By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
April 1964: I'm a junior at Mohave County Union High School (nickname "Mucous"). My mother is driving me to Vegas to go see a skin doctor. I hear a song on the radio called "Time Is on My Side." The DJ says it's by a new group called the Rolling Stones. My mother rolls her eyes.
A lot of popular girls at MCUHS think Mick Jagger is really ugly. I think, "Man, this is weird. These same girls think the same thing about me!"
I decide that if a bunch of ugly guys from England can make a record and shag chicks, so can a bunch of ugly guys from Kingman. I start a band called the Exits with my friend Charlie Waters. I play drums. No record; lots of shagging, though--which is really the important part.
September 1965: Mick is forced to change the words to "Let's Spend the Night Together," and sing, "Let's spend some time together," on The Ed Sullivan Show. He rolls his eyes facetiously each time he gets to the chorus. I'm watching on the floor of my parents' tract house on Ricca Drive in Kingman, Arizona.
My dad rolls his eyes. Always the free-thinker, I decide I hate the Rolling Stones.
September 1967: I'm living off campus at the University of Arizona, and my neighbors on North Euclid are two Phoenix guys. Both went to Brophy and love the Stones. I tell them I hate the Stones, but they put on "Let's Spend the Night Together" and I slowly start to cave, both emotionally and spiritually.
Mick is busted for drugs in London and spends the night in a holding cell. Almost on the same day, my new Stones friends and I decide to make a road trip. We get busted on Canal Street in Nogales, Sonora, for bringing our own beer (Velvet Glow, 79 cents a six-pack!) into a whorehouse. I spend the night in a holding cell.
July 1969: Mick is watching the telly and witnesses the first man to walk on the moon. I'm watching, too, in a drugstore in Wickenburg.
November 1969: I see the Rolling Stones at Veterans' Memorial Coliseum. They are two hours late, because they'd been partying at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. I helped pay for that mansion. Mick remarks that American kids have gotten a bit hipper since the last tour. He notes, "You're not dressing like your parents anymore." Ever the rebel, I still am.
During this same tour, a conservative newspaper columnist sniffs that Mick sings about as well as, say, "every sixth person in the phone book." I think to myself, "Hey, so do I!"
February 1970: I quit the drums and start singing lead and dancing like Mick in a local band called Smokey. John Lennon said he never liked all that "faggot dancing." He's not alone. While we are playing at the Library in Tempe, the bartender yells out between songs, "You dance like a queer!" so I say back on the mike, "You would know." The big jock throws a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel's at me, and it hits the edge of the stage right next to my head and explodes. Later, I see a photo of Keith Richards drinking out of a half-full bottle of Jack Daniel's. He looks like he is about to implode.
I'm making $10 a night. Mick is making $10,000. The only things that separate us at this point are talent, originality and a few lousy zeros.
October 1971: The movie Performance comes out. In it, Mick does this gay, androgynous thing. I think about going bisexual for the '70s, but I ultimately decide against it. I'm just not neat enough, and I didn't need nor want the rejection from another life group.
November 1972: I drive to Tucson to see the Stones at the Civic Center. The people sitting next to us are from Glendale, and they look exhausted. They've already missed the opening act, Stevie Wonder, who played drums for some strange reason. It turns out the Glendale people were stoned, forgot their tickets, got to the Convention Center, couldn't get in, had to drive all the way back to Glendale and find the tickets and speed back to the concert. They didn't appear even to enjoy the show. Bummer.
Just offstage is Linda Ronstadt. We can see her from our angle. Mick is having an affair with her, and she's there to be by her man and sing on "Tumblin' Dice."
I later play in a honky-tonk band at the Red Rooster on Benson Highway outside Tucson. Our lead guitar player is the guy who took Linda to L.A., and he's bitter. He says Linda started sleeping around as soon as they got there, and when he quickly soured on L.A. and decided to come home, he had to go to five different record producers' houses to get his stuff. Ouch. When I quit the Red Rooster band, I had to go to five different houses to get my Stones albums! And the Stones recorded a song called "Little Red Rooster"! Gettin' kind of heavy, eh?
Later in '72: Mick sings back-up on Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," which many people assume to be about Jagger himself. Jagger begins wearing too much makeup and actually starts to look like Carly, or maybe Liza Minnelli. Later, on KSLX radio, I dress like a woman with too much makeup (the Bozina Show) and go to Pischke's in Scottsdale. A bunch of sexist men who were hanging out there make fun of my figure and my looks. One of them says I look a whole lot like Liza.
Spring 1978: Mick incurs the wrath of the Reverend Jesse Jackson for the song "Some Girls," which asserts that "black girls just want to get fucked all night." I try to pick up a black girl at a Rainbow Coalition caucus. I suppress the urge to write a song titled "Black Girls Just Want to Say No All Night."
December 13, 1981: Upper deck, east side of Sun Devil Stadium. A very pretty blonde is in front of me, stoned on mushrooms. She ends up in Playboy and is now very prominent in Phoenix media. On "Honky Tonk Women," a gaggle of Phoenix women comes onstage and dances in saloon-girl costumes. One of them used to sell ads for New Times. When I ask her what it was like to be backstage, she tells me, "Mick says to say hi." I roll my eyes.
1984: Although George Orwell's horrific vision does not come to pass, I realize that if we have a nuclear war, the only two things that will survive are bugs and Keith Richards.
1986: Jagger refuses to tour with the Stones. Charlie Watts allegedly punches Mick in the snout for saying, "Where's my drummer?" Charlie replies, "I'm not your drummer. You're my singer."
Once Gordan Smith, our rhythm guitar player, says to me, "Where's our drummer? Where's our singer? We have neither." I think he was kidding (although he did take a swing at me).
November 1997: I ask my kids if they want to go see the Rolling Stones. They roll their eyes.
Mega-Dittos From Bixlow, Arizona, Mick!
Q: You once said that you didn't want to be singing "Satisfaction" when you were 42.
A: No, I certainly won't.
Mick Jagger, 1978, interviewed in Rolling Stone
Even More Spooky Similarities Between The Stones' Jagger and a Stoned Laggard!
*Mick calls Marianne Faithfull and Michelle Phillips and asks them to have a sexual tryst before he takes the stage at Altamont. I've wanted to have sex with Marianne Faithfull and Michelle Phillips for years.
*Mick says his first wife was some kind of royalty in Nicaragua. My first wife was some kind of royal pain in the ass.
*Trash journalist Geraldo Rivera claims he was at a party when Mick and Mikhail Baryshnikov dance right up to him in the kitchen and try to make a love sandwich out of his buns. I later have a similar experience at an Arizona Press Club bash when Bill Close and Kent Dana squeeze up against me in the drink line.
*Mick loves the Wild West. So do I. He had a son he named Jesse James Jagger. I have a son I wanted to name Wyatt (as in Earp), but my wife wouldn't let me.
One thing you gotta say about Mick and me, we're both consistent with women.
Time Is Not on My Side:
Even though I'm pushing the wrong side of 50, I still play in a band. Just like Mick.
The weekend before last, the Zonies and I play at the Mineshaft in Cave Creek. It is a gas. We rip through our 16-song set list (seven by the Stones), and I do my best Mick Jagger, strutting, pumping, singing and shouting, and I must say, I feel very young and virile. In my mind, I am Mick. Unfortunately, someone videotapes the gig, and when I have the misfortune to view it, I realize I look a whole lot more like Gabby Hayes. Just like Mick!
Well, here we are, both back in Phoenix, doing what we do best. He's making a fool of himself on stage. Me, I'm driving a taxi and getting stoooooooo.... No, wait! Wrong artist and song analogy. I'm making a fool of myself again in New Times.
You can stop rolling your eyes now.