Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mick Jagger addresses image, Keith Richards’ “Life”

The New York Times had an interesting piece on Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger on the weekend

The bulk of the story focused on Jagger’s take on life these days as a 67 year-old, his business acumen, and his relationship with long time girlfriend, fashion designer L’Wren Scott.

There’s some great insight into Jagger’s long-standing reputation for attention to detail in everything he does, including comments by a few entertainment giants, including Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels (“There are very few people whose production skills impress me, but he’s one of them. He’s as good a showman and a producer as there is”); director Martin Scorsese (“I got a powerful sense of his mastery of every detail of every aspect of the production. And by that, I don’t just mean the music; he also has a sharp sense of cinema”); and Lenny Kravitz (“I’ve watched very carefully what he’s done, how he’s turned the Rolling Stones into — I hate to use this word, but, you know — the brand it is today. The way he’s turned their music into something larger and yet always stayed in control of the whole thing — it’s been a real example to me”).

In the big picture, Jagger has worked hard to refine and define his public image on his own terms.

“Public people put a lot of energy into what people think about them,” he says. “Everyone does. I don’t care what they say. Everyone cares about it. You always want to control your image. I mean, you obviously can’t control it 100 percent. But if you’re a famous person, you obviously have a public personality that you try . . . that you want to project.”

Mick’s almost lifelong relationship with Keith Richards is discussed briefly; the Times’ writer references shots taken by Keith at Jagger in his new book, “Life” (for the record, there's plenty of compliments, as well). And when the subject comes up for discussion, it’s an interesting hot topic that Jagger tries to downplay while maybe, just maybe, taking a shot of his own.

“Personally,” says Jagger, “I think it’s really quite tedious raking over the past. Mostly, people only do it for the money.”

When asked if he would consider writing his own autobiography, Mick is pretty clear about things.

“You don’t want to end up like some old footballer in a pub, talking about how he made the cross in the cup final in 1964,” he says.

Lorne Michaels gets the last word on this subject.

“Mick has a genuine disdain for nostalgia,” Michaels says. “He is relentlessly curious, and more than most men of his age, he is really interested in talking about what’s happening now.”

Check out the full New York Times piece here.

The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil
David Frost Show - 1968