“I’m going to try to keep it light,” Mick Jagger says with a rubbery grin at the beginning of “My Life as a Rolling Stone.”
How to incorporate one of the musical legends while still alive is certainly a challenge, given the band’s heavy history. But the four-part documentary starting Sunday at Epix (9 p.m. EDT/PDT) offers a comprehensive overview of how the Rolling Stones became the Rolling Stones with vintage performance footage and interview clips, as well as Jagger, Also new commentary from Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood. ,
The series is split into four episodes, with Jagger, a 79-year veteran, as the apparent launch (Richards, Woods and the late Charlie Watts follow the next three weeks). Jagger’s installment airs free for 90 days epix.com and apps, as well as Apple TV, Amazon, Roku and most cable outlets.
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Although there are a lot of Stones minutiae to digest, at its core, the episode emphasizes the band’s unique frontman and CEO, of whom Richards says, “he’s really an honorable man under all that crap.”
Here are some insights.
Tina Turner Didn’t Think Mick Jagger Would ‘Amount To Anything’
Soul legend Tina Turner reminds Jagger of attending her concerts in London, where she and Ike Turner watched from behind the speakers as she performed. PP Arnold, one of the Haunted Iketts, says that even “sexy” and “cool” Jagger will come backstage to learn dance moves from the Turners’ backup artists.
But Turner was unhappy with Jagger’s early performances.
“He was fine, but I didn’t think he was going to do anything,” she says with a hoarse laugh. “Sorry, Mick!”
Later in the documentary, Turner updated his opinion after seeing Jagger performing again with Seasons over the years.
“Mick was not the same person I met in London when he was hiding behind speakers. He had come out of his shell,” she says. “Mick became Mick Jagger.”
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Rolling Stones’ Redlands drug bust becomes career boost
In 1967, the band went back to the Redlands, Richards’ estate in Sussex, England, for a “sweet party”. But it quickly became scandalous: A high-profile drug bust.
“There were a lot of drugs. LSD, hash, and fuzz were busted,” Jagger recalls. “It’s really weird to be busted on acid.”
The incident made Richards wary of authority. “I still carry a chip,” Richards says with a sore throat. “I could use a joint right now!”
But instead of focusing on the arrests of Jagger and Richards (After much legal dramaRichards’ sentence was reversed and Jagger’s sentence was changed to conditional discharge), the scenario added to the mystery of the Rolling Stones as a rebellious foil to their drawn-out rivals, The Beatles.
“They got cleared by their manager,” Richards says of the British quartet. “Otherwise, they were just like we were – filthy pigs!”
Mick Jagger calculates his moves to look good on TV
When the Rolling Stones were called on the ’60s TV music show “Ready Steady Go!” Jagger seized the opportunity to “work the medium” and beam into people’s homes.
“I could see how important it was,” he says. “You have to figure out how you’re going to make your mark.”
Over footage of the fledgling Stones performing “Little Red Rooster”, Jagger shared how he made the band look like true rock ‘n’ rollers: He would visit the show’s set to study camera angles, then Going home and practicing your spidery moves to best translate to TV – a calculated workout designed to look effortless.
The Rolling Stones logo has nothing to do with Jagger’s lips
During the making of the “Sticky Fingers” album cover, Marshall Chase, the founding president of Rolling Stones Records, decided it was time for the Stones to become a brand.
Art designer John Pasche was recommended by the Royal College of Art in London to design a poster for the Rolling Stones’ 1970 European tour. In the process, he created the iconic tongue-and-lips logo, which he says had nothing to do with the prominent pillow-y features of the band’s frontman.
“People assume the lips are based on Mick. That’s not true. I saw it as a symbol of protest, like a kid sticking out his tongue,” Pasche says.
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Keith Richards addresses the elephant in the room – literally
The Stones are credited as the inventor of the stadium rock spectacle beginning in the 1970s, and Jagger was integral in shaping the band’s stage designs as he wanted “a playroom for himself”.
But even one of Rock’s most powerful players sometimes had to say “no”, and it was up to Richards to push Jagger away from one of his loudest ideas: an elephant at the end of the show. To come on stage to get up from his trunk to introduce him.
“A sigh of relief,” Richards recalls with a chuckle, “almost blew up the building.”