He may be a rock legend and a British Knight, but Mick Jagger certainly hasn’t shown any signs of taking a breather.
The Rolling Stones frontman has just used a break from his near never-ending tour schedule to release a special edition of “The Very Best of Mick Jagger.”
The CD/DVD package contains a host of cuts made famous by Sir Mick including collaborations with David Bowie, a cover of “Dancing In The Streets,” and John Lennon, the previously unreleased “Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Soup).”
“Access Hollywood” grabbed some time with the legend to talk about his latest musical venture, collaborating with fellow rock stars and if he plans to join the bookshelves with a celebrity autobiography.
Access: First of all, why did you decide to put this album out now?
Jagger: Well, I was on tour for two years. It started in Boston, ended in London a few weeks ago, so I thought now was the time to do it because I didn’t want to put it out while we were on the tour.
Access: What was it like working with Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart?
Jagger: I like working with Dave. Dave is one of these people that has a hundred ideas and of course not all of them are wonderful but many of them are. He is a great person to work with, and he loves to visualize songs. He likes to sort of say, “This is what we are going to be seeing and this is what we are going to see” and really he is an interesting writer to work with.
Access: What about collaborating with David Bowie? “Dancing In the Streets” is an amazing song on the CD.
Jagger: It’s a great song.
Access: Did you know him well before?
Jagger: I knew David well. The thing is, that is a great song to do. We didn’t write that, but it’s easier to do a song that is already existing. It is much more difficult to write a new one, but I prefer to collaborate with people that I know already in some way. We had been out a few times. Otherwise, you are sitting in a room with a stranger and you are looking at each other.
Access: “Dancing In the Streets” became almost the second signature song for Live Aid. When you look back now that was such a big monumental part of history.
Jagger: It was a big event then. No one had ever done as big of a charity event or as big multi-national event before. It was a real groundbreaking thing ... to be that big of a success was pretty amazing. These things were done very quickly; there was a really good spirit around at that time.
Access: Speaking of amazing spirits, John Lennon produced one of your tracks, “Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Soup).”
Jagger: Yes, he produced. John and I would hang out at that time. We were in Los Angeles and we used to have these jams on Sundays at the Record Plant with all the local musicians — sax musicians and other kind of musicians. We would all come together and jam and this is actually one of the songs. I always thought that John played guitar in it, but then I remembered he started playing guitar and then he became the producer and went into the booth.
Access: What was he like as a producer?
Jagger: Obviously it was all over very quickly, but he was a very encouraging. One of the jobs of producing in the record business and in movies is to encourage everyone to do well and tell them how great they are, which he did really well on that day. The rest of the time in those sessions, I think we just used to jam on 12 bars and not really come out as much. This was one of the few (actual) songs that I remember us doing.
Access: There are a few artists of your ilk who are putting autobiographies out there lately. Is that something that interests you?
Jagger: It’s a funny thing because talking about the past and telling all your old stories is all very fascinating, but to make a book of it? I don’t really find it that appealing. I have got some other ideas about how to do a book (that) isn’t just another celebrity-as-told-to-some-writer. First of all, I think it is more interesting writing it yourself rather then telling it to someone. Secondly, I’ve got a few ideas to find another format to tell this kind of autobiographical story.