Mick Jagger says The Beatles were “just a blues cover band when they started out”

Recently, Sir Paul McCartney stirred the proverbial pot by proclaiming that The Beatles were superior to The Rolling Stones. McCartney’s comments have led to a lively exchange of words between him and Mick Jagger, but there’s more to this discussion than meets the eye.

Paul McCartney’s assertion that The Beatles outshone The Rolling Stones resurfaced during an interview with Howard Stern in 2020. He concurred with the host’s assertion that The Beatles were the superior band, stating, “[The Stones] are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”

This comment sent shockwaves through the music world and reignited the age-old debate between fans of these iconic bands. Mick Jagger, always known for his wit, had a response that not only defended his band but also highlighted the fascinating history of both groups.

Mick Jagger, in his characteristically sardonic fashion, responded to McCartney’s assertion with a touch of humor. He stated, “That’s so funny. He’s a sweetheart. There’s obviously no competition. The big difference, though, is and sort of slightly seriously, is that The Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas when The Beatles never even did an arena tour, Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system. They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real.”

Jagger’s comment makes a valid point. The Beatles, despite their tremendous success, ceased touring relatively early in their career, while The Rolling Stones continued to perform live for decades. This difference in touring approaches has certainly influenced the way both bands are perceived.

In a new interview with The Times, Mick Jagger took the opportunity to respond to McCartney’s assertion yet again. He humorously noted, “He said the Beatles were better than the Stones because the Stones were really just a blues cover band. Well, the Beatles were also really just a blues cover band when they started out. Every band is a cover band at the beginning because that’s how it goes.”

This witty response by Jagger highlights the essential point that both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones drew heavily from blues influences when they first started out. They, like many budding musicians, began by covering songs they admired. It’s a natural and essential part of a band’s growth and development.

Mick Jagger’s humorous take on McCartney’s comment extends to their relationship offstage. Jagger revealed that he’d often tell his audience that Paul McCartney was in attendance during their performances, even when he wasn’t, just to create a moment of excitement. He once playfully texted McCartney to thank him for his comments, which had given him ample material for comedy.

This back-and-forth banter between two music legends is a testament to their camaraderie and the healthy competition that has fueled rock and roll for decades. It’s a reminder that beneath the fame and acclaim, these artists are, at their core, music enthusiasts who share a deep respect for each other’s work.

In a surprising twist, McCartney featured on a track from The Rolling Stones’ forthcoming album, ‘Hackney Diamonds,’ which is set for release on October 20. The song, ‘Bite My Head Off,’ features McCartney playing bass. Keith Richards, another iconic member of The Rolling Stones, expressed his delight at having McCartney on board, stating, “Paul happened to be in town…And we couldn’t keep him away, bless his heart. And hey, if you can get one of the Beatles on your track, you know, you do it.”

This collaboration serves as a testament to the enduring friendships and musical camaraderie that transcends any rivalry between the bands. It showcases that, while comparisons may persist, these musicians have always recognized the talent and brilliance in each other.

Mick Jagger once mused that both John Lennon and George Harrison, two of The Beatles’ most iconic members, would have seamlessly fit into the world of The Rolling Stones. This hypothetical scenario opens the door to fascinating reflections on what might have been. The notion of Lennon’s distinct voice or Harrison’s masterful guitar skills gracing The Rolling Stones’ music is an intriguing thought.

In the end, the debate about which band is superior remains a matter of personal preference. Both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have left an indelible mark on the music industry, each with its unique sound and style. It’s this diversity in music that has allowed for such spirited debates to continue through the years.

The rivalry between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones has captured the imagination of music lovers for decades. McCartney’s recent assertion that The Beatles were superior to The Rolling Stones has led to a playful exchange of words between him and Mick Jagger. The lighthearted banter and deep mutual respect between these iconic musicians exemplify the enduring impact and appeal of their music.

While the debate of who is the ultimate rock and roll band continues, it is evident that both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have made significant contributions to the world of music. Their legacies remain firmly intact, and the world continues to be captivated by their timeless tunes.


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