Welcome to our coverage of the new documentary series, My Life as a Rolling Stone.
Videos by American Songwriter
Videos by American Songwriter
The four-part television series about one of the most famous and influential rock bands of the past 100 years—The Rolling Stones—is streaming on EPIX, which can be found on Sling and Fubo, among several other outlets. The band, of course, is celebrating its 60th anniversary, which includes a major tour and the new docu-series.
The series focuses on each of the core four Stones (one per episode), from Mick Jagger to Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and late drummer Charlie Watts, who passed away in 2021. Below, we will dive into the 15 things we learned from the show’s opening episode, which highlights the band’s frontman, Jagger, over the course of one hour.
The “rockuseries” debuted on Sunday (August 7) in the United States after previously dropping earlier this year on July 2 in the U.K., where the band was formed. With archival footage, new interviews, and lots of musical moments, the series should prove both valuable for fans of the group and entertaining. It is narrated by Sienna Miller and directed by Oliver Murray.
Let’s check it out.
1. As the doc opens, Mick Jagger talks about how much he thinks documentaries are stupid. They just try to put people in “boxes” he says, so that story and stories can just be “repeated.” This one will be different, he says—at least, that’s the hope. Let’s see if he’s right.
2. The Rolling Stones had a pinball machine. Did you know that? They also have a plane with their mouth-lips-and-tongue logo. Ah, to be famous.
3. Keith Richards calls Mick “the best frontman in the business.” He’s probably right, too. He also says, “He’s really an honorable man… under all that crap!”
4. “My big job is to be a big showoff,” says Jagger. Sheryl Crow calls him the “greatest rock star of all time.”
5. Mick began performing at local dances when he was 15 or 16. He would sit in with the “greasy” bands that were playing. He was effective even then, and he thought, “I can do this.”
6. The Rolling Stones were founded by Brian Jones, who died in 1969.
7. Mick Jagger’s lips look like two pink slugs. You can’t take your eyes off them.
8. The band began earning fame in the U.K. just a few months after forming. “Television is hugely important,” Jagger says of this success. He studied TV, and cameras and learned how to stand out, including practicing his moves at home. And while the band was known first as a “blues” band, Jagger says it was always about rock and roll.
9. “We wanted to write pop songs,” Jagger says. They were known for covers early on. But they knew songwriting was key. Keith and Mick wrote, Brian Jones did not. “He was very musical,” Jagger says of Jones. “Innovative.” “We thought it was our band,” Jagger says of the Stones, even though Jones would say it was “his.”
10. Keith and Mick wrote “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and it went No. 1 almost instantly. Boom!
11. It’s hard not to wonder, watching the series, how Mick Jagger’s hips still work. More than any song, that might be the key to his longevity. Does he even have hips? Or rubber balls inside ice cream cones?
12. Like so many, Jagger credits Little Richard with tricks of impressive stage presence. As always, praise be to Little Richard.
13. It takes ego to entertain, Jagger says. People compare him to an “animal” on stage. Others compare him to a “young child” who dances with so much “heart” that you have to “embrace” it. It’s likely all of the above.
14. Did you know Mick’s name is actually Mike? As a schoolboy, Jagger says he studied hard and wanted to go to university. He spent two years at the London School of Economics. Then tried to “unlearn” everything, he says with a grain between those two pink slugs he calls lips.
15. The Rolling Stones were arrested one day (while tripping on acid) and it created controversy and wariness that has lasted to this day. “I could use a joint right now,” Richards says, talking about the moment.
For more on the Stones’ new series, check out EPIX and come back to American Songwriter for more of our coverage on the subsequent three episodes.