April , 1985
By Beverly Gayle Owens
Glimmer Twins Hoping to Find that Gleam in Their Eyes Again
For the next four months, he's living in a luxurious flat near the posh suburb of Neuilly outside of Paris where his workday begins at midnight and bedtime follows breakfast at 8 or 9 in the morning. He drives around in a beat-up Renault, and sometimes stops at local cafes. A muffler wrapped around his neck hides his famous lips when he goes out sometimes and often he is able to move around unnoticed. For Mick Jagger, his times in Paris strongly resemble his smash hit single. "Just Another Night."
Jagger is currently enjoying a success that is completely unknown to him and other Stones who have embarked on similar solo efforts. After two decades of Rolling with the Stones, Mick, at age 41, has ventured into the virgin ground of the solo artist and is shining like a star.
Indeed, these have become the best of times, both professionally and personally.
Jagger is enjoying the longest relationship he's ever had with model / mother Jerry Hail – seven years all total. He's the loving, doting father of a nearly year-old daughter Elizabeth by Hall, to go along with his other 13-year old daughter Jade, (by ex-wife Bianca) and 14-year old Karis, (by American actress Marsha Hunt).
But Jagger doesn't want to get married. "I don't like the legal complications," he said Interview magazine. "It's like signing a 356-page contract without knowing what's in it. I think it's bullshit. I'm just kind of happy going on the way I am."
Thoughts of marriage have taken a deep back seat to Mick's current work which is writing and recording the next Stones album with the rest of the gang. He's also basking in the glow of his solo debut She's The Boss, which has made impressive marks on the charts. "Just Another Night," has cracked the Top 20 singles chart. Jagger is under contract for another solo album with CBS but don't expect to see his buddies, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and others next time. Mick says he thought he used to many this time around and won't do it again.
Jagger's time in Paris is being spent with the rest of the Stones at the studio Pathe-Marconi Studios where they have recorded for the past five years. The album will have a more contemporary edge and will be produced by Chris Mimsey, the first outside producer the band has used since Jimmy Miller. The making of Undercover has also been a long and an arduous process, largely because Jagger and Richards' have been fighting over the musical direction of the band. Jagger wanted to incorporate newer, hipper styles of music into the Stones sound while Richards was content to focus on a more rock and blues approach.
Over the years, Jagger has been described as the Prince of Darkness, a conceited snob and an insecure genius trying to outdo Keith Richards, whom Jagger considers the real musician. Rumors about drugs, promiscuity, homosexuality, you name it, have flown high and hard since the Stones first hit the music scene over two decades ago. Jagger finally responds.
On drugs: "Obviously, I'm no paragon of virtue," he told Rolling Stone in 1983. "I've often been carried home in the last 30 years. If you take too much of anything, you start to get paranoid."
On sexual relationships: With men he doesn't answer directly. "It was very nice during one period of my life to be attractive to men," he tells Interview. "Liking the attention, it was new."
On love affairs: "I get really intense and then I'll become casual usually," he responded to journalist Lisa Robinson. "Sometimes the sexual things cool down on one side and you just become friends."
During Hall's pregnancy, rumors were floating about that Jagger would finally take the final step and marry his longtime beau, but to Hall's disappointment he didn't. "I'm sure she'd like to get married someday, but she doesn't seem to ask about it very much anymore."
After this year's Stones tour, Jagger hopes to resume an old flame, movies. He has talked with fellow superstar David Bowie about doing a project together. Jagger has also had an intermittent acting career, most notably in his 1968 film debut, Performance and two years later as Australian bushranger Ned Kelly.
His other attempts at the silver screen have been similarity forgettable. He had to quit Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo in 1981 when an illness to the productions lead actor, Jason Robards resulted in Jagger being unable to continue with the film due to prior tour commitments. His screenplay, Blame It on the Night, was a tiresome failure: he acquired the rights to A Clockwork Orange and Kalki, but both fell through. A planned project with Jerry Hall in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues never got off the ground. Most recently, Jagger auditioned for Amadeus.
But when Jagger does find a spare moment, he will continue work on his autobiography. Displeased with rough drafts, he fired co-writer John Byte, deputy literary editor of the Sunday Times of London. Hall is also writing her tell-all Jerry Hall's Tall Tales, due out in June from Pocket. Jagger describes it as a young girl's guide to snaring a rock star.
And what would an interview be like without the inevitable question, how long can the group stay together?
"As long as people want to hear them and see them play," says publicist Paul Wasserman, "they'll be ready to perform."