ST. TROPEZ, FRANCE — Ten hours after he’d gotten married, Mick Jagger was on stage performing. But he left the limelight to the others as he joined Doris Troy and P. P. Arnold to make up a chorus for a 25-minute soul-standard jam session, put together for the couple of hundred guests at the reception by Steve Stills, Bobby Keyes, Nicky Hopkins and Michael Shrieve and David Brown of Santana.
Mick would have liked the Stones to have played, but Keith Richards was out to the rock world, flat on his back with his mouth open. Confronted with an undefeatable amount of food and booze, the party hung on till four the next morning.
At four in the afternoon, Mick and his bride to be, whose name on the wedding certificate is Blanca Rosa Perez-Mora, 26, daughter of a Nicaraguan businessman, were still entrenched in the Byblos Hotel in the center of St. Tropez. They’d heard that a hundred photographers were crammed into the wedding chamber of the local town hall, where the mayor was waiting to perform the civil ceremony. He wasn’t going through with it unless that lot were cleared out.
“Impossible,” the mayor told anybody willing to listen. The hall is a public place, and as such everyone had a legal right to be there. Picking up his tricolor sash, the mayor sashayed out, leaving the chief of police to calm down the atmosphere.
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So 50 minutes late, protesting that he doesn’t want to be married in a “fish bowl,” surrounded by flying fists, agitated shrieks and popping flash bulbs, Mick arrived with his lady: Bianca Perez Moreno de Macias, 21, close friend of French record businessman Eddy Barclay, member of the European jet set, former girl friend of Michael Caine, the actor, society daughter of a Nicaraguan diplomat.
After posing for photographers and facing the glare of television lights for several minutes, the couple went through a brief civil ceremony in the mayor’s office. This was followed by a Roman Catholic ceremony performed by the Rev. Lucien Baud in the 17th century Saint Anne Chapel. A selection of tunes from Love Story was played on a harmonium. Bianca reportedly requested the tunes.
Mick, who claims the Church of England as his faith, received a dispensation from the Bishop of Frejus and has been taking private catechism lessons from Fr. Baud so he could participate in the religious ceremony with his Catholic bride.
A chartered plane load of guests arrived from Gatwick Airport, England, in the afternoon and joined the rest at the party in the evening. On the plane were Ringo and Paul, plus wives and children. One of Paul’s daughters showed her mother a drawing she’d just done. Paul looked at it too and the drawing was handed over to Ringo. He smiled, but the waiting eyes and ears of the press were disappointed. This wasn’t going to be the reunion. They were just going to a wedding.
At the slightly seedy Café des Arts, where the reception was held, a local band opened the show and flopped. Next came the Rudies, a thumping reggae group big in their own scene in Britain. They lifted up plenty of souls ready for a set by Terry Reid and band. Among the flashing brown legs, see-throughs, sleepy-eyed children, strangely paternal-looking record executives, assorted junior Lords and Ladies, Countesses and Earls, designers, hairdressers and gatecrashers . . . among all these people wandered a rather lost looking Mr. and Mrs. Jagger, senior. Joe Jagger, 58, a physical education lecturer, and his wife were searching for a quiet space to give the couple their neatly wrapped present. They left still holding the present. Mrs. Jagger told a reporter, “I hope my other son doesn’t become a superstar.”
Back in London, one paper was advertising its coverage of the wedding with the headline, Mick’s Bride Speaks. It had been a bit of a circus by most accounts. What you’d expect if you tell the world you’re getting married secretly on a Wednesday in St. Tropez. It wasn’t surprising that the thousand dollars spent on caviar should ignite some noble French tempers and that the local students couldn’t let Mick’s Bentley drive past without aiming a kick at it. It was enough to evoke from Les Perrin, the Stones’ chain-smoking press agent, a terse “the most difficult day in my 21 years in the business.”
The plane from St. Tropez landed at London, and Paul McCartney caught his private plane back to his Scottish retreat. He’d been out to a wedding.
This story is from the June 10th, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone.