Sir Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones are rock icons, still rocking it out to this day. In contrast, the Beatles was only a short-lived project in the end, with each band member going on to make their own music. However, in the early days of the band’s fame, their success sparked some of the green-eyed monster in Sir Mick.
Back in 1988, Sir Mick had the pleasure of inducting the Beatles into the Hall of Fame.
Of course, by this time the band was only a three-piece, as John Lennon was called in 1980.
During the induction speech, however, Sir Mick made mention of one particular song which made him “sick” with jealousy – given the Beatles already had a music contract when the Rolling Stones were starting out.
In his speech, he mentioned the Rolling Stones’ infancy, saying: “The Stones were playing at these little clubs in London.
Why Sir Mick Jagger was ‘jealous’ of the Beatles
“[We were] doing Chuck Berry songs and blues and things. And we [were] a pretty scruffy lot and we thought that we were totally unique animals.
“I mean there was no one like us. And then we heard there was a group from Liverpool.”
At this, Sir Mick got a glint in his eye as he went on to describe the Beatles, and the one song which galvanised him to make it big in the business.
He continued: “This group, they had long hair, scruffy clothes but they had a record contract.
“And they had a record in the charts, with a bluesy harmonica on it, called Love Me Do.
“When I heard the combination of all these things, I was almost sick.”
However, Sir Mick made sure to thank the band for their influence, even mentioning how they wrote I Wanna Be Your Man, the Rolling Stones’ first big hit in England.
He added: “We were really grateful for that [song I Wanna Be Your Man] because that really broke us in England.
The Rolling Stones
“But the example of the way they wrote and the original way they crafted their songs wasn’t lost on us.
“We had a lot of rivalry and a little bit of friction in those early years, but we always ended up friends and I like to think we still are.”
While Sir Mick and Sir Paul McCartney have seemed to bury the hatchet of any showbiz feud in recent years, the same cannot be said for John Lennon.
Back in the 1970s, Lennon did not mince his words about his feelings about The Rolling Stones.
In an interview with magazine Rolling Stone, he said: “I think it’s a lot of hype. I like Honky Tonk Woman but I think Mick’s a joke.
The Beatles performing
“I’ll probably go and see his films and all, like everybody else, but really, I think [Mick] is a joke.”
He also complained about the assertion The Rolling Stones were more revolutionary than The Beatles, saying in 1971: “I was always very respectful about Mick and the Stones, but he said a lot of sort of tarty things about The Beatles.
“I resent the implication that the Stones are like revolutionaries and that The Beatles weren’t. They are not in the same class, music-wise or power-wise, and never were.”
“I resent the implication that the Stones are like revolutionaries and that The Beatles weren’t.
“If the Stones were or are, The Beatles really were too. But they are not in the same class, music-wise or power-wise, never were.
Mick Jagger and John Lennon
“I never said anything, I always admired them, because I like their funky music and I like their style.
“I like rock and roll and the direction they took after they got over trying to imitate us, you know, but he’s even going to do Apple now. He’s going to do the same thing.
“He’s obviously so upset by how big The Beatles are compared with him; he never got over it. Now he’s in his old age, and he is beginning to knock us, you know, and he keeps knocking. I resent it.”
It seems pretty harsh, but clearly, Lennon was not a fan of Sir Mick and was happy to speak out about the singer and his band.