I interviewed Mick Jagger the other day in advance of the Rolling Stones' 50 & Counting tour which comes to the Wells Fargo Center on June 18 and 21. Click here to read all about it in the Sunday Inquirer A & E section.
At the start, I asked him about a subject I figured an Englishman of wealth and taste such as he would be bound to have on his mind: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died just a day before we spoke.
"It's big in the English press." said Sir Mick, speaking from somewhere in the West Indies, where he was doing prep work for the tour. "It's everywhere. If you're not there, which I'm not, you don’t really know what the mood is really. So the press refects the mood, and as you're press of course you would say it accurately reflects the mood. Really accurately, right?"
He chuckles, after getting the laugh he was looking for.
"But I'm not sure because there's quite a lot of negative things out there. The odd street party celebrating her death."
It's a bit unseemly, you think?
"Slightly, yes. I mean people can say what they like, but a street party? I thought that was a bit much. But I mean, you know, she is certainly a polarizing figure in English domestic policy. But she did make her mark. There's no question about that. And because she was around for so long, people from other countries, when a statesman, if you want to call her that, a stateswoman, people rather like them being around for a long time. They don’t have to learn the new name, know what I mean? It's sort of familiar: She's there, and she stands for this. We know who she is. So I think people rather like that. They don’t have to deal with the Thatcher domestic policies.'
"And then she was obviously a great ally of Reagan and their financial policies were somewhat similar and all that sort of thing. And the big thing was the fall of the Soviet Union and the satellite states of Eastern Europe, and that was the big event of the Reagan-Thatcher era. And she was a good ally for the U.S. in that particular end of game, the end game of the Soviet Union, which was a huge historical event not to be underestimated."
One of the biggest events in your lifetime, certainly....
"In my life, yes, but also in the 20th century. It was a kind of end game of what had started in 1917, really. A massive undertaking, something the United States and Western Europe were really fighting against from 1917 onwards in a really serious war, despite the twists and turns of the relationship."
I hate to interrupt a Knight of the Realm, but at that point, I had to make Mick talk about the Rolling Stones. To read what he had to say, check out the Sunday Inky or find the story here on philly.com. Stones tickets go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. on ComcastTix.com.
"Sympathy for the Devil" is below.