The 17 Best Mick Jagger Quotes

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

He’s rock ’n’ roll encapsulated. He’s the source of legend and lore—it’s obviously, Mick Jagger

Jagger emerged as one of the most influential frontmen in rock history as the lead vocalist for the Rolling Stones. On top of his electric stage presence, Jagger’s songwriting partnership with bandmate Keith Richards has also been deemed one of the most successful in music, alongside other greats like the Lennon-McCartney partnership. And who can forget his famous—or infamous depending on how you look at it—ability to show off his romantic relationships and challenge the cultural norm.

But what does Jagger have to say about his life that he hasn’t already put in a song? Well, read below for 17 quotes from the rock icon. 

“Americans are funny people. First, you shock them, and then they put you in a museum.”

“As long as my face is on page one, I don’t care what they say about me on page seventeen.”

“Either we stay at home and become pillars of the community or we go out and tour. We couldn’t really find any communities that still needed pillars.”

“I am conservative with a small ‘c.’ It’s possible to be conservative in fiscal policy, and tolerant on moral issues or questions of freedom of expression.”

“We don’t look like a bunch of schoolmasters, I admit, but at least we try to educate people in American blues music.”

“The past is a great place and I don’t want to erase it or to regret it, but I don’t want to be its prisoner either.”

“My secrets must be poetic to be believable.”

“When I first went to America, I met James Brown at the Apollo, and he let me hang out with him and watch his shows. I copied all of his moves. I used to do his slide across the stage, when you move laterally from one side of the stage to the other, twisting your foot on one leg. I couldn’t do the splits, so I didn’t even bother. Everyone did the microphone trick, where you pushed the microphone, then you put your foot on it, and it comes back. James probably did it best.”

“To be honest, I never listen to old Rolling Stones albums. I listen to the songs as songs, and if we’re doing them on stage I always listen to the originals and go, ‘OK, well, we’re going to do it like that.’”

“I believe we should encourage children to sing and play instruments from an early age.”

“People have this obsession. They want you to be like you were in 1969. They want you to because otherwise, their youth goes with you… It’s very selfish, but it’s understandable.”

“You start out playing rock ‘n’ roll so you can have sex and do drugs. But you end up doing drugs so you can still play rock ‘n’ roll and have sex.”

“It’s all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back.”

“I’ve managed to avoid tattoos so far.”

“I never really studied business in school. I kind of wish I had, but how boring is that?”

“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.”

“Thank you for leaving us alone but giving us enough attention to boost our egos.”

Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur

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  1. Great piece on Mick’s quotes. The best quote he ever gave to artists when asked “what’s the secret to touring after doing it for over 50 years he said “The real secret to touring is knowing what to do the other 22 hours of the day”

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