Wandering Spirit, 1993 solo album. Not too bad for fifty. Mick was pretty hot at fifty. I, of course, would’ve been ten when this came out. Which is epic to think about. How alienated does a kid have to be if the only thing to latch onto is someone old enough to be granddad? I had an interesting experience, in probably 1997 or ’98. Right around the time when I started getting online. Before I learned that you can’t, and should not, believe everything you see on the internet. The web was still a bit crude back then, and I didn’t know how to tell a legit site from a quack one. I ended up going down a few rabbit holes and one of them was a web community dedicated to the conviction that Mick Jagger is really gay and has been all along. A few rumors made up by Angie Bowie notwithstanding, Mick Jagger has been very convincingly not-gay throughout his lengthy career. Plenty of closeted gay stars have spent entire lifetimes successfully (or not so much) covering up their tracks, so it’s not impossible. However, the hundreds of women and the various impregnations – that seems like behavior above and beyond the call of mere covering up. By all logic and judging by the evidence the very gayest you can give him is maybe a homo-erotic man-crush or two. But it seems some desperate souls want to believe what they want to believe, and they’ll build webpages about it. And young people raised to believe in the written word will be shocked by what they read there. I read not only that Mick is and has been secretly gay, but also that his decrepit appearance (in 1997) was due not to the usual ravages of a rock’n'roll lifestyle but to full blown AIDS. Yeah, I saw a website that said Mick Jagger was a gay man with AIDS. I found it shocking of course, but in a day or two the logic kicked in and I realized it made no sense and random internet sites should not be believed. Lesson learned. What really hit home was not so much the allegation, but the implication. If Mick (or anyone) has full blown AIDS, then obviously, he’s not long for this world. Which leads to the dreadful epiphany of Mick Jagger’s mortality. What it says about me that I had a full-out existential crisis, in which I didn’t eat for two days as I grappled the idea of Mick Jagger’s mortality, I’m not sure it says anything good. Nobody close to me had ever died (and in fact, to this day nobody close to me has ever died) so thinking, really thinking, about mortality didn’t occur to me. Of course, realizing the mortality of someone else is really a step to realizing your own mortality. Somehow, the thought that Mick Jagger will die absolutely brought on a conscious epiphany about death. As a matter of fact, just stopping to think about a world without Mick Jagger in it fills me with existential dread. I guess we all inevitably have moments of dwelling upon the meaning of life, the mortality of mankind, and one’s own fragility within this world, but everyone takes a different path to that thoughtplace.