Over the last 60 years, The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger has picked up more battle wounds from rock ‘n’ roll than most people could wish to imagine, and these experiences have made him the hardened soul he is today.
Jagger has seen the industry’s dark side and witnessed its tendency of building people up simply to spit them out. The frontman is no stranger to adversity, and he has often learned the hard way about overcoming the obstacles presented to him, but he always found a way to survive.
The life lessons that Jagger has picked up from his career with The Rolling Stones were the subject of his long-lost autobiography. After writing the book in 1983, he dramatically shelved the project, and it’s never seen the light of day.
The singer has always remained coy about revealing the keys to his success, and he’s not in the business of revealing secrets. However, in 2012, David Letterman successfully persuaded Jagger to name the ten most important things he’s accrued from his time with The Rolling Stones, and every aspiring artist should take note.
The tone of his list was largely tongue-in-cheek, yet, the commandments provide a fascinating peek behind the curtain into his psyche and how he’s achieved such longevity.
Jagger opened the handbook by semi-jokingly revealing his inspiration for becoming a singer. He said, “You start out playing rock ‘n’ roll so you can have sex and do drugs, you end up doing drugs so you can still play rock ‘n’ roll and have sex.”
Intriguingly, a common theme that runs through the list is money. Jagger even offered viewers some financial advice and noted, “Song royalties are great, but even they can’t match the guaranteed cash flow from a reverse mortgage”. He also lamented the success of Maroon 5’s ode to him and sniped, “You don’t earn a cent when someone does a song about having ‘moves like Jagger‘.”
Speaking in more candid terms, Jagger also addressed the perils of fame and sarcastically said, “Everybody you meet after you become famous is only interested in you as a person.” Finally, Jagger also touches upon the true secret to The Rolling Stones’ continued dominance: their live shows. There are two pearls of wisdom that Jagger has gathered regarding how to construct an invigorating concert.
“Before shouting ‘Hi Seattle!’ make sure you’re in Seattle,” Jagger said from horrifying experience. Meanwhile, his final addition on the list is the harsh reality, “Nobody wants to hear anything from your new album,” which may batter the ego of artists, yet, that’s how The Rolling Stones still sell out stadiums worldwide.
See his full list below.
Mick Jagger’s rock ‘n’ roll commandments
- You start out playing rock ‘n’ roll so you can have sex and do drugs, you end up doing drugs so you can still play rock ‘n’ roll and have sex.
- You can’t always get what you want – like a good joke on the top ten list.
- Be considerate to other guests – trash your hotel room by 10pm.
- A good way to keep yourself entertained is to sign every tenth autograph ‘Doris Goldblatt’.
- Song royalties are great, but even they can’t match the guaranteed cash flow from a reverse mortgage.
- Everybody you meet after you become famous is only interested in you as a person.
- You don’t earn a cent when someone does a song about having ‘moves like Jagger’.
- Before shouting ‘Hi Seattle!’ make sure you’re in Seattle.
- Never take relationship advice from Phil Spector.
- Nobody wants to hear anything from your new album