“The Roaring 20s” focuses on Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger’s “glory years,” 1963-1973

By on August 2, 2018

The Roaring 20s: Mick Jagger’s Glory Years focuses on the years when Mick Jagger was enjoying his own “roaring twenties,” circa 1963-1973, which were the Rolling Stones‘ frontman’s prime years as a performer during what was probably the best decade to be a rock ‘n’ roll singer.

Watch this one-hour and forty-six minute long British-made documentary from 2011 now on Night Flight Plus.

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The Roaring 20s mainly covers the years between Mick Jagger‘s twentieth and thirtieth birthdays, beginning chronologically with his chance meeting with Richards, right up through to the disastrous Altamont concert in December 1969, and ending with the recording of Exile on Main Street, considered by many to be the band’s masterpiece (the critics here debate Jagger’s minor input on the album, which may be one reason Jagger thinks Exile is overrated).

The documentary features lots of rare footage of Jagger and the Stones, archival interviews and lots of great, seldom-seen photos.

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Here, director Alex Westbrook — who also directed The Rolling Stones: Mick Taylor Years 1969 to 1974, and Pearl Jam: Under Review, both of which you’ll find on Night Flight Plus — talks with former Stones P.A. & ex-1960’s NME editor Keith Altham; rock bio author Alan Clayson; ex-Yardbirds guitarist Chris Dreja; broadcaster & rock journalist Paul Gambaccini; former Rolling Stones personal assistant Chris O’Dell; original Rolling Stones guitarist Dick Taylor; ex-Melody Maker writer Chris Welch; and, British rock writer Nigel Williamson (a contributing editor to Uncut/Billboard).

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The soundtrack is jam-packed with great Rolling Stones songs, including “Wild Horses,” “We Love You,” “Under My Thumb,” “Tumbling Dice,” “The Last Time,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Shine A Light,” “She’s a Rainbow,” “Rocks Off,” “Paint It Black,” “Not Fade Away,” “Little Red Rooster,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Happy,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Come On,” “Brown Sugar,” “As Tears Go By,” “Around and Around,” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Read more about Mick Jagger below.

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Sir Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger — who recently celebrated his 75th birthday — was born on July 26, 1943, in war-time South London (Dartford, Kent).

It’s been clear throughout Jagger’s career as a lyricist and songwriter that he’s given some deep thought to what it means to get older.

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In 1964, when he was just 21 years old, Jagger and bandmate Keith Richards wrote one of their very first original songs together, “As Tears Go By.”

The now-classic melancholy-tinged ballad was actually recorded first by Marianne Faithfull, a 17-year old pop singer who was being promoted by their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham.

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Oldham actually had to force Jagger and Richards to write their own originals, locking them both in a kitchen until they’d written a song together.

Initially it was titled “As Time Goes By,” the title nicked from the movie Casablanca, and it was Oldham who changed “Time” to “Tears,” earning himself a co-songwriting credit.

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Jagger wrote the line  “It is the evening of the day/I sit and watch the children play” years before he’d fathered his first child (Karis Hunt Jagger wasn’t born until November 1970).

To date, Jagger has eight children (with five different women), five grandchildren and one great grandchild (his daughter Jade’s daughter Assisi gave birth to her own daughter in 2014).

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In 1995, Jagger told Rolling Stone‘s Jann Wenner — in an interview titled “Mick Jagger Remembers” — that he thought “As Tears Go By” was a “very dumb and naïve” tune, “but it’s got a very sad sort of thing about it, almost like an older person might write. You know, it’s like a metaphor for being old: You’re watching children playing and realizing you’re not a child. It’s a relatively mature song considering the rest of the output at the time.”

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Jagger was still in his twenties when the band recorded “Ride On, Baby” during their sessions for their Aftermath album in December 1965 (it wouldn’t make its first appearance on a Stones album until the U.S.-only compilation Flowers, released in June of 1967).

One line from the song, sung directly to a woman, also focuses on this same theme about getting old (“The red round your eyes, says that you ain’t a child”).

Jagger warns her: “By the time you’re thirty, gonna look sixty-five/You won’t look pretty and your friends will have kissed you goodbye.”

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Jagger may have already been thinking about the dreaded age of thirty — his 30th birthday was still some eight years away at that point — and perhaps he was wondering whether or not he’d still be singing these songs.

He was 31 years old when he told People magazine I’d rather be dead than sing ‘Satisfaction’ when I’m forty-five,” referring to one of their biggest hits, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

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Jagger had written the lyrics for that song while sitting poolside at a Tampa, Florida hotel while the Stones were on tour.

Keith Richards had come up with the song’s enduring hook, and purloined a snatch of lyric — “I can’t get no satisfaction” — from a song by one of their heroes, Chuck Berry.

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“Satisfaction” — released as a single in June of 1965 — soared to #1 in America and stayed there for the rest of the summer.

Of course, as of 2018, Jagger still performs the song — some thirty years after celebrating his 45th birthday — and he sure isn’t dead yet, not by a longshot.

Watch The Roaring 20s: Mick Jagger’s Glory Years — we’ve actually got a wide selection of music documentaries for you to check out, including several more Rolling Stones docs and our popular Under Review series — on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.