Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to Mick Jagger and old men fondly remember the 1960's when they, like him, were young men

Mick Jagger, who is 68 years old and was born just outside South London in Dartford, Kent, while I was born 4 years later about 10 miles up the railway line in Lewisham in South London.

Here we both are in the year 1965, when he was 22 and I was 18.

Things you possibly didn't know about the early Mick, that he :

* had a father, Joe Jagger, who was a teacher and a mother, Eva, who was born in Australia and was a hairdresser and an active member of the Conservative Party.

* was raised to follow in his father's career path but later said : " I was always a singer. I always sang as a child. I was one of those kids who just liked to sing. 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."

* in 1950, when he was 7, became friends with a classmate called Keith Richards at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford.

* in 1954, went to Dartford Grammar School and lost contact with Keith until, after a chance encounter, they resumed their friendship in 1960 and discovered that they had both developed a love for 'rhythm and blues music', which began for Mick with Little Richard.

* left school in 1961 and moved into a flat in Chelsea with Keith and a guitarist called Brian Jones and where they made plans to start their own rhythm and blues group, while he studied 'business' at the 'London School of Economics' and considered becoming either a journalist or a politician.

* made his first appearance with the others in 'The Rollin' Stones' group, named after a Muddy Waters tune at the Marquee Club in 1962.

* in 1963, left the LSE in favour of a musical career with the now, 'Rolling Stones' and with the encouragement of Andrew Loog Oldham, began with Keith to write songs like 'The Last Time' :

* saw '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' establish The Rolling Stones image as defiant troublemakers in contrast to The Beatles' 'lovable moptop' image.

Later, in 1992, at the age of 49 Mick said of these early years :

"I wasn't trying to be rebellious in those days; 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."

Memories of the 1960's, when Mick and I and all the world were young.

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