The moment Keith Richards finally appreciated Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ relationship has been a roller coaster. Meeting at the age of 18, the two musicians are more like brothers than bandmates. With the type of friendship that lasts so long, it feels more like family, with all its obvious highs and lows.

They are regarded as one of the greatest songwriting teams of all time. But the pair has been through some difficult times. Their marriage suffered greatly during the 1980s. In his autobiography, Life, Richards described Jagger as “unbearable” during the decade. He claimed his attitude became increasingly demanding as he said, “That’s when he became [Bitchy] Brenda, or Her Majesty, or just Madam.”

There are numerous reasons for their feud in the 1980s. Richards’ drug use was reaching new heights, which irritated Jagger. Following their roles in the 1970 film Performance, there were also rumors of an affair between Mick Jagger and Richards’ girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg.

Whatever the cause of the feud, the result was a sad schism in a long-running friendship, as Richards wrote. “I used to love Mick, but I haven’t been to his dressing room in 20 years,” he went on to say. “Sometimes I think to myself, ‘I miss my friend.’ “I’m curious, ‘Where did he go?'”

However, it was during this fallout that Richards had a genuine moment of gratitude for his friend. As a result of their disagreements, Richards refused to tour with the band in 1986, instead focusing on a solo career. His new band, X-Pensive Winos, gave him the chance to be the frontman for the first time. It gave him the path to step out of Jagger’s shadow.

On the one hand, the project provided a reprieve for the guitarist. “I wasn’t under the pressure of the Stones,” he explained to Rolling Stone. He even said, “It was a lot looser.”

But, as the band’s leader, Richards quickly realized how much responsibility a frontman bears. “I learned a lot about being a frontman,” he told me. “I appreciated it a lot more — Mick’s angle on things — onstage especially.”

Never able to take a breather or rest on his laurels, always required to bring high energy and full performance, the musician developed a new appreciation for the strain on his friend. “It broadened my perspective on what everyone in a band has to do.” “It increased my respect for the frontman,” he added.

“You realize that you’re it all the time; you don’t stop,” he said. “With the Stones, I’m in a wonderful position where I can go forward whenever I want or just hunker down with the band and the groove.” I have options. The frontman is powerless.”

By 1989, the band had reformed. Richards returned to their collaboration to work on Steel Wheel with a newfound respect for Jagger’s craft and role in the group. While things did not go smoothly from then on, the two remained a team through it all.

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