The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger had heart surgery this year, but the exact story of how his health scare occurred never surfaced. Jagger’s live Stones bandmate Chuck Leavell revealed in a new interview that during a rehearsal show in Miami, Jagger said he wasn’t feeling quite right and called his doctor. Leavell was then told the tour was off. Mick Jagger being ‘in denial’ about a The Rolling Stones departure was revealed yesterday.
“All of us—band, crew, staff—mentally had prepared for this tour, had given up time out of our lives to do this tour, and then all of a sudden, the third day comes and you’re summarily dismissed. It takes a blow to you. You get over it after a few days.”
Leavell said after Jagger had surgery and recovered, the band got back together to rehearse. “We went to London, all of us, and started the process all over again. The word relief, on everybody’s part—relief that we were able to reconstruct it, relief that Mick was in good shape, and relief that AEG was able to restructure the tour. We were bumping up against the football season. By the hair of our chinny chin chin did we get the stadiums, and that was fortunate.”
Jagger was told to retire by a surprising bandmate. Despite Leavell coming off as a great guy in this interview and being a key part of The Rolling Stones live show, a disgruntled fan named GasLightStreet unloaded on his interview comments on the IORR.org forums.
He wrote, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Chuck being called “the fifth Rolling Stone”.
This whole ‘musical director’ trip is bullshit: Before every show, he proposes the next setlist on his MacBook, making sure that they don’t repeat songs from the last date in the same city. Then he emails it to Jagger, and Jagger emails back what he thinks.”
GasLightStreet added, “He certainly does what is said – but there is no reason to believe that Jagger takes that seriously. There is no reason to take any of it seriously. What a big whup – Jumpin’ Jack Flash will be the opener tonight! Just like it was throughout tours ever since 1999, which was the first time since 1971. OMG OMG OMG. Like, OMG.
They played Harlem Shuffle for the first time since 1990? They’re a nostalgia band. They played I Wanna Be Your Man for the first time since 1963 in 2012 – more than once. THAT was a nice little nod to the past – the most acknowledgement they gave their starting career, recording wise.
He thinks BRIDGES is ‘iffy’ because he’s not on it! What a joke. The guy is a paunch. Fluff pieces like this reveal more and more every time why the Stones didn’t have him around for the sessions that allowed BLUE AND LONESOME to come about: he’s a whiny pain in the ass nerd that thinks every song is Jessica.”
You can read the full Chuck Leavell interview at Vanity Fair.