Day 20

July 26th 1943
Mick Jagger

Rock’n’roll’s ulti­mate lead singer takes his right­ful place in the SydArthur Fes­ti­val as the High Magi­cian who dealt direct­ly in duende. Duende: the arcane, elu­sive spir­it-muse of evo­ca­tion, that “mys­te­ri­ous pow­er that every­one feels but no philoso­pher can explain,” as Fed­eri­co Gar­cía Lor­ca would have it. The artist pos­sess­es it, but – per­haps even more so – he is pos­sessed by it. Mick Jag­ger sum­moned it, bat­tled with it, merged with it and, as a con­se­quence, re-pagan­ised the West. This strut­ting, sashay­ing, seduc­tive, provoca­tive, con­fronta­tion­al, vul­gar and slight­ly dia­bol­i­cal fem­mie pea­cock stirred in a pub­lic just bare­ly get­ting used to the be-suit­ed and hand-hold­ing Bea­t­les some­thing hea­then, vis­cer­al and ecsta­t­ic. His wan­ton move­ments, his sub­ver­sive sub­ject mat­ter, and the bound­ary-push­ing way he dared to look – this was the delib­er­ate self-cre­ation of noth­ing less than a Sex­u­al Rev­o­lu­tion­ary. What could have been more ter­ri­fy­ing to the old­er gen­er­a­tion than this big-lipped girlie-look­ing man demand­ing Sat­is­fac­tion? We can in no way under­es­ti­mate the effect of Jagger’s one-man rev­o­lu­tion – for the fire that he start­ed was down­right Promethean.

Let’s put Mick Jag­ger in his mytho­log­i­cal place. Like Odin’s requests for knowl­edge in the tomb of the Grand­ma, Jag­ger went direct­ly to the Ur-source for his own sacred infor­ma­tion: he demand­ed of Tina Turn­er that she teach him to dance like a black woman. Every­one laughed, but still he per­sist­ed until it was mas­tered. And this rit­u­al­is­tic dance would become his incan­ta­tion – Jag­ger the incubus, the con­jur­er, cast­ing his inti­mate spell over are­na-sized audi­ences. He was the first white rock’n’roller to invoke the Dev­il as a muse: urged on by his Fates Mar­i­anne Faith­full and Ani­ta Pal­len­berg, Mick Jag­ger became the whirling dervish aim­ing to incite a fren­zy. This is duende in it its purest form.

Pay no mind to what a twat he is nowa­days. Who in their right mind looks to rock’n’rollers for nice heroes? And who can expect to drink from the cup of life with­out spilling a drop? Mick Jag­ger is ver­i­ly a fig­ure worth reclaim­ing. This Sacred Klep­to­ma­ni­ac culled from black peo­ple, women and gays. He looked to the under­dogs of soci­ety, demand­ed to legit­imise them and made them wor­thy of admi­ra­tion and imi­ta­tion. He was right­eous enough to see it, and can­ny and trans­gres­sive enough to do it.

Tak­ing the heat for their entire gen­er­a­tion, Mick Jag­ger and Kei­th Richards emerged from their Sum­mer of Love incar­cer­a­tion full of vim and vigour. Uh, you think? Assem­bling around them a cult choir fea­tur­ing Lennon, McCart­ney and Allen Gins­berg, they then ciné­ma vérité-stylee com­menced this stud­ied­ly untyp­i­cal Rolling Stones 7″ sin­gle with the sounds of keys in a prison lock before tear­ing up this soul burn-out. Pro­pelled by Nicky Hop­kins’ aston­ish­ing gospel piano stomp, the Mick Jag­ger of ‘We Love You’ fore­shad­owed John­ny Rotten’s street oik 10 years ear­ly. ‘We don’t care if you hound “we” and lock the doors around “we“‘: Defi­ant, deranged and demon­ic, Jag­ger the lick-spit­tle here­in offers up to The Estab­lish­ment, nay, to Their Satan­ic Majesties, his most archa­ic pseu­do-Sméagol – a sar­don­ic hand-wring­ing, so-eager-to-please-pet Jag­ger. Not. ‘You will nev­er win “we”, your uni­forms don’t fit “we”, You’re dead and then we’re in’. More dan­ger­ous than ever before, the Stones here­in declared their ever-increas­ing remove from so-called Polite Society. 

Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Day 1: Friday Jul 7th
Day 2: Saturday Jul 8th
Day 3: Sunday Jul 9th
Day 4: Monday Jul 10th
Day 5: Tuesday Jul 11th
Day 6: Wednesday Jul 12th
Day 7: Thursday Jul 13th
Day 8: Friday Jul 14th
Day 9: Saturday Jul 15th
Day 10: Sunday Jul 16th
Day 11: Monday Jul 17th
Day 12: Tuesday Jul 18th
Day 13: Wednesday Jul 19th
Day 14: Thursday Jul 20th
Day 15: Friday Jul 21st
Day 16: Saturday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Sunday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Monday Jul 24th
Day 19: Tuesday Jul 25th
Day 20: Wednesday Jul 26th
Day 21: Thursday Jul 27th
Day 22: Friday Jul 28th
Day 23: Saturday Jul 29th
Day 24: Sunday Jul 30th
Day 25: Monday Jul 31st
Day 27: Wednesday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Thursday Aug 3rd