Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger has revealed the real story behind his long-lost rock ‘n’ roll memoirs.
The singer previously refused to allow his autobiography to be published, at one point claiming he couldn’t remember writing it in the 1980s.
But speaking to BBC 6 Music’s Matt Everitt, he explained: “I really didn’t enjoy it… reliving my life, to the detriment of living in the now.”
Sir Mick said he gave up as reminiscing “takes a lot out of you”.
“It takes a lot of reliving emotions, reliving friendships, reliving ups and downs,” he added.
Describing the process as “dull and upsetting”, Jagger said he gave the money back to the publisher.
In a 2017 article for The Spectator, publisher John Blake, who claimed to have a copy of the manuscript, wrote that the “little masterpiece” spanned 75,000 words, even in its incomplete form.
And despite promising to “do it another day”, Jagger says that he has not been tempted back to writing, even during the pandemic.
Instead, he’s coped with lockdown by staying “pretty creative” and, perhaps unsurprisingly, focusing on music.
“I’ve written a lot of songs and finished records,” he told Everitt.
“Obviously, it’s not as good as being together in the same room with a group of musicians. I mean, there’s really no substitute for that. But one of the things that kept me going through the lockdown [has been] being able to play music and set up little studios, wherever.
“I was very lucky that I had a couple of places and… a nice garden,” said the veteran ’60s rocker.
As a self-professed “townie”, Jagger said he has “never spent so much time in the country” as he has since Covid struck. After 50 years of the touring lifestyle, he admitted that the enforced break has been “really difficult” at times.
Looking beyond the challenge of getting on with people and “perhaps spending longer with them than you normally would”, he counts himself as incredibly fortunate.
“You have to be patient, learn self-reliance… but all these things, as I say for me… I’m very lucky. I don’t have the problems of living, say in a small flat in London or New York, which some of my friends have had,” he told the radio host.
“Two kids in a two room flat in Manhattan? I honestly don’t know how I would have done that. Maybe a couple of weeks. But for that long, I don’t know how I would have done it. And I admire them for being able to do it.”
He’s also keenly aware of the impact on mental health throughout society.
“I can feel that people could get really quite depressed about the whole thing because there was a point where there was no light at the end of the tunnel. It was sometimes a little bit down for a lot of people, but I was lucky enough to avoid most of that”.
Lockdown single to help find light
Jagger, now 77 and a father of eight, said he believed his adaptability has helped him “roll with the punches” through the uncertainty. And that optimism has extended to his music, including a surprise – remote – lockdown collaboration with Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.
Their track, Eazy Sleazy, attempts to provide a “sardonic and humorous” take on coming out of lockdown, at least in the UK, as Jagger reflects on a year of “crazy” Covid lifestyle changes, big and small – including the fight against misinformation.
“Shooting the vaccine/Bill Gates is in my bloodstream/It’s mind control,” he sings on a verse which he openly admits is about poking fun at conspiracy theorists.
Elsewhere he reflects on a world of “zoom calls”, “home in these prison walls”, fake applause and too much TV. With optimism and change in sight he looks forward to normality and the “garden of earthly delights.” (BBC)