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A wave of fresh new bands dominated the popular music scene in the 1960s, the infectious rhythms making their way across the pond in a phenomenon known as the British Invasion. The biggest names were, of course, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, both representing an era of innovation for music and youth culture.
The Rolling Stones were quickly viewed as less well-behaved than The Beatles, epitomising the ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ lifestyle due to the members’ scandalous affairs, substance abuse and chaos, with original leader Brian Jones even dying at the age of 27.
Naturally, the Stones channelled their wild stories and experiences into song, often singing about the women they loved throughout the years. Lead vocalist Mick Jagger had his fair share of relationships and tumultuous affairs, which have provided him invaluable lyrical inspiration. Some of his most notable partners include Marianne Faithfull, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall and L’Wren Scott, although he was unfaithful to most of the women he claimed to love.
There are many songs penned by Jagger that we’ll perhaps never know the true inspiration behind. However, there are tracks that we can almost undoubtedly attribute to certain women in Jagger’s life. Faithfull, with whom Jagger had a relationship for four years, inspired several tracks, such as ‘I Got The Blues’. The song was released a year after they broke up, with the lyrics reflecting on the end of a relationship.
She also served as inspiration for ‘Wild Horses’, with Faithfull telling Jagger “wild horses couldn’t drag me away,” after she woke up from a coma. Additionally, she revealed to Classic Rock, “I also contributed to ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ and ‘Dear Doctor’ – junk songs… I know they used me as a muse for those tough drug songs. I knew I was being used, but it was for a worthy cause.”
Jagger married Bianca Jagger, born Blanca Pérez-Mora Macías, in 1971 until 1978. She is the subject of Some Girls track ‘Respectable’, with Jagger revealing, “This is a Punk meets Chuck Berry number. The lyric carries no fantastically deep message, but I think it might have had something to do with Bianca.”
The singer cheated on Bianca with Jerry Hall, and the pair had four children together. The model supposedly inspired ‘I Miss You’, with Jagger subtly dropping a reference to her last name in the lines “I’ve been waiting in the hall/ Been waiting on your call.”
Finally, the controversial ‘Brown Sugar’, a song with incredibly tasteless lyrics that are both misogynistic and racist. Jagger has since regretted writing the track, which sees him use a narrative of slavery and rape to declare his love for African American women. There are two women who were said to have inspired the song – Claudia Lennear and Marsha Hunt. The latter was the mother of Jagger’s first child, Karis Hunt Jagger, although their relationship did not last long. Lennear was a member of Ike and Tina Turner’s The Ikettes and dated Jagger for a brief period. It is not confirmed who Jagger had in mind when writing the song, with Hunt claiming to be the inspiration, while Bill Wyman has suggested that the song is about Lennear.