The Rolling Stones answer some “unpolite” questions in rare awkward interview from 1965
In 1965, The Rolling Stones were chart-toppers in the UK and were about to go global as they ventured upon their first-ever European tour. However, what came with trying to break into these new territories was a proverbial smorgasbord of awkward interviews such as this one taking place on Danish television.
Their debut European jaunt was perfectly titled The Rolling Stones 1st European Tour and it’s staggering that they had not made it to the mainland of the continent beforehand. By this point in their career, The Stones had toured America twice already which was logistically more inconvenient. However, the time had finally come for The Stones to become stars in Scandanavia.
The tour would only see the band perform ten dates, with six of these taking place in Denmark before they made their way to Sweden to finish off the run with shows in Gothenburg and Stockholm.
Whilst the band were in Denmark, all five members of the band appeared on television to promote the tour and spread the word about The Rolling Stones. The beginning of the interview immediately sets the tone for what’s to come as the band introduce themselves and say what instrument they play, all while sitting in a circle which looks reminiscent of a scene from the first of school.
The interviewer then announced that he has been given questions of which “some are polite and some are unpolite” from Danish teenagers with the first asking who their favourite band is. Jagger responded in an uncontroversial manner by saying: “It’s difficult because English groups are different from the rest because they play and sing as well but we also like lots of American groups.”
Brian Jones then enters the conversation and remarks: “We mainly like American coloured artists but as far as British groups are concerned there’s not many we do like. There’s The Beatles, obviously.”
The band were then asked about how they deal with screaming fans as well as the notorious chaotic nature of their live shows with Jones eloquently saying: “I think the most important thing for us is, when we go on stage, is that we succeed in communicating with an audience and the only way we can do this is to produce an exciting atmosphere. Therefore, if the kids scream then we love it, we react to their reaction.”
Another touching moment came later in the conversation and yet again from Jones, who was on remarkably poignant form throughout. When he was asked about his musical education, Jones is challenged to ask the others instead. After receiving a nudge, Jones then talks about how he used to play the clarinet before finding the guitar which he said: “Gave me a new feel, musically and I became interested in jazz and R&B, eventually, which I play with The Rolling Stones.”
Keith Richards then spoke about his quite recent musical upbringing: “I never played with anybody before The Rolling Stones. I learnt guitar three, four years ago and I was then caught up with The Rolling Stones.”
Jagger then adds with a pinch of self-deprecation: “I can’t play anything, I wish I could but I can’t. You don’t learn to sing, you just open your mouth and horrible noises come out, that’s what happens, unfortunately.”
It’s fair to say that despite all five members of The Rolling Stones bodies attending the interview, only Brian Jones was seemingly available to offer a fascinating insight into the wonderful mind of one of popular music’s greatest creatives.