Mick Jagger Talks Rolling Stones, Signature Dance Moves, and the Late Charlie Watts

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Mick Jagger, frontman for The Rolling Stones and new “dad hat” model, went on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show last week and talked about his fallen friend and musical collaborator, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

Making his debut on Stern’s show, Jagger said of Watts, “When he was sick, he said, ‘You’ve gotta just carry on and do this tour. Don’t stop because of me.’ So we did.”

Jagger added, “Charlie was the heartbeat for the band, you know, and also a very steady personality. He was a very reliable person, wasn’t a diva—that’s the last thing you want in a drummer.”

He continued, “[Watts] was a very quirky guy. We really miss him. You know, we did so many shows with him, and so many tours with him, and so many recording sessions, it’s strange being without him.”

The Rolling Stones are continuing their tour, which you can find more about here.

On Stern’s show, Mick also talked about where he got his famous moves.

“It wasn’t a question of making a decision to dance, I couldn’t have this music going on and not move around. Even in these tiny spaces that we had in the early days, it was just the natural thing to do,” Jagger said.

“If you’re a lead singer in the band you have to be an extrovert, and yes, you watch other people and you copy other people. I used to look at all these James Brown clips and go and see him and Chuck Berry and all these people and they had great moves. All these people that I adored, like Jerry Lee Lewis, had great moves. They did certain moves repetitively. This is part of what it is to be a lead singer. Also, there’s times when you don’t want to do that, because there’s times you want to center the audience on the stage so you’re gonna be pretty still and just hold the center stage. Particularly when you’re doing a particular song, a ballad perhaps so that you ou don’t want to be running around like a chicken with his head cut off all the time because it’s just too annoying.”

He continued, “When I was much younger I just did crazy things. I used to jump off the stage into the organ pit, in these theaters, on my knees and my knees would be killing me because I didn’t know what was there, it was covered up in drapes. But I’d seen Little Richard do that so I thought, ‘well, OK I can do that. If he can do that then I can do that.'”

See the video below.

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