There are plenty of wild rumours about the legendary hip-popping leader of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger. Most of them would fail a rock polygraph, but remarkably, some of them are true. One which many fans believed straddled the line between the two is the troubling story of Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and a somewhat salacious Mars bar.
The story, which was leaked without the consent of both supposedly involved, suggests that Jagger and Faithfull were entertaining friends at Keith Richards’ house and were partaking in the rock and roll lifestyle, with an overflow of adrenalised sexuality filling the room. The pair were the idols of the swinging sixties, and both the public and the police force had their eyes set on the king and queen of Carnaby Street.
At the time, the public were infatuated with Jagger and his snake-hipped persona as the frontman of the swashbuckling band The Rolling Stones. He was pursued at every opportunity by a plethora of girls and boys. But for a while, there was only one woman for Mick, and that was Marianne Faithfull. The “it girl” of the sixties represented the carefree youth and the casual sex that came with it. As a couple, they were adored.
With the Police force, however, there was far less adoration, and far more supervision as Jagger and the rest of his bandmates were always under extra scrutiny. With Keith Richards acting as the poster boy for the counter-culture movement in Britain, he and Jagger often found themselves on the wrong end of a drugs bust.
In February 1967, it was alleged that nineteen police officers began yet another raid and swarmed Richards’ home finding the group in a more than compromising position. Allegedly reports suggested that “they had interrupted an orgy of cunnilingus in which Jagger had been licking a Mars candy bar pushed into Marianne’s vagina”. Naturally, those rumours have been heavily denied by all involved, with Faithfull describing the gossip as “a dirty old man’s fantasy” in her autobiography.
The story may feel like the beginning of an Andy Warhol-directed porno, but the fact is that the police did not burst into the badly lit and poorly soundtracked scene; in fact, they didn’t burst in at all. The truth is that they arrived with a very British – and rather loud – knock on the door. This, of course, makes the rumour of Faithfull arriving at the door in nothing but an orange fur bedcover and holding a Mars bar far more likely.
In truth, it was likely far more of a spaced-out affair. Described by some “as a scene of pure domescitiy”, the group may have been in the house, but the likelihood is they were out of the minds. Jagger and the rest of the group had been taking acid during the day, which had led to Faithfull taking a bath and, after drying, wrapping herself in the sunrise pelt.
The police officers in attendance searched the house and left; we imagine leaving behind a bemused set of rock star royalty. A few months later, Richards and Jagger would find themselves in the dock facing drug charges. With the tabloids ready for any salacious material to adorn their front pages, the rumour soon became widely reported as fact.
The Stones pair would naturally avoid any lasting charges and carry on to become one of the biggest bands on the planet, still performing 50 years later. At the same time, Marianne Faithfull would continue to act as an artworld lightning conductor. It would become just another story about the band that has been mythologised beyond fact.