From the offset of their career, The Rolling Stones cultivated an image of danger, and a trail of hedonism and debauchery followed the group wherever they went. Mick Jagger has crammed more shenanigans into his life than an entire village of people combined, and he’s somehow still here to tell the outrageous tale.
As the enigmatic leader and singer of The Rolling Stones, alongside his Glimmer Twin Keith Richards, the everlasting Jagger has rarely disappointed on stage or in the studio. While his performance is exemplary, his songwriting prowess with Richards is equally part of his mystique. However, his off-stage exploits have also helped curate this legend around Jagger, enhancing his already larger than life persona.
One of the greatest travesties in literature arrived when Jagger scrapped his memoirs and decided against telling his version of events. Despite the peacocking frontman’s best efforts to keep his private life hidden, a library of crazy stories have emerged over the decades that paint a vivid picture of his life.
Various tales have come to light about Jagger, which seems implausible yet, somehow, remain true. The singer’s life has been a constant tornado of abnormality and is a rock ‘n’ roller in the truest sense of the word.
10 crazy Mick Jagger stories
The dark Van Halen prank
Van Halen, somewhat bizarrely, were handpicked to support The Rolling Stones in Orlando in 1981, and the set was far from plain sailing. At one point, bassist Michael Anthony’s strings snapped, and his tech, Kevin Dugan, rushed to fix the matter. While in a hazy rush, he ran into Jagger backstage and accidentally sent him flying on his backside five feet into the air.
He was in so much of a hurry that Dugan didn’t even realise it was Jagger that he knocked over until years later when their paths crossed again. His friend, Jim Barber, played on a solo record by Jagger and stayed at Dugan’s house in LA during the recording.
When Dugan went to pick him up at the airport, he was hoisted into a limo upon his arrival. He recalled to Ultimate Rock: “Mick Jagger is sitting there by himself, and he looks at me and he goes, ‘I understand we’ve met before.’… I’m sitting there thinking, ‘What the fuck?’
“Then he says ‘Oh, and one more thing I’ve got to mention,'” Dugan recalled. “All of the sudden, his facial expression changed, and he lunged at me, grabbed me by my shirt, pulls me towards him and says, ‘If you ever knock me on my ass again, I’ll have you killed!’ […] I can’t keep a straight face.
“Jagger rolls the window down, and there were ten people outside laughing and saying, ‘We got you!’ That was pretty funny. The fact that Jim got Mick to do that is something else.”
Affair with Donald Trump’s girlfriend
From 1991 until 1994, Jagger enjoyed a not-so-secret fling with Carla Bruni. She initially found herself caught up within a rock ‘n’ roll love triangle between Jagger and her then-partner Eric Clapton, who allegedly begged The Stones man to not go near his girl.
However, that wasn’t going to stand in Jagger and Bruni’s way. Their lengthy affair would spell an end to her relationship with Clapton and her subsequent romance with a certain Mr Trump.
Trump would reportedly later remark that Bruni was “desperately stuck” on Jagger.
Buying a mansion on LSD
We have all woken up the morning after the night before with an overwhelming sense of dread at last night’s exploits. However, Jagger took this feeling to the next level when, during a night tripping on LSD, he woke up to discover he was now the owner of a Hampshire country estate.
Jagger purchased the estate for £55,000 from Sir Henry Carden in 1970, and it turned out to be a clever purchase. The frontman then renovated the run-down property and turned it into a state of the art recording studio where The Stones partly recorded Exile on Main Street, Sticky Fingers, and It’s Only Rock n Roll.
Mick Jagger has always struggled to keep his private parts tucked inside of his pants, and promiscuity is his middle name. He’s seemingly finally settled down for good with his current partner, Melanie Hamrick, but it took him a while to finally stop his old habits.
His biographer Chris Andersen made the revelation and even said that that he made a conservative estimation. He said: “Mick Jagger has slept with 4,000 women over the course of his life, and in retrospect, I think that might be kind of a low figure.”
Replaced on stage by monkeys
When The Rolling Stones made their debut in San Antonio, Texas, in the ’60s, they didn’t know what they’d let themselves in for, and things got disastrous. They hit the stage after a performance from trained monkeys who wooed the crowd, while The Stones got booed and were promptly replaced on stage by their primate friends.
Jack Hutton’s from the Daily Mirror reported: “Local singers were cheered wildly,” wrote Hutton, “A tumbling act and a trained monkey were recalled to the stage for encores. But the long-haired Rolling Stones — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman — were booed.”
Even the ethereal Jagger couldn’t win the crowd around, and he had to leave the stage with his tail wrapped firmly between his legs.
Don’t insult his manhood
Keith Richards would grow to regret writing in his autobiography, Life, “Marianne Faithfull had no fun with his tiny todger. I know he’s got an enormous pair of balls – but it doesn’t quite fill the gap.”
Jagger was furious with this playful insult and made sure Richards publicly apologised to him. Otherwise, he’d never tour with The Rolling Stones again. Keith then did duly say sorry but did still jokingly refer to Mick’s manhood as ‘Your Majesty’ and ‘Brenda’.
Relationship with David Bowie
Christopher Anderson’s book Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger detailed the occasion that the two androgynous rockers were caught by Bowie’s wife, Angie, having a bit of fun with one another.
Andersen writes: “Angie had been out of town for a few days when she returned home one morning and went straight to the kitchen to make some tea. The Bowies’ maid, who had arrived about an hour earlier, approached the lady of the house with a peculiar look on her face. ‘Someone,’ she told Angie, ‘is in your bed.’
He continued: “Angie went upstairs to her bedroom, slowly pushed the door open, and there they were: Mick Jagger and David Bowie, naked in bed together, sleeping. Both men woke up with a start. ‘Oh, hello,’ said Bowie, clearly taken by surprise. ‘How are you?’
“Angie ‘felt absolutely dead certain that they’d been screwing. It was so obvious, in fact, that I never even considered the possibility that they hadn’t been screwing.'”
He liked Margaret Thatcher
Being a vocal supporter of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will land you a black eye in pubs all across the mining towns of northern England, of which she tried her best to destroy.
Jagger, however, saw the Conservative politician as a breath of fresh air and even revealed that they met on a few occasions. Following her death, Jagger mourned: “In the ’80s or early ’90s I met her a couple of times. I don’t want to talk about what we talked about, especially now that everybody else is blabbing about her.”
He added: “But … I was slightly surprised by all the people that were still so anti her and had all this residual resentment.”
He left a date with Angelina Jolie for Farah Fawcett
Mick Jagger is a man who gets what he wants, and he can work his charm on anybody, as Angelina Jolie found out when she starred in a Rolling Stones video. Despite being married to Jonny Lee Miller, she eventually caved in to go on a date with Jagger, but it ended up being a night she’d soon want to forget.
In Christopher Anderson’s book, Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger, the author claims that Jagger snuck away from the date to have a one-night-stand with Farah Fawcett. “It was very brief, but what makes it fascinating is that it happened when Angelina Jolie and Mick were attending a party, and he disappeared with Farrah,” the book states.
Surely this would be the end of the road for Jolie and Jagger? He used his gift of the gab once more, and the two of them began a secret two-year love affair.
He once bought a football team
In 1978, Jagger teamed up with Rick Wakeman, Peter Frampton, and Paul Simon to invest in a football team in Philadelphia and transport his love of the beautiful game to the States. Unlike most things Jagger has done in his career, his venture into sports ownership was less than a success. Philadelphia Fury only lasted for three seasons before plundering attendances led to the musicians cutting their losses.
The team was sold and moved to Montreal, where it was re-branded as Montreal Manic. Philadelphia Fury were resurrected in 2011 by new owners. However, the team only lasted six games before pulling out of the NISA league.