very involved, you have to be very healthy, you have to work very hard, you're interested in things and you're seeing a lot of the world. All these things make you much more vibrant than if you were the classic, semi-retired rock musician that's got money but is sort of going to seed and doesn't really like anything going on around him, because everyone else is 30 years younger and selling records and he's not doing anything. I'm not in that position - which I think is not a very good position to be in, to be honest.'
On tour he slips very comfortably into the giant bubble that is built around their transitory existence. Jagger, with all the trimmings, is a shock if you have any experience of the off-tour Mick, a shadowy will-o'-the-wisp who slips in and out of London alone, with only his driver and the blacked-out windows of his car hinting at his iconic status. 'There are some famous people who like to be in a bubble the whole time. I don't. I find it fantastically restricting.
I think it's very important to be part of a larger society. Not just a famous individual that's isolated.'
On tour, Jagger's computer keeps him in touch with the world; he emails friends and reads the papers via the internet. 'I made a resolution to give up reading the tabloids. I was becoming obsessed with all the same things I criticised other people for being obsessed with. Some old biddy falling in the pool or some divorce or other.' Instead he keeps his beady eye on world affairs. 'There was a front page in the Independent the other day about how the Brazilian rainforest is disappearing even faster than anticipated thanks to the European obsession with soya beans. It was on the BBC web page, too. So I immediately cancelled my soya intake, which was minimal I admit, probably once a week when I had soy on my salmon. But it's terrible to have to say to your children, look at this now because when you're my age it will be gone. One imagines them as permanent features, like the London Eye.' Mick can't stay serious for long. As for the war in Iraq, he describes it as a 'huge post-imperial adventure. Personally, I didn't think it was of any importance to the politicians whether there were or weren't weapons of mass destruction there. It's power politics. You want to control certain parts of the world because they're important to you. The geo-political map has shifted and you want to go in and re-draw it. Anyone who thinks it was about anything is naive.'
One of Mick Jagger's most appealing qualities is his unabated lust for life. If you're planning an adventure, Mick's in. Recently, in answer to his publicist's question about what he'd do if he wasn't a rock star, Mick replied: 'I'd write travel guides.' He's only partly joking. I've seen him in operation, pouring intently through Lonely Planets and Rough Guides and that was just to recce a possible trip to Martinique. An unscheduled break in the Far East, thanks to the Sars epidemic, saw Jagger and his children making a long-anticipated trip to Cambodia's Angkor Wat. 'It was a wonderful place.
I visited the main temple, which is vast, during the full moon and there was absolutely no one there. Rather dangerously we climbed the temple. There were no handrails. It's very steep, by the way,' he says laughing. 'Steep and narrow steps and quite high and quite dark. As I was clambering up with my children I thought, "Oh, I'm not sure this is such a great idea." There's only one section which has a hand rail and we weren't on it.'

The eternal bad boy continues to seek his thrills, not in nightclubs, not with a cocktail of narcotics, but clambering up temples in the dead of night. Happy 60th Sir Mick. We're lucky to have you.

The Rolling Stones tour the UK from 23 August to 15 September, via Twickenham, Wembley, Glasgow, Manchester and Dublin.

Mick Jagger - Dimitri Ehrlich : décembre 2001

Mick Jagger: He Broke Records, Hearts And Taboos.
Now He's Broken The Age Barrier

MICK JAGGER: Hello. We haven't spoken in a while. So, what are we doing today?
DIMITRI EHRLICH: Let's talk about the first track on your new album [Goddess in the Doorway, Virgin], called "Visions of Paradise." What's your vision of paradise?
MJ: It's a tough one. You can't see paradise. The beauty you see in the world is just the reflection of what paradise is. It's not actually it.
DE: And what about your personal experience of bliss? Do you actually allow yourself to enjoy it, or does your mind jump to future problems?
MJ: You have to learn--sometimes with great difficulty--that those moments are wonderful without actually thinking, This is a wonderful moment. As soon as you think it, the moment's gone. You have to train yourself not to do that. I think those beautiful moments are the nearest thing to achieve.
DE: You have a track called "God Gave Me Everything" which, if taken literally, would probably drive a lot of people insane, because as you were just saying. it's not easy to deal with satisfaction. The word "ecstasy" comes from the Greek ekstasis, which I think means distraction. How are you when it comes to sitting still?
MI: [laughs] Terrible. That song was an attempt to be grateful for what you have, and not always be greedy for more things. It's a bit like what you were just talking about, the moments when you feel really happy--you used the word ecstatic, which is different, but when you're in a state that you want to go on forever. Whereas, the nearest most people get to ecstasy is in the sexual moment. That's why sexual ecstasy is used as a metaphor in some religions.
DE: One of your new songs, "Too Far Gone," is about the way the world has changed so quickly and how we can't turn back now. Did that song feel sort of prescient after the events of September 11?
MJ: Everything that you write, after a certain kind of jolting historic moment, always seems slightly different in hindsight. So yeah, that particular song does seem to have a different meaning now than it did when I wrote it.
DE: Somehow it seems as if a guillotine dropped that day.
MJ: Yeah, I think people felt--violated was a word that I heard used a lot. It's almost this horrific violation, a virginal violation almost, you know? It's like America was this safe place that you could retreat to, and that sort of changed. In some ways a lot of people talk about America as an adolescent society. I don't mean that in a pejorative way. It's just as a nation, it feels sometimes adolescent, and I think that that [September 11] experience is a sea change in the psyche of a nation.
DE: Does fear afflict you much personally? I know your daughter Elizabeth lives right near the World Trade Center.
MJ: Yeah, that makes you feel close to it, but when you actually think about it, the first week or two you were very scared, right? And then after you start analyzing it, you think the chances [of something like that happening again] are pretty low. I think the attitude in Europe is slightly different. We were bombed very heavily in the war and many cities in Europe were destroyed, and we lived with the legacy of that. It's just a different way we've been brought up, you know? But, of course, there's still fear and apprehension.
DE: Speaking of fear, it's often said that when people slow down enough to actually taste the fear that's driving us all, the first emotion we feel is a kind of sadness. Maybe that's because we've all been spinning around like whirling dervishes, so we feel sad that we've missed out by not slowing down enough to just be present. Does that resonate for you?
MJ: Yes, I think so, because in this busy life if you don't have these moments of repose, you can't have any enlightenment, small or large. It's very rare you're gonna have enlightenment when you're running around like a dervish, unless you're whirling in a cathedral. You need moments of repose to open yourself up to any kind of enlightenment. If you just wake up, grab your breakfast and run the rest of the day, and dance yourself silly until you collapse, you're probably not giving yourself any moment to let anything else in.
DE: How has the pressure to live up to your own legacy shifted for you?
MJ: It's hard to answer that. When you're really young, like say when you're playing football, you always trash everyone else out of competition. And as you get older, you get slightly more philosophical. I think it's the same if you're writing a collection of songs. You're really just trying to do that to your own satisfaction. I mean, there are times in your life when you just let things go because you can't be bothered or you're just a bit drunk or you think everything you do is wonderful. And then as you get older you think, Wait a minute, it isn't really wonderful. You get better at editing, you know?
DE: I once saw you guys play in a small club. You were doing "Miss You" and I just stood there feeling like I was almost hallucinating, trying to understand how these five skinny, degenerate-looking middle-aged British men were creating this sound just by moving their vocal chords and hands in a certain way. The room was possessed with the feeling. How in God's name do you account for that?
MJ: I don't know. It doesn't always happen every time we play, either. That's one of the interesting things about music: You do sometimes reach these odd moments where it kind of goes to the next level, beyond just playing the number. But sometimes it is just playing the number. You can't really expect it to always be a transcendent moment. And sometimes the moment goes a bit beyond that, and that's really one of the great things about being a musician. Why does that happen? You don't know. Everything has to be in place, everything has to be aligned, so to speak.
DE: I was nine years old when Andy Warhol's portraits of you were done, and my fifth-grade teacher went to a museum opening and brought me a postcard, and that sealed my fate. What was your friendship with Warhol like?
MJ: The thing about Andy was--it was about two things. It was about heavy, heavy socializing, and yet he didn't say very much [but he'd end up] getting it all down in his diary when he went home. And it was about him, collectively with the studio, doing all these paintings and establishing these images. It was always funny because you'd get there and there'd be lots of Elizabeth Taylors, and hundreds of Maos. You'd think, Oh great, that's this week's output. You didn't think anything much of it, that was what was happening, like you would go into a studio and hear someone do a song which would eventually be a classic, so to speak. But at the time, you'd just think, Yeah, OK, yeah.
DE: In that New York '70s scene, I always think of you hanging out with Peter Tosh and John Belushi. When John Lennon was living at the Dakota, were you friends with him and was he part of that social world, too?
MJ: Yes, he was. He liked to go out, and when he wasn't with Yoko he was going out a lot. We had a lot of really good times. And when he went back with her he sort of stayed in.
DE: He was like, "I can't play now.
MJ: "I can't play now," and I used to send notes up because I used to live in the building next door.
DE: Speaking of relationships, I once had this girlfriend say to me, "You can be a Mick Jagger if you want, but I will not be your Jerry Hall." To which I replied, "Ouch." [both laugh]
MJ: What a drag, boy. Whatever that means. Is it good or bad?
DE: Well, I think she was sort of saying if I want to keep dating 19-year-old Brazilian girls, she doesn't want to be on the sideline watching.
MJ: Yeah.
DE: If you had been there on the phone, how would you have defended me?
MJ: [laughs] I wouldn't have defended you! I would have said you shouldn't be doing that! You should be staying with her. So don't count on me, Dimitri. [laughs]
DE: OK, who was president of the United States when you lost count of how many women you've had sex with? I'm assuming it was either LBJ or Nixon--but if it was Kennedy, then we're in trouble!
MJ: I never counted, so there's no answer. But when I lost my virginity, it was Kennedy.
DE: When I met Keith [Richards], I told him, "Your music really changed my life." And he said [mocks British accent], "As long as it's for the better, darling. As long as it's for the better." Who has changed your life, for better or worse?
MJ: I suppose in a way I was seduced into this whole music shenanigans by blues singers. It's a very odd thing, to be seduced. But between Elvis Presley and Muddy Waters I was seduced into having a lifetime of music instead of a lifetime of I-know-not-what. So it's all their fault.
Dimitri Ehrlich is Interview's Music Editor at Large.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Brant Publications, Inc.COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

Mick Jagger - Dean Goodman - 1999

Un Jagger glacial et de mauvais poil... A moins que ça ne soit l'interviewer qui n'en soit la cause...
The Mick Jagger interview by Dean Goodman

This phone interview with Mick Jagger took place on Oct. 20, three days after I spoke with Keith Richards. We began on a good note as I congratulated him on his recently announced film deals and jokingly offered to serve as a consultant if he develops a journalist character who happens to be a Stones fanatic. But when it came to the nitty gritty, I was totally unprepared for Mick to contradict Keith on virtually every point, such as the "No Security" track listing and the roles in the band. Our argument over whether Keith played "All About You" is absurd, and it looks as if I'm being too light on him, but I didn't want to waste precious minutes. In some ways, Mick confirmed some of my impressions: he lives in real time -- hates thinking too far back or forward; also, he's a compulsive contrarian. If you took him outside on a sunny day and pointed out the blue sky he would say, "Naaaaah, I don't really think it's that blue." Still for all that, he remains polite to a fault, likes a good laugh and an intelligent chat (not that I could be of too much help in that regard).
Dean: Who came up with the name No Security and where does it come from?
Mick: I think I did. I was looking at this picture on the front ... and it's this couple out of the crowd and they look kinda like `Us and the world.' It looks like the life holds no security for anyone. I don't know, it's something in their faces.
Do you get excited about live albums or do you consider them a necessary evill for the fans?
I don't think it's an evil. I spent a lot of time thinking about whether one could do something that was different from the others, and I just thought that the song choice was kinda key to this: to put out slightly unusual songs. There's some well-known songs, but none of them have been out on live albums at least for 20-odd years, which is quite a long time.
That's right, because Virgin prohibited you from using stuff from the previous albums, right?
No! They would have been happy if it was a load of more well-known ones. The only thing that Virgin cared about was that I got it done quickly so it would come out in the autumn. That's all they worried about.
I know you like to profess ignorance about your old records, but everyone considers "Ya-Ya's" the benchmark --
-- Oh, I know about that one, I know what's on that one --
-- or side 3 of "Love You Live" --
I have no idea what's on that one!
That was the El Mocambo --
-- Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Are those unfair comparisons for No Security?
I have to put them on and listen to them. I think you'd be surprised probably when you put them on and you listen to the playing that you might be surprised to compare favorably this year's playing with then. I think you might. But maybe you might not. I don't know. I'd have to A & B this.
Keith said he would have liked to put "All About You" on this album. What would you have liked?
All About You? What's that?
That's one of his solo songs from Emotional Rescue.
Oh, yeah, but he never did that one
Yes he did, throughout the U.S. tour.
... and lots more of course... Get the complete IORR 35 back issue to read the unique and complete interview...
But I assume no one's brave enough to yell at Charlie. Is he the hardest to persuade to go on tour?
He's the most enthusiastic.
Really??! So who's the least enthusiastic then?
I don't know!
Are you doing a show at Wembley on Dec. 31, 1999?
No. I think Wembley is closed then. They're more or less tearing it down...
So you're not doing anything special on that particular day?
Well, we might do. But I don't think it will be at Wembley becasuse there won't be a Wembley.
Is there some cool old Stones stuff that's ready to join the set list?
Sometimes you dig things out, like Sister Morphine was one of them, I suppose you could say.
How about, say, "Around and Around"?
Yeah we tried that in rehearsal. It sounded like too many (laughs) stops!
Turd on the Run?
Nah, once it starts, that's it. It could be all right for a club gig, that one.
She Said Yeah?
No, bit low on everyone's compass.
People focus on the fact that you do a lot of old stuff, but the reality is that you drew on virtually every album for the Bridges to Babylon tour.
That wasn't really trying either, being very careful about it, not over-careful anyway. It just worked out that way. You can sometimes end up picking too much of one period without even thinking about it. You get involved in it, but then you've gotta back up and say, `Wait a minute, we're stuck in one five-year period, here.'
Are there any songs you now dread playing, like Miss You?
Nah, if I really dread them then we drop them basically.
On balance how did the Bridges to Babylon tour compare with the others in terms of vibe and happiness?
It was a really good vibe, the tour, really. It had a few ups and downs: I had laryngitis twice and Keith broke his ribs. That was, like, not very good, but we kinda got over it... Hey listen, let's do one round-up question.
Are there any misconceptions about the Stones that annoy you? People always talking about your combined age, etc?
I think people should really just listen and watch rather than worry about the history, y'know? I think that's a load of old bollocks.
So finally how would you rank No Security in the pantheon of Stones live releases?
It's this year's, don't know anything else. Very nice talking to you.
Take care, Mick.

Mick Jagger - Dean Goodman (Reuters) IORR 1997

The Mick Jagger Interview by Dean Goodman, Reuters

No matter how many times you’ve read it before, MICK JAGGER is so goddamned skinny -- and tiny too, to those of us over six feet. You could almost fold him up and sneak him into a concert in your jacket. But then there might not be enough room for the stash, so maybe we’ll just leave him upright, and be content to carry him around in our hearts.
After a lifetime spent chasing him around the world, and one or two brief encounters along the way, it was something of a relief to sit down formally with him. Ideally, I’d prefer to interrogate him for three days, so I was a bit concerned that a 25-minute chat would be an anti-climax. But nothing about Mick is anti-climactic.
The interview took place at Chicago’s Ritz Carlton - Four Seasons Hotel about 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 20 in the 25th floor suite of his longtime assistant MIRANDA PAYNE.
I was chatting to her and to tour publicist CHERYL CERRETTI when Mick’s publicist TONY KING led Mick in. I ambled slowly over to Tony first (we’ve had a few run-ins over the years). Tony was beaming, he introduced me to Mick, and we engaged in some witty three-way banter.
Mick was very groovy, dressed in a tight-fitting purple suite with an open-necked orange shirt and multi-colored socks. The suite looked as if it could have been made by MEREDITH HUNTER’s tailor, but I didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask. The laugh lines are deep, but his hair is very fulsome. He looks younger than Keith, but maybe that’s not the greatest compliment.
Mick sat on a coach and I faced him sitting in a chair about two feet away. Everyone else left, leaving me and Mick together. Alone. At last. But let’s not get carried away.
As I set up my tape recorder, he poured himself some Evian and initiated the small talk. This threw me off a bit, as I’ve spent a lifetime constructing the perfect small talk dialog I’d have with Mick. And in a few seconds, all that preparation went out the window. He moaned that he’d just come in from an interview with Spanish TV and it was a drag. I asked him how his Spanish was these days, and he said, not very good, but he was helped by a translator. I think my small talk plan would have been better, but it will have to wait for another day.
I’d prepared about a zillion questions, but had to cut it down to the bare essentials, particularly as I was writing a story about the album and tour. Fascinating digressions for my own personal interest had to be kept to a minimum. He puts a lot of thoughts into the interview. He gives apparently honest answers. And the cost of his undivided attention is that he’ll make it clear when it’s time to call it a day. And he’ll be out in a flash. Still, it was all fun. He laughed a lot (as shown in the text by "!!!"). Try as I might, I couldn’t make out if he still had that diamond in his right upper molar. Most important tip: treat an interview like a conversation with a friend, cut the rock star crap and he’ll talk to you just like a regular bloke.
So what follows on the next pages, is the exclusive interview with Mick...

DG: You’re beginning the tour a week before the album comes out. Doesn’t it undermine the album, almost makes it redundant?
Mick: "Perhaps. No. I don’t think it does. The upside of it is that it gives the whole thing a kick-start, that you’re on tour and that the record comes out. It keeps a tremendous amount of momentum. If you come out with a record, say, two months ago, cold, it wouldn’t been as good as having it now, to be honest."
Does that mean you’ll play fewer new songs on tour?
"Oh, definitely."
Will the set list be similar to the ones from the two secret gigs?
"No, it won’t be the set list. I wish it was only 15 songs!!!"
Those shows, you played "Anybody Seen My Baby" and "Out Of Control"...
"That’s what we’ll play at the first show. Of the new ones. As it goes on, by the time Christmas comes, there will probably be a lot more. But there’s no point really. Not in a stadium. If it was in a theater and you were doing more of a showcase, then you’d do loads. U2 came out and they played loads of new numbers, and it really didn’t work. It doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. I mean, I’ve done it so many times. You get allthese blank faces. It’s all right a couple of times, blank faces. But you don’t want to be every number, like everyone looking at you going, ‘What the fuck is this?’"
You’d think audiences would be braced for new songs?
"I’m not in the audience, I don’t know what they think. Generally, it’s puzzlement usually, I get the vibe!"
From an artistic standpoint. You have lumped Steel Wheels and Voodoo Lounge together. What was the plan for ‘Bridges Babylon’?
"Steel Wheels was made very quickly, but it doesn’t sound any more rushed than the other one. I just wanted to make sure that this record was a different kind of sounding record than ‘Voodoo Lounge’. You could have easily gone and done it again"
I get the impression that you didn’t have a close attachment to Voodoo Lounge?
"Well, I don’t want to trash it because I think it’s got some good sounding things. I wasn’t really passionate about it. I try to be at the time, but in retrospect... I always love them when I do them. I always think they’re the best thing ever."
"It (Bridges To Babylon)) is pretty savagely, eclectic. But right from the get go, I said to everyone, ‘Well, it’s not long since we did the last studio album and we’ve had another album since’ -- which is called Stripped’, which was of course a very retro album. There’s nothing wrong with that, that was the whole intention. It was a live, y’know..."
"Yeah, souvenir. So I said. ‘We’ve done that and now we’ve got to go into another direction, y’know. We’ve got to go into the studio with another conscious direction or way of looking at it.’ How would that be? What would make it different sounding? You can approach it from all kinds of ways. The songwriting’s slightly different, the melodic content different, the song lyrics different, just sonically different and just take a few chances, don’t worry about it so much. It should be like the Rolling Stones, whatever that means."
"I said, ‘It’s always going to sound like the Rolling Stones, we’ve done so many albums and so much time together and so much work together, but if you play a song, people will automatically or subconsciously will pigeonhole it into a category. ‘Oh, this will be like Let It Bleed, I’ll play this.’ And then it becomes a rerun of Let It Bleed... So that’s how it can happen, so you’ve got to be a bit aware of it."
A lot of songs sound as if they could have come out of Wandering Spirit. Is this your record vs, say Dirty Work, which was Keith’s?
"I don’t know. I had written a lot of songs coming into this project that I’d already done -- I’d written them and they were all finished and completed. I didn’t really necessarily know we were going to do a Stones record at that point. It was always a possibility..."
So what are yours?
"What I wrote coming in?"
"Anyone (sic) Seen My Baby, Saint Of Me..."
Gunface, it that your’s?
"Gunface, Out Of Control, Might As Well Get Juiced."
And Keith wrote his three solo ones?
"Yeah, I started off playing the drums on ‘You Don’t Have To Mean It’. That was my contribution!!!"
That’s cool. Didn’t Ronnie play drums on Sleep Tonight?
"Yes. Well, I didn’t play on the actual track. In the writing session I was playing the drums."
I hear Keith didn’t get along well with the Dust Brothers?
"He doesn’t really get along with people very often, y’know. He takes a stand against people... He worked with Don a lot."
I thought he hated Don -- Well, at least put Don through the wringer before hiring him for Voodoo Lounge?
"No, he wanted Don on board. He was the one that wanted Don on board (pause). I wanted Don on board as well because he can help me not only produce some of the tracks but coordinate the project. You need someone to help you. I could have done it, but it would have been a lot more work for me. We’d coordinate together -- we’ve got the Dust Brothers this afternoon, and then we ended up with this, and what are we going to do with the Dust Brothers rhythm track, and so on. Just coordinating the thing is quite complicated."
Are you a bit disappointed with sales of Voodoo Lounge?
"No, not at all. I think it sold pretty well really."
But given the fact that it was supported by the biggest tour in planetary history...
"Well, it sold five million tickets on tour and we sold five million records. There’s no mystery to me... I don’t think that’s disappointing after 34 years. I think to sell five million records is pretty good, don’t you?"
The Stones have always been more of a visual thing than a record-selling thing. Haven’t they? Not to ignore the fact that you have sold zillions of records...
"I think they’re both. Honestly, to be fair, if you sold five million records of the last two studio albums... I honestly don’t think that’s a bad thing. Who sells more than that as a consistent thing? Of course, bands sell more than that. But it’ll just be for one record, and after that, they’ll go back to a certain plateau. Which we’re obviously on -- some albums you go below, and some albums you go above. But the plateau of that amount of sales, I think, is very good. OK, the Pink Floyd, I think, they might sell a few more. But I don’t know, I have no idea, to be very honest."
(.... continued in IORR 31...)
The Mick Jagger interview (part two)
This is part two of the interview Dean Goodman did with Mick Jagger in Chicago on Sept. 20 last year, three days before the tour started. This interview is made available to you exclusively in IORR. Part one was printed in IORR 30.
Dean: The consensus is that you were very generous bringing k.d. lang and Ben Mink as songwriters on "Anybody Seen My Baby?". Did you really need to do that?
Mick: "Nah."
Because "Stoned" was a rip-off of "Green Onions", wasn’t it?
"Well, whatever... And I’m sure there’s many songs in the world that are similar to others. The whole question of all that is very complex, and perhaps we shouldn’t even bother with it. I didn’t think it was totally necessary. It was all to do with timing, really. We were just starting up this tour, the record was being actually manufactured, we couldn’t really go back on it. If it had been three weeks different, we probably would have done it another way."
You didn’t want to risk a Patrick Alley-type situation (over "Just Another Night")?
"Yeah, exactly. There’s so many risks and so many people worried about those risks. And probably quite rightly. You don’t want to jeopardise this whole project by this one note!!! it’s funny, but it’s true."
I can’t believe you paid the Dust Brothers all this money, and they didn’t realize the similarities to ‘Constant Crawing’ and change the one note?
"Well, we could have done, but the record was actually being manufactured and distributed. What are you going to do? Are you getting to make the record a month later?"
Was there a band dispute? Maybe some of the guys thought, screw it, don’t bother about the co-credits?
"No, it was very... k.d.lang and all that were very nice people. It wasn’t one of those horrible litigious things. It was just easier. It was just easier to do it this way than it would have been perhaps to have done it another way. Whatever. That was my take on it."
Despite all these big-name producers, the album still sound like a Stones album. Couldn’t you have just produced the whole thing yourselves, maybe with some help from Don?
"No. I don’t think it would have worked like that. It’s hard for you to judge what actually was done. But I know personally that it would not have been that record if it hadn’t been for the introduction of different people and the different attitude that those people delivered, and the way they influenced, for instance, Don. Or, whatever Keith thinks, influenced him. Because that forced him to come to the party with a different attitude, and people wanted to be clear about what they were doing, rather than just falling back on old things. They made people question what they were going to do, why they were doing it."
So obviously you can’t tour without stadiums -- you can’t just play 100 dates at the Double Door --
"Well, it would be very nice. I’d love to play the Double Door and make a bit of money. It would be great. Imagine if you could combine those things."
But with the Voodoo Lounge and Steel Wheels tours I saw them 31 times -
Did you sometimes think the essence of the Stones was lost in a maze of smoke and mirrors?
"Well, it depends on the punters. You’re the punters out there. You saw the show more times than I did. I never saw the show, only the video. My take on it is that there’s part of the audience which would go and enjoy just the Rolling Stones in a whatever -- stadium, arena -- with nothing much. They might like a screen and they might like a sound system. But then there’s another part of the audience that would rather have a bit more... I personally enjoy doing those kinds of shows. I like designing them and working with them. I did years of arenas with nothing much. That’s not true: we always did something, even in arenas. we had the stage that came up and opened... inflatable penises... rose petals... I rather like them, but if sometimes you find it’s too much, you cut it down. There’s always a purist group, and especially if you’ve seen the show so many times, there’s no surprise anymore. Most people only see it once."
What would you hope to prove with this tour?
"Well, the band continues to be a touring band a still-continuing band. I hope this new album’s gonna contain songs which are gonna be performed on stage with some success. I think there’s possibilities in there. Also, there’s a still-continuing great show. We’re not out to change the world. Obviously it is a stadium show and what it is, is what it is."
What’s the attitude within the band: You and Charlie are always the reluctant ones to tour, while Keith and Ronnie --
"-- Are still on tour when they’re home? I don’t know if that’s really true, because I don’t really think that’s true. I’m in some ways reluctant to commit. It’s such a long commitment. I don’t even commit to the whole tour, because I want to see how it goes. If I hate it, I hate to think, ‘Oh you’re in August 15 in Barcelona and you’re staying at the Ritz-carlton and what would you like for breakfast? I hate it. So I never commit to a whole tour. It’s a big commitment to do a tour of any kind."
Why aren’t you playing as many cities?
"We’re not overplaying the market. We’re being very conservative. We’re not playing as many shows. It’s been a very soft concert, as you know, in the United States. One or two tours have come croppers, really, haven’t done very well, so we thought it was best to play the market conservatively. plus, given the time problems that we’ve had -- we’ve run very late with the record -- there’s only so many things we can do between Sept. 23 and Christmas, as far as stadiums are concerned."
Are there any songs that don’t have resonance for you these days? I know you were never strong on "Street Fighting Man"?
"Yeah, I’ve dumped it. Ha-ha!!"
During the Voodoo Lounge tour, there was basically nothing off Steel Wheels, of Undercover or Dirty Work. It’s like they never existed.
"I know. I keep tryin’ to put songs in, and either they don’t sound very good, or no one’s very enthusiastic about it. I can’t make the band enthusiastic about songs they don’t seem to be enjoying."
But if "Dirty Work" was Keith’s record --
"-- You’d think he’d want to... Well, if it was his record... You’d think he want to play something from some of those things. It’s not only Keith, it’s like the whole band is like, ‘Well, yes, er...’ We played ‘Undercover’ on the last tour."
And Harlem Shuffle too, I think?
"Ugh. Dumped."
So you want to play the young stuff, and the others want to play the golden oldies?
"I don’t think that’s necessarily true. We’re playing some other oldies we haven’t really touched."
Are you concerned about the older-skewing audiences? All the shows I went to everyone was old. You haven’t really captured the modern rock audience?
"It depends where you are. You went to the shows more than I did. You get quite an old audience in some places, others you don’t. The audience in America tends to be pretty old. That’s a result of all kinds of factors I don’t have any control over, really. In America, you’ve got a whole family thing going on. You don’t get that in Europe: people don’t come with families.
Fans are more extreme in Europe. That’s where all the fan clubs are based.
"Yeah. Yeah. Here it’s more... family... I don’t know what it is. It’s a good old boy factor. Some places you play like Charlotte and Norman, Oklahoma and it’s more of a college crowd. It’s a different vibe completely."
So finally, you sat down with Allen Klein a few years ago to resolve your differences. Does that mean you’ll be issuing old stuff from the vaults both pre- and post-abkco?
"No, well we’ve had plenty of new things really haven’t we? We haven’t had to do that. I dare say in the future that will all happen."
Thanks Mick!
Thanks Dean!

Mick Jagger - Stepping out : février 1985

Mick Jagger, it seems, cannot sit still. Seated behind a console at the
Power Station in New York, Jagger is fidgeting with strips of paper that have the song tides for his new. solo album written on them. Over and over, he rearranges them, in search of the ideal sequence. Then, once the master tapes are' cued up and clicked on, he's out of his chair - tail shaking, lip-syncing, playing air guitar, even winking. For someone so notoriously blase offstage, this guy seems pretty keyed up. Why is Mick Jagger so excited? Mainly because his first solo LP, tentatively dubbed She's the Boss, is due out soon, and it's the forty-one-year-old singer's boldest attempt yet to establish an artistic identity for himself apart from the Rolling Stones. Jagger's previous attempts at acting and screen writing have been flops, and his general lack of interest was all too noticeable during thepr9motion of the Stones' last studio LP, Undercover, which sold: disappointingly. But with the active encouragement of the Stones' new label, Columbia, Mick says he finally started thinking about his solo debut. "Atlantic would just say, 'Okay, we have another Stones album; and then wait' eighteen months," he explained. ((Whereas CBS would say, (Hey, Mick, you know, we want you to do two solo albums.' So I thought, (Wow, they really want me to do it. Okay, I will.' " Of course, it's not just his record that's fueling his good mood these days: he's an involved father to his three daughters, Karis, 13 (by singer Marsha Hunt); Jade, 13 (by Bianca Jagger); and the infant Elizabeth Scarlett (by Jerry Hall). He and Jerry tend to the sprout, but the eldest two have been dispatched to British boarding school. "New York is a terrible place to bring up kids," he mourns. Right now, though, his album is foremost in his thoughts, and justifiably so: while its raucous, unhinged spirit is certainly reminiscent of the Stones' work, its sound is more aggressively contemporary, from the rhythm-section fury of . "Just Another Night" and "Running Out of Luck" to the wild wit of "She's the Boss" and "Lucky in Love." The album is further proof that Jagger, unlike most forty-plus performers, can stake out contemporary musical territory without embarrassing himself. In our two sessions, Jagger proved a surprisingly appealing subject. He is, of course, the most written-about living performer in the history of rock &. roll, and is quite adroit at deflecting overly pungent inquiries. He can be gracious (he shakes your hand when he meets you...) and brusque (. . . but not when he says goodbye). It is, after all, business - something Mick Jagger is very good at.
So I heard that Paul McCartney wanted to play on your record - on a track ["Hard Woman"] that already featured Pete Townshend.
Well, I was doing some overdubs with Peter in London, and Paul was working on Broad Street. Actually, it was this disco thing he was working on.
The disco version of "No More Lonely Nights"?
Yeah, which I haven't heard since.
You're a lucky man. [Laughs]
I've got to be careful you don't get me bitchy, because if I get bitchy, it's all going to come out. [Pause} Yeah, Paul kind of. . . but I'd done all the tracks by then.
He came in with a bottle of cognac or something?
It was my birthday, that's why! It was really nice. Paul has always been very polite and nice to me. He said, "I've never done a disco mix before," and I kind of very patronizingly said, "Oh, well, wow." [Laughs] I mean it's true, I was doing them in 1978: "Miss You," with Bob Clearmountain. Of course, he was doing solo records in 1970.
Why a solo record now? What made the timing right?
I had just finished doing the Stones album, and it hadn't come out; I'd just done a bunch of videos; and I just wrote a bunch of songs very quickly when I was in the Caribbean. So I did some demos, and the demos kind of worked well. Traditionally, solo albums by people who are still in groups have been born of frustration. It wasn't from any great frustration. I was, you know, feeling in the mood for it, and I thought, "Stop talking about the solo record you might do one day." I didn't think about it too much, to be honest. I just went ahead and did it.
When did you let the rest of the band know that you were planning to do it?
As soon as I was planning on doing it. They knew contractually that CBS had said, "We want you to do this," and I said, "Well, do you mind if I take this time out?" For instance, Bill [Wyman} has done like four solo albums, and Ronnie [Wood] has done a lot of solo projects. And Keith [Richards}, he's done, maybe not very many records, but he did the [New Barbarians] tour with Ronnie. I think that the Stones didn't want it to be a shit record: "Mick, don't make a shit record, because that's going to reflect on us." And I said, "No, if it's a shit record - if I think it's shit, and CBS thinks it's shit - it won't go out."
There were stories that they were furious.
I don't think they were furious about it, because we talked about it. I talked about it with Keith, and he said, "Hey, if you want to do it, go ahead. Don't forget you're taking a chance." I said, "Well, yeah." You know, you've got to take chances in life. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Are you a chance-taking sort of guy?
Well, I think I've gotten a little bit too safe. I'm not saying the Rolling Stones are safe, but there was always Keith to fall back on, and there were a lot of safety nets.
Were you happy with the last record, "Undercover"?
Yeah, I liked it. It didn't sell perhaps as much as I would have liked, though it sold over 2 million copies - I shouldn't really complain. There was plenty of stuff on it that was mine: "Undercover;" "She Was Hot." Keith contributed to all that stuff. Some was completely his. But it wasn't like I was frustrated with it because it wasn't my material.
There will be speculation, I guess, that your solo record means the Stones are winding down.
I don't think so. I mean, we're going into the studio in January, and we're planning a tour for next year. Ronnie said so on MTV! [Laughs] Who am I to say there isn't going to be? Just to press the point, say five or ten years down the road. . . Well, forget it! [Laughs} I don't want to think about it! I mean, there can't really be a Rolling Stones when you're all fifty. No, I don't think so either. So, maybe subconsciously, I'm thinking, "Hey, I better do it now." I don't want to wait until I'm that old to do it; it seems silly.
It must have been fun to work with new musicians for a change.
Yeah. I started off with Sly [Dunbar] and Robbie [Shakespeare] and all the people I knew, really. We had Jeff Beck, and we had Jan Hammer at the beginning, and then I had Chuck Leavell and Eddie Martinez - he's a guitar player. So that was sort of the beginning, and then later on we had Michael Shrieve on one track. And on the ballad ["Hard Woman"] we had Tony Thompson - he was with Chic. Herbie Hancock did some overdubs. And Pete Townshend played acoustic guitar.
Nice to give the guy a little work now and then.
Yeah. [Laughs] Keep him away from his publishing business at Faber and Faber.
Did you write these songs the way you usually write material for the Stones? Don't you normally headbang with Keith a bit?
Usually, I hit them around with people, with Keith. Sometimes I write them all down and say, "Hey, this is it." Or sometimes I'll say, "Well, this really can use a bridge." This time I really tried to have them done. I got them much more ready than I would have with the Stones, because with the Stones - with any band - the great advantage is that they all kick the tunes around for you. You can't really expect guys that you've got in to do that. But even though I got the demos down, it didn't matter, because the guys that I worked with were very involved. They weren't going, [bored] "Oh, yeah, thanks." In that way, it wasn't really that different from working with the Stones.
How did you pull together the producers, Bill Laswell and Nile, Rodgers?
Bill's a real kind of thinking guy - I like the stuff he did. Obviously, I didn't want to make a hip-hop record, and Bill wanted to make a rock & roll record. And so we sat around, talked about musicians, and the idea sort of fell into place. And then Nile was working with Jeff Beck on his album. So then when he finished that, I said, "Maybe it's good to do some tracks with Nile." And I'd written a few different songs. I said to Bill, "I'm going to play them to him," and it went from there. Did you want it to sound different than the Rolling Stones? Well, you got to remember that a lot of this stuff is kind of subconscious with musicians. I knew it was never going to sound like the Rolling Stones, and the great thing about it was the mystery: I was throwing elements together, and I didn't know what was going to happen nor did the musicians. And they were having fun. All of them were really up for it.
For you as a vocalist, what's the difference between singing with a guy like Beck and singing with Keith and Ronnie?
Not a tremendous amount of difference really. I mean, Jeff's very much a lead player; he doesn't like to play parts over and over, which Keith and Ronnie would do. That's a great difference. But I had Eddie to play the parts. And then the similarity is that very few guitar players will play the same solo twice, so you better get it. You know, there's a certain point where you've got to catch that hear, that flash. Obviously, I know Keith and Woody much better than I know Jeff, though I've known Jeff for years. But I'm not quite as attuned to him or the other musicians when they're really on, whether this guy will play forever like this and get better and better, or whether he's just going to do it once and go, "Well, that's it, guy. You didn't get it. Goodbye."
How did Beck turn out to be?
Very patient. And very hard-working. I went home at like two in the morning, and he was still in there. That's not bad. Have you thought about videos yet? Yeah. While I was writing the songs, I was thinking of videos. I was thinking visually a little bit more than normal. Some people think that's a dangerous trend. I think it's good. Not all lend themselves to visual treatment, and I'm not saying I wrote or rewrote or changed or whatever. But when you start to get a cinematic approach - when you have something down, and you think about it - it does bring certain images. I mean, the creative thing works in a very odd way.
How do you write a song?
I don't know. It comes out, and it's a miracle really. It just comes out, and you have these visual images, and you think, well, let's carry them a little bit further and make them a little' more cinematic or something. You know, "Lucky in Love" and "Running Out of Luck"? Before, I would maybe have had to change it: "Oh, I can't have tWo songs with luck." I use that, so that becomes a kind of slightly thematic thing, if! want to use that for a video. You almost have a Prince-type piano attack on "Just Another Night. " Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Bill [Laswell] did that, And I think we did it well before "When Doves Cry." It was almost contemporary. See, I'm a big Prince fan, I'm not gonna hide that. He was on our '81 tour - you know what happened to him? He comes on for five miutes, they throw two cans at him, and he leaves. I mean, he was supposed to do four or five more gigs. He was big then already. He wasn't any kind of thing I discovered under a bush. That was a tough time for cross-pollination of audiences. Well, I think it was just the clothes really. The underwear. [Laughs] The underwear! It wasn't the singing or the style or anything like that.
Didn't you think he was a prima donna for not hanging in there and taking the heat ?
To be honest, I never saw what happened. I don't think it was really serious. I don't think he was hurt. I mean, hey, they throw a lot of cans anyway. I mean when I go on, they throw everything [laughs]. I went to see him in Detroit, and his audience is all fourteen-year-old girls clutching their Instamatic cameras and screaming their heads off. He ends with this tremendous version of "Purple Rain," but everybody is filing out. And the third night in Detroit he just started screaming at them. You get these funny audiences. It's got to change the way you act and the show you do. I remember with the Stones, we used to play for a college crowd, and we were used to mature people. They were older. And to go from that to playing for the thirteen-year-olds with the Instamatics who are just screaming and not knowing any of the tunes, really, is kind of weird, you know? The Stones went through this whole phase where we got really bored playing, because all they wanted to hear were the hits, and they didn't want to know about the blues, and we were feeling very blues purist.
How do you decide what to play on tour these days?
The things that excite me to play are either newer songs we've never done or old ones but done slightly different than we've done before.
Like the way you did "Under My Thumb" on the last tour?
Yeah. Obviously, I won't want to do that again, because I've done that a hundred times. And when you play outdoors or even the big arenas, you tend to keep the shows exactly the same. You can't just throw in a number like you're in a club, because you have 90,000 people, the lights and the sound and all that, and it's just such a production. At the beginning of the tour, the set tends to be long, and you shorten it a little bit. You see what goes, down ,well and what doesn't. If a number's bombing, even if you're enjoying it, you tend to leave it out.
What sort of stuff doesn't go over well?
They don't like ballads, for one thing. They don't want to hear them. Not from us. We play anything that's slow, they start to go for the hot dogs.
What recent shows did you like? Did you see Springsteen this time?
Yeah, I saw Springsteen in his long stint ate the Meadowlands [in New Jesey}.
Did you stay for the whole show?
[Pause] Oh, yeah. [Laughs] Sure, through the bear and everything. I liked it. I thought the band sounded wonderful; I thought he sounded wonderfully well. It was better than when I saw him the last time around. I thought the drums sounded fantastic. I took the kids also. To tell you the truth, the kids did not like it very much.
Did you and the kids catch the Jacksons show?
I wasn't around. I wasn't in the neighborhood. Some real hard-rock people - people that I wouldn't imagine liking it - said they liked it very much. They [the kids] didn't go either. I don't think they wanted to. I think they're too old already.
What did you think of all the Jacksons' business problems?
I only know what I've read in the newspapers. I don't want to be an expert, but I think the ticket price was too high. I think Michael knew it. I think it was terribly disorganized at the beginning - it was a joke. I mean, everyone went through this in the Sixties. You don't put ticket prices - ticket prices are $17.50 or whatever it is - I mean you don't. . . twenty, thirty dollars. . . you don't do that. I don't think it's very complex. You don't rate more than the regular ticket price. If you have a very expensive show, you might add a dollar.
When did you get involved in the real nuts-and-bolts side of touring?
I think when I had to, like 1969, I think. Especially post-Altamont . . I was really into the tour before then. I kinda let that one go. I thought that was all San Francisco and Bill Graham and the Grateful Dead, and. . . I'm not making excuses. Of course, a lot of it was my fault, blah-blah-blah. But to that point in time, there wasn't really - I hate to use the word, but I think it's a good one - there was no industry really. It was all very amateur night: there were a few professional promoters, and fewer honest ones. So the artist had to become interested. We had gone to Australia, and there was no roof, and it was 110 degrees. So I remember telling Rod Stewart, "Say, Rod, when you go down there, don't forget to take a roof, and put it in your contract. I mean these guys don't give you a roof!" [Laughs] So I got interested in that. You can't get yourself too involved, because you gotta play.
What were your impressions of Michael Jackson when you worked with him?
I thought he was really professional. You know, sings his ass off - he's real easy. I thought "State of Shock" was great. A lot of people didn't like it. I think it could have been much better produced, but you know, I enjoyed doing it. I like doing the duets occasionally - I did one with Peter Wolf, Carly Simon, Peter Tosh. . .
You and Willie and Julio, I'm sure. . .
[Laughs] Hey, yeah, we'll get it together . . . that was a hilarious one. [Hysterically] Willie and Julio!
Did you see Duran Duran when they came?
No: I saw them personally; I didn't go to their show. The kids went.
Did they like it?
Loved it. My children's boyfriends dress like Simon Le Bon, wear the makeup, you know. It's hilarious.
Do you like their records?
Who? Duran Duran. [Closes eyes, smiles, remains silent for fifteen seconds.] Uh, right. . . [Laughs] C'mon, Chris, gimme a break!
I know I've got another question here. . . . Here we go: Do you go back and listen to your old records?
Yeah, sometimes. Most artists might once in a while, when the band might get together. But I don't think many people do. There might be a time when it's probably good to hear them, like when we go on the road. Go and research all the stuff and say: "Hey, that's really a good song. We could do that this way," or "We never did that onstage."
You've mentioned "Shattered" as a song you're particularly proud of.
Yeah, I think that's really good, it's kinda unusual. There's quite a few songs on that album [Some Girls] I think are good. I still like things like "Miss You." I think that has a directness and feeling. The whole album has something in it.
At the time, you thought it was the best record you had done since 'Let It Bleed.'
Yeah, I think it probably is." I mean, Tattoo You was full of some good material- some of it was quite old, and some not old. I think "Start Me Up" was good.
That was just sitting around in a vault?
Well, it was from Emotional Rescue. It was just sitting there, and no one had taken any notice of it. There were like forty takes. What happened, I think, is we made it into a ,reggae song after, like, take twelve, and said, well, maybe another time. I used take two. And I found it, put it together. . . it was one of Keith's sort of tunes. . . I wrote the lyrics, put it-on, and Keith said, "I can't believe it, it's just wild."
There are two new books about the band that have just been published: 'Sympathy for the Devil,' by Philip Norman, and 'Dance with the Devil,' by Stanley Booth.Have you read either of them?
You know, I really haven't. First of all, I'm not really interested in reading books about myself; there are a lot of books out there I'd like to read rather / than books about me or the Rolling Stones. The Stanley Booth one perhaps would be good to read. At least Stanley Booth did actually know the Rolling Stones, and I know Stanley Booth. Where Philip Norman doesn't know the Rolling Stones; I wouldn't know him if he walked in now. I read some extracts from it, with the sensationalist stuff in it. It looks pretty cruddy, what I read. Both books do recount some of the seamier sides of the Stones' activities - sex, drugs, the works.
Is it difficult for you as a parent to think about your kids reading some of that stuff?
I can't do anything about it.
How do you feel about it?
How do I feel about it? I don't know really - I haven't really thought about it. You're throwing the question at me kinda as a bit of a curve. U mmm, I really haven't thought about it. I guess they know most of it, and I think it's not particularly - I don't think it's very good for them. Ummm, I mean, that's one of the things I have to put up with. I mean, they have to put up with. It's a little unfair for them. But I suppose all kids have to put up with their parents.
Frequently, the allegation is made that a lot of people who meet up with the Rolling Stones wind up in trouble: fucked up, dead, with drug problems or something like that. And there's the implication that the band somehow is a malevolent force that destroys people's lives. What's your response to that? Ummmm, I think it's unfortunate if it happened. I would not like to think of myself as someone who would take somebody on purpose, or even not on purpose, and make them into something . . . you know, ruin their life. What's inevitable is that there are breakdowns in relationships, people have problems. . . . I mean, most [people] in the artistic community have severe kinds of problems with drugs and stress. It happens not only in the music community, and show business generally is a high-stress occupation. Yeah, there's no doubt that's happened. I don't want to pick on anybody, but what about' the Pretenders, you know? I'm not pointing fingers. But it seems to be something that comes along in that way of life, and over a long period of time there are bound to be some casualties. It just happens. Maybe I'm being real cynical; I don't want to be. I'm just thinking, who did I personally damage? Who did I actually do over? Brian Jones? Brian Jones? No way, Jose. I disclaim on that one. As a group, I'm sure there's many. But, me personally, I'm trying to think . . .
Marianne Faithfull?
Marianne, you know, she nearly killed me, forget it! I wasn't going to get out of there alive, Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg! I mean, help!
Do you ever see her?
Marianne, yeah, I see Marianne. I see her around, like you say. I haven't seen her properly for a little while. Since she broke up with her old man - I saw her then. She was really upset, and I talked to her a little. And then Anita, I haven't seen her for a while. She's sort of gone straight, and she's in London. When I saw her last, I didn't recognize her. She looked pretty good.
Speaking of cleaning up, Ron Wood went into a drug detox center in England, right?
Yeah. Sounded horrible to me, the one he went to. This guy rang me up, screaming,' cause Woody had given them my name. This guy yelled at me, 'cause Woody checked out. Like, "It's your fault he left." Hey, it was my idea to get him in there.
Was it?
Well, I'm sure I wasn't the only one. There's a bunch of bands now that make a point about their being real clean. Aaah, there was always the clean-living kid next door. That's how the Beatles were sold. That's how Frankie Avalon or Elvis was sold. Fact or fiction. I'm not accusing Boy George of being a drug addict. But, honestly, I'm afraid journalism has a lot to answer for. Responsible journalism is a very good thing, but irresponsible journalism. . . we have a lot of it. More in the U.K. than here. Now Duran Duran can't get really upset about that. They think it's really bad if people write, "Duran Duran was all drunk." They were saying to me, "So we were all drunk, but we're such a teenybop group. We didn't really ask for that; that's what we got. And if they write about that, then people go out and they copy us, and we don't want that. We think it's irresponsible [journalism]." Well, it's not irresponsible to write about it in, like, [satta voce] your magazine, but in a newspaper with sensationalist headlines. . .
Well, you're planning to set the record straight on your own life by writing an autobiography. Word has been that your first draft wasn't juicy enough for the publishers. What's the story?
I didn't really want to put out the book in the way that the first draft was.It was too flip. They [the publishers] wanted to put it out. They wanted to pay me the money, and I just said, "No, not this time. Let me get some more ff on it." I didn't have any problem remembering . . . I mean, you can't remember every detail. What's more difficult to put into perspective is like the Seventies. Much easier to put the Sixties into perspective than the Seventies.
What is your perspective on the Sixties?
Wait to read the book! [Laughs] It's really complex, though, you know? Obviously, it's a personal one. But also one of the society I found myself in when I was growing up. I was kind of a late grower-up. People didn't grow up at fifteen then; they grew up when they were twenty. The way that they changed, and the way that America changed, and your own personal experiences, and how that worked, and also the overview you've got now: what society was like and all those millions of examples of things that makes the mosaic up for the real picture. Sort of an edge. . . Yeah, well, you got very aggressive and very frustrated, you know. With not being able to hold the reins and the obviously stupid things going on. The ripoffs. And all the politics and the social upheaval that was happening all over the world. There's a lot of social stuff in there that's never really been looked at. And I talked to people who really want me to get that right. You know, professors and stuff, not bullshit artists.
What's hard about the Seventies?
Well, you know, it's just closer, and it was a time of retrenchment a little bit. It doesn't sort of fit quite so well. And I was getting older and what was happening? Was I just kind of going along in the groove of it or the momentum that was already there? I don't know. I just haven't got the keys to it yet.
Moving up to the Eighties, how do you view the rise of conservatism, both here and in the U. K.?
I think it's awful. I don't like all this religion stuff involved. Traditionally, in England, we really don't. The wives don't get involved either [laughs]. I hate to sound chauvinistic about it; it's just a different approach. Of course, wives and family have great influence, but they're not up there so visibly as they are here.
What about your own family? Are any of your daughters following in your footsteps?
Well, I like to watch them move and see if they can play, you know. My oldest (Karis) plays the harp. It's kind of amusing to watch. Not an instrument of instant carryability. It's tough. Tough on the fingers and the back when you wanna move it. But she likes it. She plays piano also. Now, the littlest one, I bought her a xylophone. Yeah, they love all that. It's one of those things that you hit it and it doesn't make a musical noise, but a ball goes jumping up in the air.
How old is she now?
Seven months.
It must be fun to have her.
Yeah, it's fun, you know. It is fun. And then my brother has six kids. They're not all his, but they're his family. So they come over and it's like insanity.
Do you counsel them at all like your typical daddy?
You have to counsel them a little bit all the way through, you know. It's good if they come and talk to you, but obviously kids don't like to really talk . . . I really shouldn't talk about them too much, because when they read it, they'll become embarrassed.
Okay. One last thing: if the record does well, what will you do?
I don't know really. I'd be real happy if it does well. I'd be happy if people like it and they like the kind of direction - if they appreciate it and they just enjoy the record. I hope it sells, but you can't guarantee. I've been around long enough to know that. Ah, but what if it's really successful . . . Yeaaahhh! I'm going to move to the East Side! Is that your question? [Laughs.]

Mick - Club des Stones

Cette interview est parue dans la newsletter hebdomadaire (qui existe depuis 2000 ou 2001) du club français des Stones : www.sympathyforthedevils.com
OBJET: Rock This Town (1983)

Le 1er septembre dernier sortait dans une salle de cinéma bruxelloise " Time Is On My Side ", rebaptisé chez nous " Let's Spend The Night Together", le grand film par Mal Ashby pendant les concerts américains de la méga tournée mondiale - une des premières du genre - des Rolling stones en 1981. Tournée qui, rappelez-vous, frôla la Belgique au stade Feyenoord de Rotterdam : bon nombre d'entre nous y étaient... La sortie d'un film rock en Belgique est un événement suffisamment rare que pour avoir incité Rock This Town à organiser le 31 août dernier en collaboration avec Jacques de Pierpont de la R.T.B.F. "Radio 21 – Soir", une grande Avant - première de ce film à laquelle ont été invités gratuitement les auditeurs de "Radio 21 Soir" et nos abonnés de la région Bruxelloise. A l'occasion de la sortie de ce film, nous avons exceptionnellement obtenu une interview exclusive de Mick Jagger. Il vous explique - en français ! - l'histoire du film, parle de ses films précédents, et surtout du film dont il rêve. Il nous dévoile ses projets - un disque solo? - et donne son sentiment sur les problèmes soulevés par le gigantisme de leur tournée. On y découvre un Mick Jagger beaucoup plus concerné par sa musique et son public que certains ne voudraient le croire...
- Rock This Town : Mick Jagger, comment est né ce film?
- Mick Jagger : On n'avait pas eu l'idée de faire un film parce qu'une tournée est quelque chose d'énorme. Trois mois de répétitions, création de deux scènes - extérieur et intérieur, choix des chansons, c'est beaucoup de travail. On avait pensé faire quelque chose en vidéo mais pas un film en 35mm dans le style "Hollywood". Après un mois de tournée nous étions à Los Angeles. Beaucoup d'acteurs, de metteurs en scène et de producteurs de films ont aimé le show, un show pendant lequel il eut un superbe coucher de soleil, un show avec beaucoup de très jolies filles. Ils ont dit : " Pourquoi tu ne fais pas un film de tout ça ". Le lendemain j'ai téléphoné à Hal Ashby pour lui demander s'il connaissait un gentil gars qui puisse faire le film. Je lui ai dit : " Je ne veux pas un concert filmé mais je n'ai aucune idée de la façon dont ça doit se faire ". Moi je ne pouvais pas le diriger car j'avais la tournée à faire. Il m'a répondu : " Moi, je peux le faire ".Tout ce qui me restait à faire était de lui dire "o.k!" .
- Les autres étaient d'accord ?
- Non, pas vraiment... ah, ah... Pas vraiment parce que la nouvelle est tombée du ciel et que je n'avais pas expliqué grand chose. J'ai juste dit : " Le film commence ce soir". Ils n' étaient pas tout à fait d'accord. On en a un peu discuté. Ils ont finalement marché mais ça avait été un choc.
- As.tu participé au montage ?
- Ashby m'a montré le film à moitié fait. La seule chose que j'ai fait a été de donner mon accord sur les chansons retenues. Sur celles que l'on devait retirer et celles que l'on devait raccourcir. J'ai donné un avis musical mais je voudrais faire autre chose après. Avec l'argent que l'on avait on ne pouvait faire autre chose.C'est un film qui rocke pas mal. C'est axé sur le concert et pas sur le backstage. Je lui ai laissé la direction des opérations. C'est vraiment le show et le montage est très beau. J'aime bien le look du film.
- Vous aviez préparé longtemps la dernière tournée ?
- On en a discuté pendant des mois. C'était la première fois que l'on préparait quelque chose pour l' extérieur. Normalement pour cinq ou six concerts ce n'est pas la peine. Cette fois-ci beaucoup de concerts se faisaient en plein air. La scène était très grande, avec beaucoup de couleurs pour animer les stades qui sont souvent très sombres.
- Tu aimes bien jouer pendant qu'il fait encore jour ?
- J'aime les couchers de soleil. On voit le public. Autrement c' est comme pour jouer pour soi-même. Le public aime la nuit parce qu'il croit qu'il y a une part de mystère. Ils ne comprennent pas que pendant qu'il fait clair je les vois, on peut se voir mutuellement et ils peuvent se voir entre eux.
- A ton âge est ce que ça ne devient pas un peu fatiguant de partir en tournée ?
- Le début ça fatigue... ah, ah.. et la fin si ça a été trop long. Nous ne sommes pas des supermen.
- Tu emmènes ta famille en tournée ?
- Les enfants de temps en temps. Ce ne sont plus les années soixante. On ne voyage plus avec une dizaine d'enfants et deux ou trois femmes
- Tu vois une différence entre les USA et l'Europe au niveau des concerts rock ?
- C'est pas pareil. Aux States ils sont vraiment plus efficaces. En Angleterre, en France, en Allemagne ça va mais... en Espagne et en Italie...j'aime bien mais c'est du travail...
- Vous pensez refaire une tournée aussi gigantesque ?
- Je ne sais pas. Le faire encore une fois? Je ne sais pas. Nos concerts n'étaient .que l'occasion de consommer des drogues et de draguer. Les gens se fichaient de la musique. Je me suis souvent promené dans la foule. J'ai vu des gens venir pique-niquer avec les gosses. Ils étaient loin de tout. Pareil que pour un match de base-ball. Ils ne venaient que pour l'événement.
- Que penses tu des autres films consacrés aux Rolling Stones ?
- Je ne les aime pas tous. Gimme Shelter est peut-être un film intéressant. Cocksucker Blues est également intéressant mais il y a encore beaucoup de travail à faire avec ce film. Le son est vraiment horrible et on ne peut rien y changer. Il est juste bon pour les ciné-clubs. Il est exclu qu'on le montre sur les Champs Elysées.
- Pourquoi ce film est-il toujours interdit ? (1)
- ... Il y a un problème parce que...eh… il y a beaucoup de choses dans le film. On n'y a pas mis assez de musique comme quand je joue avec Stevie Wonder. On a coupé tout ça au montage. En plus les dialogues ne sont pas écoutables parce qu'ils sont très mauvais. J'y fais... je ne sais pas quoi... Mais j'aime bien le film. Il est en noir et blanc, sombre, sérieux. Mais ce n'était pas le film d'une tournée, c'était le film du monteur
- Tu aimerais tourner avec quelqu'un de particulier ?
- Je pense toujours aux génies, comme Fellini mais c'est impossible. Beaucoup de cinéastes sont suprêmement égoïstes. Je ne compte pas beaucoup d'amis dans ce milieu. Herzog, lui, il est fou. Gentil... mais fou (2). Kubrick est impossible. Fassbinder lui il est mort... ah, ah...
- Penses-tu que quelqu'un pourrait faire un jour un bon film rock ?
- Beaucoup de cinéastes pourraient le faire. Ken Russel est probablement le plus capable. Il pourrait faire sans doute quelque chose
- On te propose des rôles ?
- La plupart du temps c'est pour jouer la rock-star. C'est dingue… C'est très difficile de trouver un rôle.
- Saurais-tu faire autre chose que la rock-star ?
- Ce n'est pas un problème pour moi. J'ai fait dernièrement une vidéo pour les enfants où je jouais le rôle d'un empereur chinois. Un vrai conte de fées. Il suffit seulement d'avoir un peu d'imagination.
- Les clips vidéo ne t'inspirent pas ?
- J'aime bien mais il y a un problème d'argent. Ça coûte cher d'en faire un bon et les compagnies de télévision ne veulent pas donner un sou. Elles veulent cinq ou six minutes de programmes pour rien.
- Après toutes ces années gardes-tu encore des influences R & B ?
- Beaucoup. Malheureusement nous ne sommes pas dans une bonne période ce genre musical. Beaucoup d'artistes sont morts. On a eu Prince pour un concert mais les gens n'ont pas beaucoup apprécié. Les gens lui ont balancé des tas d'objets. Il avait d'aIlleurs voulu tout arrêter après le premier concert. On a du lui expliquer que nous avions connu les mésaventures à nos débuts. Evidemment, avec ses histoires de femmes, les gens n'ont rien compris. En tout cas on peut dire que lui et Michael Jackson sont les plus connus et par conséquent sont les deux qui vendent le plus de disques.
- Qu'est ce que tu aimes comme musique actuellement ?
- Toutes les sortes de musiques. J'aime bien le dernier de Neil Young. (NDLR: Trans), Donald Fagen, Michael Jackson aussi.
- Quelle est ton attitude vis-à-vis des disques pirates ?
- C'est une question vraiment difficile. Parce qu'en Amérique il y a beaucoup de gens de l'industrie du disque au chômage. Si on fait quarante copies d'un disque je m'en fous mais des millions, ça non.
- Comptes-tu faire un disque solo ?
- Oui, je voudrais le faire. Avec des chansons que je ne veux ou peux pas jouer avec les Stones. Ce sera dans les mois qui viennent sans doute.
- Avec Keith Richards ?
- Peut-être, oui. Ou bien tout à fait seul.
Interview: Michel Bumtein
(1) NDLR: Ce film, interdit de sortie par Mick Jagger lui-même, montre les véritables coulisses d'une tournée. On l'y voit notamment an train da se shooter
(2) NDLR: Mick Jagger avait entamé en 1980 le tournage de Fitzcaraldo, sous la direction de Herzog. dans la jungle amazonienne. Après de nombreux déboires, dont une attaque par les indiens, le tournage doit être abandonne, pour être par la suite mener bien avec Klaus Kinski.