Mick Jagger: The Rolling Stone Interview

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What sort of show would you hope to be able to do with someone producing it?
When I say produced I don't mean slick and corny, I mean crazy and mad. Something to add to the excitement. I loved the show we did at Wembley [The Stones played two numbers as a surprise to an audience who came to see Mick accept an award from the New Music Express as the "best R&B group of the year"] but it was two numbers and that's all I could make. Maybe when we finish the new album and have twelve new songs to do then we can get something together?.

You're getting into films now, aren't you?
Yeah, well you can do a lot with film.

What is it like to work with Jean-Luc-Godard, the director?
I don't know him very well. Godard is a very nice man. I mean I've seen all his pictures and I think they're groovy.

What is "One Plus One" about?
I have no idea, really. I know he's shooting with color film used by astronauts when re-entering the earth's atmosphere. I mean he's completely freaky. I think the idea for the movie is great but I don't think it will be the same when it is finished.

What is the idea Godard has told you?
Well it's his [Godard's] wife who plays the lead chick. She comes to London and gets totally destroyed with some spade cat. Gets involved with drugs or something. Anyway, while she is getting destroyed we find the Rolling Stones freaking out at the recording studio making these sounds.

Godard happened to catch us on two very good nights. He might have come every night for two weeks and just seen us looking at each other with blank faces and it would have been the same side of the coin as the chick destroying herself and us sitting there looking bored. One night he got us going over and over this song called "Sympathy For The Devil." It started out as a folky thing like "Jigsaw Puzzle" but that didn't make it so we kept going over it and changing it until finally it comes out as a samba. So Godard has the whole thing from beginning to end. That's something I've always wanted to do on film. It's probably very boring to most people but when he's finished cutting it, it will be great.

When is "The Performance" due to begin?
August something.

Wasn't the script written especially for you?
Yeah, I mean it's very much me. I'm going to make it if I can, different to me. I mean, he is me, the me on that album cover. He is supposed to be a great writer, like Dylan. But he's completely immersed in himself, he's a horrible person really.

How do you feel about acting as opposed to singing on stage?
I don't know. They are both just projections of your ego, which you're not supposed to have, but you can't do it without. You certainly can't act without it, that's why the Maharishi had so much trouble. This character in the film has this fantastic ego thing, which is alright 'cause I can make that. If people get the feeling that you are out there with them, and if you come on strong then you'll make it. It's just a matter of looking confident, being confident and believing the part, then it's cool.

Do you think this might open a movie career for you?
No, not really. We are doing another film in November, which is fantastic.

It's called "The Maxigasim." I can't really say much about it, but it's great.

Who is directing it?
A few freaks.

What did you think of 2001?
It was one of the best movies I've ever seen. It's a very commercial movie. I really got hung up on the audience more than the movie. They kept leaving at the freaky parts 'cause they just couldn't make it. I think the point of the movie is that he [Kubrick] wants to get this whole thing across to the mass audience. He's fantastically interested in doing all these games with the spaceship models and all, that's his hangup, but it's incidental. The point is to freak everybody out, which he is very good at. But if you have already been through all that then you can turn onto all the other's levels.

If you haven't then you get totally looned out because all the time you are being brought home by all these telephone calls and plastic shoes and you think "ah it's just like home really, it's alright." He lets you identify with it. I mean the toilet thing is the greatest, it's so awful. He spent so much time doing that it's almost heart rending. It's like he's saying, "get it across to those people but give them a bit of relief." Then at the end it all happens. You've forgotten about the stone as soon as you enter the Space Hilton, you can think it was a bad dream, until he brings it back.

People's comments are the greatest: "you need a lot of imagination to understand the movie," "it's a million dollar put-on."

I heard a little girl coming out of the theater saying that the slab was just a big block of hash.
That's fantastic!

Do you find it difficult not having any privacy?
Difficult? No, it's really nice and easy. The only hang up is the fuzz. Now that's a drag. Once you get in trouble with the police, you're always in trouble and that's it. Before, we were never in trouble and they were always very nice to us. They should be looking after people and turning American tourists away from Picadilly Circus. That's the only hang-up but it doesn't have anything to do with being me.

Do you feel that the police made a definite effort to pick on the Stones?
Well, there always has been. Before all the hassle it was just the boring newspapers, but when the fuzz start getting into that, it can be very draggy. They have the wherewithall to do it to you if they want to. The newspapers can only scream from their drunken haunts like The Wig & Feather Club but they can't do anything, the police can.

This interview is from the October 12th, 1968 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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