What have been your career highlights?
Mick Jagger: It was great to get the band going in the very first time because you start to be successful for the first year or first couple of years and you´re like: All your little teenage dreams are so to say, coming true and you feel young and very ambitious and you starting to be sucessful that feels really good, like getting your first job, isn´t it?
What about the bad times?
Mick Jagger: Bad times. There´s lot´s of bad times in the career, you know. Rolling Stones had a pretty long career and always there´s been like good things and bad things. People die, you know. But I mean I guess most of the times it´s been pretty positive.
What would you do if you had the chance to use a time machine?
Mick Jagger: It´s quite interesting, you know. Do you ever read history books about “What if?”. What if Napoleon had conquered Russia and then it wouldn´t be like … and so it´s interesting if you follow these books through to their logical conclusions but it´s not really interesting unless you can do that. You know it is easy for me to say: Would have been nice if I had been a film director or a ballet dancer or an accountant. What would have happened? But you don’t know the answer.
Do believe in fate?
Mick Jagger: I don´t. But the problem is that your not completely in control of your life when you´re young.
Have you ever told your children to do or not to do something because of your experience?
Mick Jagger: You´re always telling and that’s what it is to do, it’s parenthood. What you do is giving parts of your experience to them. I mean you don´t always say them from real life. Or you can use examples. That´s what you do with children all the time.
Someone once said: If you don´t develop, you´re dead. So: How far can you still develop after your big success?
Mick Jagger: You have to keep yourself from just repeating yourself. It´s very difficult to do in anything. Wether you´re a writer or a journalist or a painter. Especially the rock business is very narrow. It´s like a very narrow political party with very few views in it. And as soon as you´re striving it goes: “Oh no, wait a minute!” If you do a rock show with 25 half naked dancers, everyone goes: “Oh no but it´s awful, you can´t do that!” So the confines of it are very narrow and it´s very hard to keep anything interesting going within the narrow confines. So there are many, many conventions that you have to keep up.
Do you think that bands in these days also have the chance to become as big as the Stones?
Mick Jagger: I expose so. I mean the only thing is it´s been going longer as a musical form. So rock music as defined by let’s say four blokes playing in a band was quite new in the early 60ies. But now it´s 40 years old as you put it out. The whole idea and form is more old now. So how many generations? Two? Three generations? So it´s like an old thing being handed down now. It´s probably more difficult to make such splash as it was, for that reason.
Do you have to do so much light show and other stuff on stage?
Mick Jagger: It depends where you´re touring. So in the early 60ties where you were playing in theatres, people don´t do a lot of tremendous amount of all that stuff. And it was going on in the sixties. That´s where it all started, I mean there were a lot of that. But we´re going to play a theatre show that is very little, so in the Circus Krone show shouldn’t be much pyrotechnics. But if you´re playing in a bigger stadium, you gotta do something visual. You can´t just go on. That’s like a guitarist view of world.
Doesn’t that keep the attention away from the audience?
Mick Jagger: Yeah, but I think that really when you go to a big stadium show the people that go, “the punters” as we call them, are not really just going to hear some pristine music, it´s just a sort of allround experience. It´s halfway between going to a football match and music show. You´re really looking forward, you want something to enhance your experience visually. To amplify and enhance the experience you need a bit more than just the music. The thing is that musicians think that´s all the people want but I don´t take that view.
Are you very extraordinary when it comes to choose the hotel room or suite?
Mick Jagger: I don´t know, not really.(laughs) It´s a sort of silly. When I´m working I like to have certain things. When I´m not working I do not really care about them very much. But when you´re working you want certain things. I don´t like to have a noisy traffic too much because then I can´t sleep for the show. The problem is: When you´re working you don´t want to sleep late because you want to be ready for a nine o´clock show rather than nine to five job. So I don´t like staying in the hotels that noisy.
You are over 60 years of age. Do you still like to party with the girls, drugs and Rock´n´Roll after every show?
Mick Jagger: No, but you don´t want every night a party with the drugs and the girls and the Rock’n’Roll but some nights you might …
Are the hotellobbies still as crowded by groupies as in former times?
Mick Jagger: Well, some places are good. But it is not really where you look for your entertainment, to be honest.
What music are you currently listening to?
Mick Jagger: I don´t know, I listen to a lot of stuff that I bought when I was to see what´s in the store. The other day I bought some new records. I listen to some jazz. I mean I listen to everything to be honest. I´ve been in India, listen to a lot of Hindi-Dance-Music, it´s kind like pop here in England.
Someone said that this tour was announced to be the last …
Mick Jagger: Well, I don´t know. You know, that’s the entertaining thing: You don´t really know what´s gonna happen. I´m planning and trying to work out what´s gonna happen next. So I´ve been working at what´s gonna happen the next Rolling Stones shows.
This interview is one of many stunning interviews with The Rolling Stones taken from the forth coming ebook “50 Years – The Rolling Stones” – with more than 2,000 pages of interviews, articles and images from their early years use this link to find the ebook