The Talks – Mick Jagger

The Talks is a new website with some rocking interviews – Mike Tyson, Mick Jagger, Valentino, Ewan McGregor and more (with, I hope, more to come). Here’s a snip of the Mick Jagger chat. Not sure if it’s just me, but he doesn’t come across as *that* charismatic or interested, mind you, context is king.

Mr. Jagger, what kept you from completely going off the deep end?
I mean we all did excessive things and I had a lot of unstable moments as I’m sure everyone does in their life. Maybe it helped me that I had a very centered upbringing.

So your parents basically.
Yeah, I think so. When you are young and you have a sort of close family life and stuff, it helps you to be centered for later. If you don’t have a centered upbringing, I think it is much more difficult.

You still had a very destructive lifestyle back then.
Excess was the order of the day. But that was just a period. You know you get excessive people nowadays as well. Today people are excessive consuming things, like consumer goods.

But you were even chased by the police for your drug abuse. How do you remember those days?
At the time it wasn’t very funny. It wasn’t very good because it completely took over our lives creatively and we couldn’t do this and couldn’t do that. You had to spend all your time trying to deal with all the police and you didn’t have time to do anything else.

Were there moments where you were lying in your bed thinking that you should slow down?
I was not that bad, no. I was pretty centered really. Once I even had a very nice house in the South of France that I rented from someone. I had a very nice garden, I could walk around, I had a really nice swimming pool. A friend of mine was a falconer and he used to come and train his falcons in my garden. I found that very restful and interesting.

The period you are referring to now was in 1971 when The Rolling Stones had to leave London because of massive tax problems. You were world famous back then, broke with the government on your tail.
We were broke, yeah. Taxes very were punitive. Through our own fault and other people’s faults we had not been very good with looking after our money. We got money from the record company to fund our album, otherwise we couldn’t have come to the South of France and lived in a nice place. But we had a lot of back taxes to pay and that was the only way we could do it at that time.

You ended up recording Exile on Main Street there, an album that became part of rock history. Looking back do you consider this as your most important work?
My finest hour. (laughs) Well, it is certainly good and certainly it was a very creative period, a really good period. Some very good things came in that period in music. There was some crap as well but there were some really good things, some good rock things, it was a very good period for soul music as well. They had great albums by Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Marvin Gaye. It’s a very good album, but I don’t know if I have a best one. I mean do you have a best film? I don’t really have favorites. And I don’t listen to Rolling Stones albums.

How long does it take before you start to miss music?
I did seven years in the 80’s where I didn’t do any shows and I didn’t really miss it very much.

What’s your perception of yourself today? English gentleman or rock legend?
I don’t think of any of those things. They are all sort of meaningless. Meaningless typecasts. Do you wake up in the morning and think, “I’m such and such?” You just are you. You become aware of all that when you’re doing these kinds of official appointments. That’s the only time you ever think of it.

Your history with beautiful women is widely known and now your daughter Georgia Jagger is becoming a famous model. You know exactly how dirty that business is.
Yeah, well we chat about all that. We talk about all that quite a lot.

So any specific recommendations you give her?
Don’t take life too seriously and always remember: it is just a passing fad.

Read the full interview here.

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