On May 26th, family and friends gathered at a service for Eva Jagger, the mother of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. She had died a week earlier from a heart condition at age eighty-seven.
Mick and his younger brother, Chris, sang the spiritual “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” accompanied by a church organist. Mick arrived at the service, which was held at St. Andrew’s Church in southwest London, with Jerry Hall and their four children. Also attending were Bianca and Jade Jagger, as well as Keith Richards, Ron Wood, Charlie Watts and their wives.
At a wake afterward, Eva’s husband, Joe, spoke about his wife to the assembled group. “It was incredibly moving,” says one person who was present. “It lifted everyone’s spirits.” Joe, who is eighty-eight, and Eva would have celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in December.
Eva had been hospitalized for about a month, with Mick a steady presence at her side. Two weeks before she fell ill, they went together to the opening of an arts center funded by Mick at Dartford Grammar, his boyhood school.
An extremely fastidious person, Eva was initially concerned when her son left the London School of Economics to devote himself to rock & roll. “I was quite worried when Mick first started out with the Rolling Stones,” she said. “A nice bunch of lads. But you couldn’t help worrying.”
Mick is said to have inherited his ambition and strength of will from his mother – and perhaps his stamina, as well. Just a year ago, the two attended a charity event, and Eva danced on into the night, long after her famous son had gone to bed.
This story is from the July 6th, 2000 issue of Rolling Stone.