As The Rolling Stones celebrate their 60th anniversary this year, the BBC have produced a four-part documentary series on the foursome, who lost drummer Charlie Watts last year. In the first episode of My Life as a Rolling Stone, focused on Mick Jagger, the frontman remembered how the band realised they needed to move on from covers. In the 1960s, he and Keith Richards soon began a songwriting partnership to rival The Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
In archive footage, a young Jagger shared: “If you listen to all the popular songs ten years ago, very few of them actually mean anything or have any relation to what people are doing. Songs didn’t have any relation to what people are actually spend their lives doing, like getting up, washing, going to work, coming back and feeling very screwed up about certain things.”
Incredibly it was one of The Rolling Stones’ all-time hits he wrote with Richards that the guitarist didn’t believe in at first.
Jagger shared: “There’s this motel in Clearwater, Florida and I remember sitting with Keith and writing the song Satisfaction. [Our manager] Andrew Oldham said, ‘This is like a number one single, this is great!’ Keith was like, ‘I don’t really like it. It can’t come out as a single.’ And it went to No 1 like instantly.
Richards’ iconic riff was written in the guitarist’s sleep, while the singer penned his lyrics for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
The track is one of the world’s most popular songs and continues to be part of the encore at Rolling Stones concerts to this day.
The Rolling Stones are performing once again at BST Hyde Park in London this evening. The band often decide their full set list just after the sound check, before Ronnie Wood hand paints it on a canvas to be turned into a print and sold on their art store. At the concert last weekend, the band finished their encore with Satisfaction, much to the crowd’s delight.
My Life as a Rolling Stone is streaming on BBC iPlayer.