The artist Mick Jagger called bullshit: “Fuckin’ impersonating me”

Mick Jagger

Depending on who you ask, different eras come to mind when one refers to classic rock. For the older generation, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley consider classic rock. From the 1960s onward, people consider it a jumbled genre blend. While there is some validity to this view. In the modern era, classic rock can refer to any rock music released up until the punk wave of the late 1970s. Mick Jagger is one of the last great rock stars by this measure.

The Roling Stones, fronted by Mick Jagger, were fortunate enough to win alongside The Beatles. Throughout the 1960s, despite their frequent rivalry, the two groups were grateful for one another, with the latter providing vital opportunities for the former. The Rolling Stones, along with well-known peers like The Who and Led Zeppelin, usurped the rock throne. This happened when The Beatles eventually called it quits in 1970.

As the 1970s wore on, rock was ready to spread into ever-tighter niches after the psychedelic treatments of the 1960s. Weight varied from Black Sabbath’s renowned heavy metal to Eagles‘ relatively gentle soft rock. Complexity ranged from Sid Vicious’s command of the bass to Jimmy Page’s guitar compositions. Jagger had very little time for Aerosmith, a band that appeared out of nowhere in this disorganized mixture.

The frontman of The Rolling Stones criticized the Boston rockers categorically in a 1977 interview when he talked about Aerosmith at the height of their popularity. “Oh God, Aerosmith,” he uttered disrespectfully. “They’re just bullshit—pure garbage.” Jagger wasn’t having any of it, even after the band’s breakthrough album, Toys in the Attic, garnered them respect from many peers and ardent fans two years earlier.

At the time, Jagger appeared to be offended by the analogies made by many fans between The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. Jagger hurried to add, “The singer is quite a nice guy, mind you.” “He’s almost too sweet to be true. That said, he treats me well. You understand what I mean, yes? He’s such a little cutie; what can you do with him? Punch ‘im in the mouth? Here, what are you playing at, fuckin’ impersonating me? – Slam!”

Even though frontman Steven Tyler was a nice guy, Jagger seemed to suggest that he didn’t like the Americans limiting his style. When the New York Dolls first appeared in the early 1970s, admirers started drawing comparisons between Jagger’s and David Johansen’s faces. Jagger and Tyler soon drew comparisons in similar ways as well. Naturally, the singer of the Stones felt awkward about this, being the original Jagger.

Jagger’s response to his Tyler comparisons was severely exacerbated by the Aerosmith song, which he thought was “rubbish.” The band’s charisma and catchy riffs won them over fans, but they were often criticized for their repetitive and formulaic style.

Similar to Guns N’ Roses, who debuted in the 1980s, Aerosmith was a celebration of classic rock sounds. However, Aerosmith’s appeal, often characterized as somewhat cheesy, resonated particularly with British listeners. It would be intriguing to know Mick Jagger’s thoughts on Aerosmith after “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (1998).

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