Mick Jagger

Jagger was born into a middle-class family at the Livingstone Hospital, Dartford, Kent, England. His father, Basil Fanshawe ("Joe") Jagger, and his paternal grandfather, David Ernest Jagger, were both teachers; his mother, Eva Ensley Mary Scutts (13 April 1913 – 18 May 2000), an Australian immigrant to England, was an active member of the Conservative Party. Jagger was the eldest of two sons and was raised to follow in his father's career path.
In the book According to the Rolling Stones, Jagger states "I was always a singer. I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing. Some kids sing in choirs; others like to show off in front of the mirror. I was in the church choir and I also loved listening to singers on the radio - the BBC or Radio Luxembourg - or watching them on TV and in the movies."
Academically successful, he attended Dartford Grammar School where he passed 3 A-levels, before entering the London School of Economics on a scholarship. As a student, Jagger frequented a London club called "The Firehouse". At the age of 19, Jagger began performing as a singer. Jagger had no formal musical training and did not know how to read music.

In the early 1950s Keith Richards and Mick Jagger (who as a youngster preferred the nickname Mike) were classmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent. Richards and Jagger were reunited in 1960 and found they shared a love for rhythm and blues music. They moved into a flat in Chelsea with guitarist Brian Jones. While Richards and Jones were making plans to start their own rock and roll band, Jagger continued his business courses at the London School of Economics. He studied for a degree in accounting and finance, with a minor in physical education, but attended for less than a year and did not graduate, leaving to pursue a musical career.
In their earliest days the members played for nothing in the interval of Alexis Korner's gigs at a basement club opposite Ealing Broadway tube station (subsequently called "Ferry's" club).
At the time the band had very little equipment and needed to borrow Alexis' gear to play. This was before Andrew Oldham became their manager. The band’s first appearance under the name The Rollin' Stones (after one of their favourite Muddy Waters tunes) was at a jazz club called the Marquee Club on 12 July 1962. The lineup did not at that time include drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman. By 1963, they were finding their stride as well as popularity. By 1964 two different opinion polls named them as England's most popular group outranking even the Beatles.
By the autumn of 1963, Jagger had left the LSE in favour of his blossoming musical career with the Rolling Stones. The band continued to mine the works of American rhythm and blues artists such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, but Jagger and Richards soon began to write their own songs. This core songwriting partnership would flourish in time; one of their early compositions, "As Tears Go By", was a song written for Marianne Faithfull, a young singer being promoted by Loog Oldham at the time. For the Rolling Stones, the duo would write "The Last Time", the band's third number-one single in the UK (their first two UK number-one hits had been cover versions). Another of the fruits of this collaboration was their first international hit, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". It also established The Rolling Stones’ image as defiant troublemakers who were definitely not The Beatles.
"I wasn't trying to be rebellious in those days," Jagger told Stephen Schiff in a 1992 Vanity Fair profile. "I was just being me. I wasn't trying to push the edge of anything. I'm being me and ordinary, the guy from suburbia who sings in this band, but someone older might have thought it was just the most awful racket, the most terrible thing, and where are we going if this is music?... But all those songs we sang were pretty tame, really. People didn't think they were, but I thought they were tame."
The band released several successful albums including December's Children (And Everybody's), Aftermath, and Between the Buttons, but their reputations were catching up to them. In 1967 Jagger and Richards were arrested on drug charges and were given unusually harsh sentences: Jagger was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for possession of four over-the-counter pep pills he had purchased in Italy. On appeal Richards' sentence was overturned and Jagger's was amended to a conditional discharge, but the Rolling Stones continued to face legal battles for the next decade. Around the same time internal struggles about the direction of the band had begun to surface.
Their Satanic Majesties Request was released in 1967. Critics soundly panned the album, which many of them derided as a poor attempt to copy The Beatles'

No comments: