Mick Jagger is a living legend. I’m trying to figure out who else would be in that stratosphere of legends. Obviously, Keith Richards — but do any (other) movie stars equal that level of superstardom? I rate Robert DeNiro highly, but how do actors weigh up against rock stars?
That’s why when Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger says he is going to walk a red carpet on a Friday night, you turn up. Jagger is the executive producer of HBO’s brand new series VINYL, premiering February 14th.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing the first two hours and this show is wild, highlighting the transformation of the music world in the early ’70s. It showcases New York City as it comes alive with the early sounds of Hip Hop, the madness of the punk scene from the Lower East Side and even the European flavored pop of ABBA gets a mention.
It was a tough week for Jagger, with the loss of his collaborator and good friend David Bowie. On top of that, his ex-wife Jerry Hall had just said “yes” to the marriage proposal from 82-year-old Australian born media mogul, Rupert Murdoch.
To watch Mick walk the red carpet was fascinating. This guy is smaller, verging on petite, but never stopped moving the whole time, as if he was filled with Mexican jumping beans — and he answers everyone’s questions like a true professional.
When he turned up in front of me, I just launched into my opening question: “Mick, can you even remember the early ’70s?” He looked at me out of the corner of his eyes and I thought I’d screwed up with my slightly edgy and idiotic question — with an Aussie accent — I thought I was a goner! He smirked, paused and then corrected me, “Of course I remember it. I remember it very well.”
Mick then went on to explain his experience of New York City in the ’70s, noting that there were some places that you just didn’t go.
“I lived in New York a lot of the time in the ’70s,” Jagger recalls. “I remember what it was like; it was very poor, it was very dirty — the Lower East Side you never went to… a lot of places which are very chic now you wouldn’t ever go.”
“But the thing about the series,” Mick went on to explain, “is it’s a drama, it’s about characters — it’s about this central character who owns a record company who’s pretty crazy and he has to extricate himself from the mess he’s made for his life.”
And just like that, he was gone. Mick turned around to chat with Harry Belafonte!