Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards discussed the singer’s punk rock tendencies, while Jagger suggested Beatles icon Paul McCartney shared them.

In a new interview with the Times, centered on the Stones’ upcoming album Hackney Diamonds, Jagger said he’d written material his colleagues refused to record, and reflected on McCartney’s guest spot on the song “Bite My Head Off.”

“I was kind of surprised Paul wanted to play on that track, actually,” the frontman said. “I wrote so many punk songs for the Stones and I could never get away with them, but Paul is a very open-minded person – musically speaking.”

In a separate interview, Richards told the Sun: “Mick’s a punk!” he added: “The punk side of Jagger has always been there and we’ll never get rid of it.” He went on to describe the Stones’ mid-‘60s rise to fame as an experience similar to what happened in the U.K. punk scene the following decade.

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“I don’t think we finished a show for two years,” Richards said. “That’s when Mick developed his punk attitude. Before you went on, the main thing was, ‘How do you get out of here?’ It was mayhem. Girls were going berserk, fainting all over the place, and we were all getting shoved out the way because of the stretchers heaving them away.”

Referring to McCartney’s appearance on Hackey Diamonds, he added: “Macca just strolled in with his bass. I think the song reminded him of those times. Beatlemania was equally as bizarre as Stones mania.” He argued: “Punk wished to be like us. They just re-enacted!”

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In 2021 McCartney and Jagger reactivated the mainly fictional rivalry between their bands when the former Beatle described the Stones as a blues covers band, and his counterpart retaliated by inventing a story about McCartney joining them for a jam.

“When we’re on tour I like to say that someone is in the audience when they’re actually not, to create a big moment,” Jagger told the Times. “So I said one time, ‘Paul McCartney is here tonight. He’s going to come up on stage and play some of our blues cover tunes.’ I texted Paul to say thank you for his comment because it has given me a lot of comic material.”

He said of his group’s longevity: “The only thing I want the Stones to be remembered for is being a good rock band. There is going to be the Beatles and there is going to be the Stones and together they will represent the rock era.”

Perhaps cheekily, he added: “The Stones are much longer-lived, obviously.”

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Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp

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